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RubyGems 1.8.5 actually breaks Rails 2.3.11. Just to be really clear there: the package manager breaks the 4 month old release of the most important framework for that language, on a branch that until rather recently was still the preferred production stack (and is still used by a bazillion websites).

I was flabbergasted. Really? Nobody thought to check to make sure the package manager release doesn't break Rails 2 completely? I'm glad to see Loren and crew step up.

Don't forget rake. The latest version of rake broke all versions of Rails (don't know if this got fixed yet).

Well for rake the breakage was intentional. The Object class shouldn't have been littered with the rake API. After all it was 0.8.7 to 0.9.0.

In Rake 0.9.1 the global API is back, but with warnings this time.

The rake 0.9 beta was out for months, so I am surprised that something as high profile as rails got broken. While framework maintainers are ultimately responsible for their own stuff, the rake maintainer could have pro-actively made an announcement to the effect of "Hey, look out!"

In an ideal world, a continuous integration thingamabob would have sent an alert to rails maintainers about the breakage with the rake beta.

There seems to be an attitude problem in the Ruby community,. Lots of prima donnas who don't want to work together or work with those outside their clique. It is self-perpetuating as well. I'm sure part of the reason some projects isolate themselves is because they've tried and been given the cold shoulder or ignored. Zed isn't completely off base about this.

Having worked exclusively with Ruby for the last 14 months, and comparing things to the situation with Java or Python libraries, I completely agree with this. Working with Ruby gems is often very frustrating. Core libraries like Rubygems, Bundler, Rake and even Rails often cause an application to break when they are upgraded. Minor upgrades regularly cause breakage, where that would be a rare exception with Java or Python libraries. Major upgrades usually cause breakage, where others would strive for backwards compatibility from the start and often succeed. All the benefits I perceive Ruby to have, all the time I gain by progamming in Ruby, I lose to unnecessary library issues. I'm at the point where I advise others to seriously reconsider their choice when they intend to do a new project in Ruby.

Your story has some errors which, when coupled with the hyperbolic exaggerations, make me believe your story is a fabrication. For example Rake wasn't updated for two years until the very recent 0.9, so that part is a lie.

You can recover some credibility if you can tell us specifically which minor upgrades caused breakage. You'll have to list a bunch of them in order to support the "regularly cause breakage" claim.

However I'm certain you won't be able to do that. Go troll somewhere else, please.

Yeah, that's the kind of attitude that has allowed this situation to persist for so long. Quibble about details when the bottom line is that I don't dare a minor upgrade of even the smallest gem for fear of having to spend a day on some wild goose chase. So perhaps Rake was never responsible for any of the breakage. I misremember or misattributed: so what? It doesn't matter, because I don't trust Rake either. You want examples of other breakages? Follow Some of the mailing listst and Google groups. Stuff breaks a zillion times more often than in the Java and Python communities.

The western Ruby community is well observed phenomenon and opinions abound, but does anyone know if it's been formally studied? Anyone on HN with a strong psychology background have any insights?


That would spoil the fun of make sweeping generalizations about thousands of people based on the behavior of a few.

While the breakage may have been intentional, it was still ill-advised. Littering the Object class was indeed bad form, but it's been that way for years and everyone's coped with it just fine. Breaking every Rakefile I came across (and they weren't all Rails) to correct the sins of the past doesn't really build confidence in a tool that was at a de facto 1.0 release, even if they were reluctant to call it that.

nirvdrum, you're right, it should have been a change for rake 1.0.

Strike my "0.8.7 to 0.9.0" rationale.

Rake 0.9.1 is out, but I haven't had a chance to test it. I can't even find where on earth it's being maintained now.

It shows right on the homepage for Rake (http://rake.rubyforge.org/):

Rake is currently hosted at github. The github web page is http://github.com/jimweirich/rake/

Cool, thanks. The first Google SERP for "rake changelog" was kind of awful.

question - does JRuby follow the same versioning and release cycle as vanilla Ruby, including Rake, Gems, etc.

Essentially, what I mean to ask is if this kind of breakage is expected in JRuby anytime soon.

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