requirements for native gems not free text?

Jordi Massaguer Pla jmassaguerpla at
Sat Jan 26 17:08:56 UTC 2013

Hi all,

when deploying gems automatically it would be great if we could  
somehow know which system requirements a native gem has. I've read in  
the documentation that there is the requirements field that can be  
used for that purpose. However, the requirements field is "free text",  
and that makes it difficult to parse with an automatic tool.

Then, I thought about sending a PR to the native gems we use so that  
they have this information in a more "structred" way. For example, for  
rmagick, the PR would add this to the gemspec:

s.requirements = [" >= 6.6.0", "pkgconfig(libMagick) >= 6.6.0"]

meaning that rmagick gem needs libMagick and libMagick-devel.

What do you think on writing the requirements in such a way? Do you  
have any recomendation on that?

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