[Rubyinstaller-devel] Ruby Installer for OS X [was: Which version of Ruby is most widely used?]

Curt Hibbs curt at hibbs.com
Tue Aug 10 10:26:58 EDT 2004

Stephen Steiner wrote:
> I'd be interested in working on a .pkg (one-click installer) for OS X.
> What's the next step?


I think you will find this to be a very rewarding experience. The Ruby
Installer for Windows has been wildly popular (its the #1 download on
RubyForge), and I think that the use and adoption of Ruby will really
benefit from an OS X installer (and, eventually, a Linux installer).


The basic concept of the installer is to create a complete ruby development
environment out-of-the-box. This means:

- Ruby
- A decent syntax highlighting editor
- Documentation (installed stuff, and
  links to ruby-doc.org)
- Start Menu shortcuts to everything
  (whatever these are called on OS X)
- System file associations for .rb and .rbw
  (whatever this is called on OS X)
- A set a precompiled/installed ruby extensions

My long term strategy is to minimize the Ruby extensions that we physically
package with the installer, but include an upcoming GUI-based RubyGems
Browser that let's the user pick and choose what extensions he wants
installed (either initially, and any time later on).


Eventually, the Ruby Installer for OS X should have an automated build
script that will build all of the pieces and do the packaging. But initially
(until we "get it right"), I would just do manual build and packaging.

1) Subscribe to the ruby installer developer's mailing list so that we can
carry on there.

2) The first step would be to hand-create a initial version of the OS X
installer containing:

- Ruby 1.8.2 preview 2
- Editor
- Select Ruby extensions
- Documentation
- System shortcuts and file associations

I'll go into more detail about the above list in just a moment.

3) Give the prototype installer to some hand-selected users for testing.

4) Fix problems revealed in step 3 and post a release-candidate to the
general ruby community.

5) Fix problems revealed in step 4 and post a final release.

6) Create an automated build script to reproduce what you have done by hand.


- I can handle most of he administrative tasks while you work on the
installer, itself.

- Editor: It would be really nice if SciTE could be used on OS X, but I
don't think there is a port that is ready -- the closest I've found is
http://mailman.lyra.org/pipermail/scintilla-interest/2004-June/004685.html -
- If we can't use SciTE, then what would be an appropriate alternative?

- Extensions: Below is a subset of the list extensions included with the
windows installer (I left out the windows-specific extensions and some
others). These should be included as well as anything that might be
considered standard or essential on OS X:

  - Tcl/Tk
  - Help (probably links to ruby-doc.org)
  - FXRuby (plus GLUT and OpenGL)
       There are no OS X binaries for this,
       but I'll contact Lyle Johnson to see
       if he could create some (he's done
       this before).
  - html-parser
  - zlib-lib
  - ZLib
  - Ruby-DBI (is this windows-specific?)
     and whatever DBD's would be common
     for OS X
  - RubyMock
  - log4r

While you are working on the OS X installer. I would:

- Contact Lyle Johnson about getting OS X binaries for FXRuby
- Contact Andy Hunt to see if there is a PDF version of the PickAxe book
that could be installed on OS X.
- Change the name of our RubyForge project from "Ruby Installer for Windows"
to just "Ruby Installer"
- Add you as a develop in the Ruby Installer project.
- Update the Ruby Installer wiki and reflect the new multi-platform goals of
the project.
- Rename our existing CVS module from "installer" to "installer-win" (in
preparation for adding an "installer-osx" module.


Wheew! Ok, now that I've thoroughly scared you off... ;-)  Just send me a
confirmation that you want to do this, and I'll start on my tasks.


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