[Rubygems-developers] What is right and wrong with dependencies definitions?

Luis Lavena luislavena at gmail.com
Fri Nov 9 23:09:02 EST 2007

On Nov 9, 2007 7:47 PM, Eric Hodel <drbrain at segment7.net> wrote:
> Including everything is the best approach.
> My conclusion is that people only want to bikeshed[1] about this
> topic.  They don't want to define an actual solution.  When this
> issue first came up (with hoe) people complained loudly, and I told
> them that the best way to handle this would be "developer
> dependencies".  It took eight months for the feature request to show
> up on the tracker[2].  Two and a half months later, the requester
> hasn't defined how they think developer dependencies are supposed to
> work.

Thanks for the bikeshed reference, I wasn't aware of the right term in
english. :-)

Please excuse the noise, I missed the discussion about this (maybe I
joined the party too late) :-P

> Things that need to be discussed are:
> * should developer dependencies by installed by default?
> * what does the command-line option look like?
> * what happens on uninstall?
> * what should `gem check` do if all dependencies aren't installed?

I'm seeing this like apt-get build-dep command (and lot of users will
argue this is not the best way) -- still, fits best:

if you intent to build ruby1.8, you need to download the packages that
are marked as dependencies for compilation/build:

sudo apt-get build-dep ruby1.8

Now, you can grab the source code for ruby1.8 and start the compile
process (if you have the compiler installed, of course)

I see the compile process as the 'rake compile test package' tasks sequence.

Uninstalling of the gem isn't related here, mostly since you're trying
to build from source or perform some kind of check for the gem.

'gem check' should only yell at you that not all the dependencies for
testing/building are installed, and guide you to 'build-dep <gemname>'
to correct the issue.

I must honestly say what I don't know what to do with orphaned gems,
mostly since these gems could the useful for others or even the final

- I manually install rspec for my own, personal use.
- Try to do some work on DataMapper, which need rspec as build-dep
- gem build-dep datamapper
- rake test package (datamapper) and then gem install it.
- Found it good, but just got bored of it (gem uninstall datamapper)
- rspec shouldn't be removed... even if it's a build dependency of
datamapper and there isn't another gem using it.

> Before attempting a patch, I think at least these questions should be
> answered.  There are probably more, since getting it to work well
> requires changes and hooks in lots of places.

What about a proof of concept? maybe using some text field of the
specification to track this... and create the fake build-dep command
that use that information and manage the installation of dependencies?

> Its really easy to say "gems should have developer dependencies".
> Its a lot of work to make it a reality.

Is easier say than do... "show me the code" often came after that line ;-)


Luis Lavena
Multimedia systems
Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort,
which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that
is worthwhile.
Vince Lombardi

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