[arch-general] Ruby gem packages in Arch

Paul Gideon Dann pdgiddie at gmail.com
Mon Jan 13 11:32:18 EST 2014

On Monday 13 Jan 2014 16:35:16 Maxime Gauduin wrote:
> > For system-wide gems, I do "sudo gem install <gem>".  That works because
> > I've restored
> > /etc/gemrc so that it reads simply "gem:", instead of "gem:
> > --user-install".  I'm still not clear
> > on why this configuration file is altered in the Arch package.  I think
> > it's because there's a
> > feeling that system-wide gems should be handled by pacman, which I
> > personally find weird.
> That is not a feeling, gemrc is removed on purpose so that you _don't_ run
> "sudo gem". Your whole system is managed by pacman except for some dirs,
> why wreak havok in it by using some other package manager? I'm exagerating
> on purpose, I know rubygem does its job well and there shouldn't be
> conflicts bewteen the two, but it just doesn't feel right.

We're talking about two completely different domains that both happen to use the 
filesystem for storage.  Ruby gems are not packages in the same sense that Firefox is a 
package.  It's a different concept, and although I agree that Pacman could do an acceptable 
job of managing Ruby gems insofar as both systems bundle files for installation, it is not 
possible to map the two systems completely.  They are built for different purposes, and 
have different semantics.

> Yes, gem is easy to use, so is pacman. You can achieve the same results
> with pacman-handled ruby packages given some effort on the maintainer's
> part (apart maybe for the, imho unneeded, complexity of having multiple
> versions of the same gem, but that is another story).

To some extent, yes.  You end up with a lowest-common-denominator situation.  It's 
acceptable for casual use, I'm sure.

> > When you start doing Ruby development, you quickly come to rely on
> > Bundler, which relies
> > on Rubygems.  Throwing Pacman into the mix would cause a big mess, at
> > least until you
> > learn to use rbenv or something similar.
> As I mentioned above, you can easily reverse that statement. Why throw
> Bundler and Rubygems in the mix when you have pacman? I personally think
> that having pacman-managed dirs tinkered with by another package manager is
> heresy :P I have no problem using one in "~" or any other dir that pacman
> does not manage though, and as Rashif said, all in all it's just a matter
> of options and preferences.

Based on that paragraph, I'd be surprised if you had undertaken any serious development in 
Ruby.  Many Rails developers work on Macs (not to mention other flavours of Linux), and 
Rubygems and Bundler are cross-platform tools.  Relying on Pacman for Ruby development 
would render a project pointlessly platform-dependent.


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