Rails without Gems?


Caveat: New user naivete to follow.

I’m starting an application in Rails and I can’t use Gems. (There are
legal implications in deploying unknown code here.) But Rails seems to
have an extraordinary dependence on Gems.

If I say ‘rails PROJECT’, then the PROJECT directory gets created with
supporting scripts, etc., but since they work internally relative to
their own location, they don’t find every thing they need (which would
be offset by ‘…/’). So, almost everything that I do goes down the Gems
require branches.

I find it hard to believe that the Rails creators intended to duplicate
the entire Rails installation inside the application, but I always seem
to hit this wall.

Are there standard ways to avoid this? Non-standard suggestions?



Not entirely sure what you mean here … if you can’t use unknown
code how can you get away with using Rails? (for a given value
of unknown).

If its a download issue, gems can be installed from the local machine

to add a third option: if the concern is that you don’t want to rely
on code outside your app’s distribution, you can “rake freeze_gems”
to import the current gems into your app space. you’d still be using
gems, but they’d be gems under your control, not reliant on whatever
someone has installed somewhere (n.b. if you need to update rails you
have to undo and redo this to pick up the current version)


Thanks for the good suggestions.

You’re right “unknown code” is definitely a variable. The point is that
we’ll get through development and test and we need to be absolutely sure
that what’s deployed is what’s tested. If the code doesn’t change, then
we know something about the bugs that we’ve deployed; if it does, then
we don’t. My client can live with known flaws, but unknown flaws puts
him in a very bad position.

A large-scale upgrade is a different story. When we have to do that,
we’re already at the start of a big upheaval.

Thanks again.


I see, the issue is that you wish to use the same versions of
various libs in the field as you used in your test lab.

So basically getting the latest gems is not an option.

Have a good look (and experiment with) using gems to
install extensions that are on the local file system. Basically
not letting gems have a look on the web. That should give
you a precise deployment - you bundle the versioned libs
with your app, and only gem install those.

i think you can even install gems of a user-specified version via a gem
option, if that helps. otherwise, the freeze_gems task could be useful.
it on your dev machine and have the rails gems extraved into
so when you just copy over your app dir, youll have exactly the same
of rails installed and used as in dev.

2006/8/16, Richard C. [email protected]:

with your app, and only gem install those.

him in a very bad position.

Michael S. [email protected]

www.stellar-legends.de - Weltraum-Browsergame im Alpha-Stadium

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