[Rubygems-developers] Native Windows RubyGems Installer

Curt Hibbs curt at curthibbs.us
Mon Mar 15 12:12:01 EST 2004

Chad Fowler wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Mar 2004, Curt Hibbs wrote:
> # Hi guys -- I just joined the RubyGems project!
> #
> Welcome, Curt!!
> # I want to create a native windows installer for rubygems. I also want to
> # embed rubygems support within the ruby system installed by the one-click
> # ruby installer for windows (I recently became a developer on
> that project,
> # as well).
> #
> That's wonderful.  Including RubyGems with the pragprog installer would
> greatly add to the acceptance/mindshare level we'll need to make this a
> standard part of Ruby.
> What I think would be the best way to do this would be to create Gems of
> all of the packages that are normally distributed with the pragprog
> installer, and either include them in the download or (perhaps both?)
> provide them for gem --remote-install access as part of a post-install
> step.  You could possibly provide a "fat" installer with all of the gems
> bundled in or a light when that allows users to select which libs they
> want to install.

This is a good idea. Although I think that, at a minimum, the packages that
are considered to be a standard part of the core ruby installer distribution
should always be included in the installer. These would be the ones you get
when you do a "express" installation (as opposed to a "custom" installation.
These packages would be pre-tested with the ruby build to ensure that that
work as expected.

> Rich and I were chatting this morning on AIM about native installer
> integration.  It's something Matz asked for at RubyConf.  It seems like
> the number one advantage (on most platforms) would be that the native
> package manager could help manage external (non-Ruby dependencies).  For
> example, it doesn't make sense to install the MySQL database
> module unless
> you have the MySQL DLLs.  I know that the linux package managers
> deal with
> this kind of dependency generally.  Does MSI?

Unfortunately, windows does not have a general facility for doing this. But
if RubyGems will at least have a facility for specifying these types of
external platform dependencies, then code can be written to use a platform
supplied facility when available, or implement it otherwise.

In the case of Windows, I would have implement something. Initially that
would probably mean just detected that the dependency is missing and then
failing the installation of the RubyGem. But, if there is a way to store
platform-specific meta-data in a RubyGem, then we I could implement and
automatic download/install in the RubyGem packager supplied enough

> On another note, Shashank Date is working on creating gems for all of the
> win32utils stuff that he, Dan Berger, et al have been doing.  These would
> make a great addition to the pragprog installer.


> (I guess "pragprog
> installer" isn't a good name anymore now that non-pragproggers are
> involved.)

These days, we're just calling the "Ruby Installer for Windows" -- a bland
mouthful for sure, but its definitely self-descriptive!


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