[Rubygems-developers] Format backward compatability

Chad Fowler chad at chadfowler.com
Tue Jul 13 14:39:12 EDT 2004

Now that I've committed Mauricio's patch, we should probably think about
what we want do with format compatability for gems.  I think it was
suggested by someone that we offer read-only compatability with the old
format.  Another alternative which might keep the RubyGems code base
cleaner is to take the old code and create a convertor for old-style gems.
Of course, that would break anyone who hasn't upgraded to 0.8.0 at the
time, but we could covert all of the old gems on gems.rubyforge.org to the
new format and (for a limited time) possibly intervene at the "deployment"
stage where gems are copied from individual project file release areas to
the gem repository.

Personally, I'd like to avoid "legacy" format support lingering during
this phase of RubyGems' development.  If were had a production release, I
would have a different opinion, but I think after we release 0.8.0 we
should try to get everyone on the new format ASAP.  Breaking compatability
will make that happen quickly, though it may cause a little pain in the

Perhaps, if a gem's format is not valid, the error message could (for now)
suggest that the user is trying to install a gem of the old format and it
should be converted.

 BTW, Gavin's unpack thing still works nicely with the
format.  It's nice how cleanly this dropped into the existing code base.

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