Re: Ubuntu vs Ruby

January 1st, 2012 by lucas

(original post)

> If Ubuntu 12.04 if a LTS release, and Ruby 1.8.7 goes out of support in June of
> 2013, then why is the default still 1.8.7?
> Ruby 1.9.2 was released in 2010. Ruby 1.9.3 was released in October of this year.

First, there’s almost nobody in the Ubuntu development community doing any Ruby work. Packages are just imported from Debian, and Ubuntu follows what is done on the Debian side.

In the Debian/Ruby team, we are currently transitioning to a new packaging helper (gem2deb) that makes it much
easier to support several Ruby versions. Once this will be done, switching to 1.9.3 by default will be very easy. We already provide a way for the sysadmin to change the default on a system.

Now, doing that transition takes time, and we could have used *your* help (and could still use it). We are still quite on time to do it for Debian wheezy, but it sounds very hard to do it for Ubuntu 12.04 unless someone from Ubuntu steps
up to help.

19 Responses to “Re: Ubuntu vs Ruby”

  1. Sam Ruby wrote on 01/1/12 at 6:03 pm :

    How can I help?

  2. Daviey wrote on 01/1/12 at 7:10 pm :

    I just wanted to add a “thanks” to pkg-ruby(-extras) for their wonderful work on Ruby!


  3. nona wrote on 01/2/12 at 12:12 am :

    Anything a non-DD can do?

  4. Jayson Rowe wrote on 01/2/12 at 3:10 am :

    I second what was said above…how can I help? I’ve never done any packaging work, but I rely on Ruby (and Rails, but I get that via RVM) on Ubuntu, so I’m more than willing to learn, and give back to the distro.

  5. Anders wrote on 01/2/12 at 4:17 am :

    I guess you all can help by try the packages from testing/sid and update and/or write help information for others to read on how to set up a propper Ruby/Rails Debian develop system and a live Debian system.

    Debian packages works great, if you bother to read up on how to install and use it propperly. Don’t fight the system. Debian package maker has done a good work for you.

    (You could fight, but then you loose some of the benefits of using Debian).

  6. zedtux wrote on 01/2/12 at 8:26 am :

    I have some packaging knowledges, I’m a Ruby on Rails developer and I use Ubuntu (not for Rails at it is less usable than OSX) so I would like to help !

    If an Ubuntu Ruby packaging team is created, do not hesitate to contact me if you need help!

  7. Lucas wrote on 01/2/12 at 5:53 pm :

    I’ll try to put together a list of items, but there’s already a start on

    @zedtux: why do you insist of the team being an Ubuntu team?

  8. Sam Ruby wrote on 01/2/12 at 6:33 pm :

    Lucas: it is not clear (to me) how I can help on those tasks. I also question the assertion that “1.9 doesn’t sound like a reasonable target now, even if it is likely to become one during the wheezy cycle.” Can anybody explain why that might be? I would agree if we were talking about 1.9.1, but 1.9.2 onwards is a reasonable target, especially as 1.8.7 is going to go unsupported as I mention in my blog post. Additionally, Rails 4.0 should be released later this year, and will drop support for 1.8.7.

    For context, I’m a co-author of a book on Rails. In the chapter on installation, I currently recommend rvm for Linux machines.

  9. zedtux wrote on 01/2/12 at 7:29 pm :

    Heum why do you speak about Ruby 1.9.2 and not 1.9.3 ?

  10. nona wrote on 01/2/12 at 7:32 pm :

    @Sam Ruby:
    I personally wouldn’t want to be recommended to use RVM – distro alternatives and/or maybe rbenv for per-user alternatives and/or bundler does everything I need more cleanly.

  11. Lucas wrote on 01/2/12 at 7:55 pm :

    I’ve updated the wiki page, which was quite outdated.

    For 1.9 as default, we mainly need a discussion on the list ( I’ve added to my TODO list to start it. Subscribe if you want to contribute.

    @zedtux: why do you insist on the team being an Ubuntu team, when all the work needs to be done in Debian anyway?

  12. Lucas wrote on 01/2/12 at 7:55 pm :

    (the wiki page now lists more ways to help. please ask questions if some of them are unclear)

  13. zedtux wrote on 01/2/12 at 9:48 pm :

    Alright. Do like you want. It was just a simple question waiting a simple answer! I have no idea of what Debian team have done or not. Just was asking…

  14. What’s New in Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS « wrote on 01/5/12 at 1:51 am :

    [...] ruby (4.8) Transitional package for ruby1.8 (why so old) [...]

  15. Praveen wrote on 01/12/12 at 8:13 pm :

    @nona and others who want to help with ruby side, I have started a wiki page for listing packages that need porting help here

    Currently it has only mmap listed, as and when we hit issues with ruby 1.9 we will add those there.

  16. mathew wrote on 01/16/12 at 5:42 am :

    Looks as though someone’s looking at fixing up mmap-ruby:

    Having said that, is there anything that actually depends on mmap-ruby? Given that its maintainer died, I’d be inclined to drop it unless it’s actually needed for some other package.

  17. Praveen wrote on 01/16/12 at 9:05 am :

    @mathew, there is no package that depends on libmmap-ruby, but it is second most popular ruby package after rails [1] as per debian’s popularity contest. So having a 1.9 compatible version would be very useful.


  18. mathew wrote on 01/17/12 at 9:25 pm :

    OK, fair enough — but I don’t see that the lack of a 1.9 compatible mmap wrapper should be a showstopper for shipping a working 1.9.3 for Debian. It can always be added later when someone’s worked out how to get it working, right?

  19. Praveen wrote on 01/18/12 at 9:38 am :

    @mathew, I agree. I will create a 1.8 only version and keep a bug open for porting it to 1.9.