[Rubygems-developers] Thoughts on handling bin and man files

Chad Fowler chad at chadfowler.com
Thu Mar 18 21:22:56 EST 2004

On Mar 18, 2004, at 8:09 PM, Jim Weirich wrote:

> Chad Fowler wrote:
>> application.  To me, gem --run can fill that need, though the files 
>> will end up being extracted.  As long as it's transparent, it 
>> shouldn't matter.  You could even do:
>> gem --run mygem-0.1.1.gem
>> ...and it could extract the gem to a personal directory if it's not 
>> already installed (either globally or locally) and run transparently. 
>>  That's kind of appealing.
> I'm not wild about this option.  I'm sure people will not want to type
>    gem --run rake-0.3.1

Good point.  With something like Rake, which you would expect to run 
frequently, this would definitely be inconvenient.

> Here's an option I hadn't seen yet.  Create a bin directory in the gem 
> installation area.  All the user would need to do is add this 
> directory to his search path.  Since all gem applications would go 
> into this directory, it would not too onerous on the user.

Not a bad idea at all.

> Perhaps a better idea would be provide an install-app option to gem 
> and specify the bin directory directly.  E.g.
>     gem --install-app  --exec-prefix=/usr/local/bin rake-0.3.1
> The default directory could be wherever the ruby command was 
> installed.  Allowing --exec-prefix means a user could install apps 
> into his home directory.  One problem is that this would only support 
> a single version at a time, even though multiple gems of the library 
> could be install.

The version problem has prevented me from suggesting several other 
alternatives as they've come to me.  I toyed with the idea of having a 
bin directory for each Gem (as we've discussed previously) and then 
creating a utility to modify your PATH.  It would be too cumbersome, 

> Symbolic links aren't a bad idea (on Unix ... not on Windows, alas). 
> Has anyone looked at how "stow" manages its links.  Perhaps we need a 
> ruby version of stow.  (see 
> http://www.gnu.org/software/stow/stow.html)

Yea, we really need to be cross-platform.

I haven't previously seen stow, but I'm reading about it now.  Very 
similar problem that they've solved!


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