Ruby ports and 1.9

Caspar Florian Ebeling florian.ebeling at
Tue Jul 8 15:43:05 PDT 2008


Yesterday, I have put a patch for ruby group into the trac, which changes
the ruby.setup command so that it accepts an additional parameter.
With it applied
ports for ruby19 can be installed using the port group. These would get
a prefix of rb19 instead of rb, following the python example. Find it here:

Rainer raised the concern, that these version-specific ports are a bit of
a duplication, and that the experience with python was not really spotless.
See his comment in the ticket. I see this problem as well.

I have other issues myself. It is not entirely convincing to install
ruby libraries
via a generic package manager like mp, given that ruby has it's own in the
form of Rubygems, which even comes builtin with 1.9.

Unfortunately, authors are not consistent in how they package their ruby
libraries, so not every library is available as a gem, but rather
bring a setup.rb
or an install.rb, which are older but still quite popular alternatives
to rubygems.

So if we would adopt the policy not to offer any ruby ports, then people would
still need to do the good old google+wget+tar xjf+sudo footwork, which
to make a
thing of the past is mp's mission, kind of.

The question is now, do we want to offer ruby ports for 1.9? I think
yes, even if
this is usually the second best option after plain gems. Maybe there can be
a policy that a ruby port should only be added, when it is not
available from the
standard rubygems indexes for installation. Or when a non-gem lib depends on
it and we offer it through a port. When there is a good reason, in general.
One could argue that with 1.9 only gems should be used any longer, and
adoption of gems will be higher since it is shipped directly, but still this
will not help in exceptional cases. And there mp should probably be
able to help.

And if we want 1.9 ports, then we also need support for them in the
port group, I think. So in my opinion this patch should go in, or
maybe something
better than I can produce, for that matter.

Please review the patch as well, in case, I haven't done awfully much of tcl in
my live :) And I'm looking forward to hear what you think on this.


Florian Ebeling
florian.ebeling at

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