Packaging a gem for Debian

Recently I had to package a gem for debian as a .deb. As a matter of fact, there is a lot of companies that are not in the ruby ecosystem and they rely on things they trust rather than rubygems. For a while debian was way behind on the inclusion of ruby and versions were outdated there. So a parallel distribution ecosystem had to be created. Now we have rvm, rbenv, or chruby for ruby and bundler and rubygems for the packages. But where I work, they package everything as debian packages. So I had to adapt.

So I went have a look at the debian ruby team and checked out the tools. That gem2deb tool is pretty convenient. I am using debian for a while but never really had to package anything. The debian community process is a bit complicated and they are not very inclusive. Compared to the ease of uploading any gem to rubygems, it’s quite a fortress, and people in the process are not very welcoming.

Maybe it’s generational. Debian started before sourceforge existed, they are rooted in a community tradition that are very exclusive and a bit elitist. But technology changes faster than people, obviously. Younger communities bootstrap in a more fluid environment.

I’m not sure it is related but maybe it is, there was another epic [Linus Hit][liushit] recently. Well, all those things put in perspective the niceness of the ruby community. Really, cherish it and enjoy it, it’s precious.

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