[Rubygems-developers] Repackaging a Gem for other Package Managers (e.g. RPM, deb, conary, etc.)

Chad Woolley thewoolleyman at gmail.com
Wed Jan 24 12:43:20 EST 2007

This is the third thread like this that has been started tin the last
couple of weeks (there was two here, and one on the mongrel list).

You should read those threads for some background.  Write back if you
can't find them.

On 1/24/07, Scott Parkerson <scott.parkerson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Folks,
> I'm trying to come up with a relatively good way to take a Gem and
> re-package its contents for other package managers. I've seen a
> Gem2Spec tool for converting Gems to RPM spec filesout there, but
> would like to dig a little deeper. My specific area of interest is
> Conary, which is *not* a household name (yet).
> Specifically, I need to know a few things:
> * The best way to unpack a gem into a temporary root directory. My
> guess is to use something like
>     gem install <package> --force --ignore-dependencies --no-wrappers \
>         --install-dir <temproot>
> * Once the temporary root is there, I can then dissect the gem and
> pull appropriate things and stuff them into their appropriate places
> (e.g. the stuff in lib under the gem should be put in
> /usr/lib/ruby/site_ruby/, the docs in
> /usr/share/doc/<packagename>/{ri,rdoc}, etc. Binary wrappers will have
> to be re-written to work with the native system, I guess (e.g. what
> Debian did to /usr/bin/rails).
> * I'll have to generate provides/deps based on what Conary (or RPM)
> expects, which is different (and not fine-grained to version, like
> Gems). That's another issue entirely.
> But all this is moot if it's still possible to write code which can
> only be run as a Gem. Is Rubygems source-intrusive (i.e. will having
> code that has require 'rubygems' bust everything without gems
> installed and the code being, well, where gems expects)? If so, that
> means whatever I repackage has to do surgery on the code, which seems
> suboptimal.
> <FlameRetardant>
> The point of all this so that a distribution of Linux, which has its
> own package manager, can use its update tools to update Ruby packages
> without having to deal with multiple package managers. Specifically, I
> want to make appliances that use Ruby-based web apps and make it easy
> to update the whole OS + Ruby bits. Furthermore, package mangers like
> Conary assemble entire distributions out of Conary changesets; having
> a distribution ship Ruby + Rubygems only means having a special
> post-process to install the desired Gems seems a bit wrong. Bottom
> line is that I'm not trying to  dismiss Gems, or minimize its
> usefulness.
> </FlameRetardant>
> Anyways, please let me know! (Hopefully this is not TL;DR fodder.)
> Best regards,
> Scott
> --
> scott parkerson. geek, erstwhile prophet and fool.
> just a cog in the machinery: http://www.smerpology.org/sprocket/
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