[Rubygems-developers] Prerelease Gems (was: Gem#status?)

Chad Woolley thewoolleyman at gmail.com
Thu Nov 13 14:42:00 EST 2008

On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 12:07 PM, Luis Lavena <luislavena at gmail.com> wrote:

> The problem I faced with github gems is that people started to rely on
> that, and other gem developers started to push projects to rubyforge
> with dependencies on gems that only exist on github.
> Some users didn't add github source and faced mysterious errors while
> installing or doing gem update.

Seems like there are two separate problems here.

First is the fact that rubyforge.org is still the only default repo in
rubygems, but people are pushing gems there that have dependencies on other
repos (github).  They do this unknowingly, because they have github set up
as a source in their ~/.gemrc, and it works for them.  This is already
solveable with the --source parameter (even though it is clunky and could be

The second problem is the basic problem of verson management for prerelease
versions, and allowing people to not get prereleases when they don't want

This second problem is also already solvable with the current rubygems
approach, if people (1) properly use pessimistic version constraints, and
(2) use versions properly (a prerelease version should have a significant
version bump so people can avoid pulling it with a pessimistic constraint),
and (3) use a controlled dependency management approach in their apps
(standard rubygems gem method with explicit version, rails config.gems,
geminstaller, etc).

Now, I'm not saying these are optimal solutions, because they depend on gem
authors and users to know what they are doing, which isn't always likely or

However, any alternative we come up with should make the problem SIMPLER for
the majority of people and not break other stuff majorly/unexpectedly, or
else we might be better off sticking with the status quo.

-- Chad
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