[Rubygems-developers] Stability/Maturity attribute

Eivind Eklund eivind at FreeBSD.org
Thu Jun 3 10:35:59 EDT 2004

On Thu, Jun 03, 2004 at 04:07:00PM +0200, Michael Neumann wrote:
> Sourceforge/Rubyforge has those levels:
>   1 - Planning
>   2 - Pre-Alpha
>   3 - Alpha
>   4 - Beta
>   5 - Production/Stable
>   6 - Mature
> Planning isn't very useful for gems.

I'll start with this list as a base, and then see what I can come up

> Excuse my ignorance, but what's RPA?

Ruby Production Archive.  Basically, an attempt at a high-quality
packages collection for Ruby, like the Debian package archive for
Debian, or ports for FreeBSD, but with more stringent release
engineering employed.  Basically, the thought is that RPA takes
promising packages from all over the net, and then bring these together
to a single collection that work together and is updated (at a minimum
bugfixed.)  All packages that are brought into the primary collection
are fixed up to match a "minimum set of standards", to ensure that
people can pick packages from the set and not have any unexpected
surprises using them.

We have some areas where we especially expect to add work to that of
the original authors: API constancy (controlled obsolence over a series
of releases so people don't have to shock-fix things), documentation,
and automated tests.

RPA is a project I some inadvertently started, and that Mauricio has
been the flag-bearer of since.

And to wave aside one aspect of RPA that seem to often confuse people:
RPA has its own code for doing package management.  This is because of
the agility we gain by being able to change *all* packages that use the
system and the system code at the same time, and because RPA and
RubyGems have different goals.  RubyGems is sort of tar + gz +
configure + make, while RPA is more like FreeBSD ports or Debian's
packages.  They do different jobs for different niches.

You can find the RPA manifesto at


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