[Rubygems-developers] gem format

Chad Fowler chad at chadfowler.com
Thu Jul 8 20:40:49 EDT 2004

On Jul 8, 2004, at 6:19 PM, Jim Weirich wrote:

> Chad Fowler wrote:
>> Hello All,
>>   I had a nice chat with Mauricio last night, wherein he suggested 
>> that we
>> migrate the gem format to tar/gzip instead of the Ruby/YAML/Base64 
>> thing
>> we've got now.
> [...]
>>   There are obvious advantages to using tar/gzip, including the fact 
>> that
>> many tools already support it.  I think it would be especially nice 
>> for
>> browsing the contents of a gem before installing it.
>>   Can anyone think of any other reasons *not* to switch?
> I have no problem with changing the format.  Here are a couple of 
> points ...
> (1) We need to rev the gem format.  The gem format revision should 
> explicitly be part of the file, and we should be able to detect the 
> revision given an gem file of unknown format.  This gem format 
> revision is separate from the gem software revision.


> (2) Old revisions need to be supported, at least for a time.  I know 
> our software is currently beta, but we have over 50 individual 
> projects available as gems right now.  If changing the format of the 
> file disrupts this, I think this would be a PR failure.

I agree.  We also need to provide a conversion script.  I think that 
should be easy.

> (3) Yes, please, whatever you do, get rid of the ruby code at the 
> front of the gem file.
> (4) The tar/gzip utilities donated by Mauricio ... are they portable 
> across all our platforms?
> (5) Will this delay our next release?  I'm thinking this change should 
> go in after the next release.


> (6) Speaking of which ... when are we releasing the next version?

I'm happy to release any time.  You and Rich have done most of the 
changes on this one.  How do you feel about it now?  Perhaps one of you 
would like to package it up and announce?


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