[Distutils] Puppet blog: Ruby has a distribution problem

Ben Finney ben at benfinney.id.au
Wed May 7 15:20:12 CEST 2008

Howdy all,

An interesting blog post from Luke Kanies that sparks an even more
interesting discussion in the comments.

    There seems to be a split between those developers who write
    software that is expected to run in one place and those who write
    software that is expected to run in many places.

    If you, as a developer, know that your software will really only
    be installed at a single customer [...], then your life is
    drastically easier -- you don't usually have to worry about
    cross-platform issues, and you don't have to worry about different
    users having different needs, because you only have one user.

    Obviously there's no inherent problem with having the simpler life
    of a developer with only one user, but it seems to me that the
    Ruby community is, as a group, largely adopting that perspective
    as the default. This is worrying to me, because I'm building an
    application that I expect to be installed in thousands of
    locations (in fact, it's probably already installed in thousands
    of locations). I'd like to take as much advantage of existing Ruby
    code as possible, but it's not exactly easy.


It's about Ruby's current state of package distribution, but has many
points that will be familiar to critics of distutils, setuptools, and
cheese shop, or to readers of this forum in the last couple of weeks.

 \        “I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications |
  `\          at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ...” —F. H. |
_o__)                                                      Wales, 1936 |
Ben Finney

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