[Rubygems-developers] Help with Gem Dependencies

Bret Pettichord bret at pettichord.com
Tue Jun 3 21:30:35 EDT 2008

I'd like to be able to improve the Watir installation process.

Currently if you do a "gem install watir" you get this:

C:\Documents and Settings\Majid_Home>gem install watir
Install required dependency windows-pr? [Yn] Y
Install required dependency windows-api? [Yn] Y
Install required dependency win32-api? [Yn] Y
Select which gem to install for your platform (i386-mswin32)
 1. win32-api 1.0.6 (x86-mswin32-60)
 2. win32-api 1.0.6 (ruby)
 3. win32-api 1.0.5 (x86-mswin32-60)
 4. win32-api 1.0.5 (ruby)
 5. Skip this gem
 6. Cancel installation

The problem is this last step. Our users are confused by this
question. The best answer is almost always #1 (this is a precompiled
binary), and I would like specify this as the default in the Watir
gemspec, but i don't know how. If users pick #2 (as many do), they
will usually get errors (because it only works if they have a compiler
installed: most watir users don't). And it becomes difficult for them
to recover. Many end up uninstalling Ruby and starting over. So it
ends up being a complete FAIL.

I would like your advice as to whether there is anything i can do with
the Watir gemspec to avoid this situation.

Here is the watir gemspec. (Watir currently only works on Windows --
I'm working on that, but that is a separate issue.)

Here is my recent correspondence with Daniel Berger (author of
win32-utils) on this issue.

Appreciate any help or insight you can provide.

Best regards,

Bret Pettichord
CTO, WatirCraft LLC
Lead Developer, Watir, http://wtr.rubyforge.org
Blog (Essays), http://www.io.com/~wazmo/blog
MiniBlog (Links), http://feeds.feedburner.com/bretshotlist

More information about the Rubygems-developers mailing list