[Rubygems-developers] Status of disabling plugins except for command line?

Charles Oliver Nutter headius at headius.com
Thu Dec 23 04:24:49 EST 2010

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 3:08 AM, Trans <transfire at gmail.com> wrote:
> I know of at least two gems it will break, and I suspect they are not
> your four.

You guys with your mystery lists. Spill it, man!

> I thought RubyGems was supposed to be so *conservative* about changes,
> and here a change is just going to be pushed that breaks people's
> plugins for the sake of a speed up for those who have 500+ gems
> installed?

It's not just a problem for 500+, it's a problem for anyone who
installs, say, Rails 3's several dozen dependencies. Globbing through
all those directories gets linearly slower, and even people with just
a few gems will notice a startup improvement from this.

The right answer is that plugins should NEVER have been
auto-discovered with a filesystem scan on every startup since that's
inherently O(N) as more gems are introduced (and especially bad on
implementations that already have startup concerns like JRuby or
Rubinius). So I feel more like we're righting an over-eager change
(plugins scanned on every load of 'rubygems') by backing off the most
egregious aspect of that decision. We're not breaking good behavior,
we're rolling back bad behavior. I call that a bug fix.

> Overlooking the fact that there other solutions to deal with large gem
> collections, like rvm's gemsets. Why wouldn't the prudent course of
> action be to actually fix this _correctly now_, rather than implement
> a "phase 1" change that will leave certain types of plugins out in the
> cold for who knows how long?
> If that's asking too much, then at the very least, make this patch a
> configurable option in the .gemrc file. Power users who aren't using
> any of the above mentioned plugins could then easily flip the switch
> to get the speed up.

No plugins have been mentioned :) All I see are shadows and spectres.

I want to know what these plugins are and why this change breaks them.
If there's additional changes required to keep them working, we can
discuss that. But having a simple load of 'rubygems' scan the
filesystem every freaking time is a nonstarter (and should always have

- Charlie

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