Ruby in a Jar

Recently we’ve been trying out Nick S.'s Gem-in-a-Jar technique.
We’re building some “shrink-wrap” software with installers and all.
Keeping all the ruby source in a jar files seems like a really simple
and organized alternative to installing hundreds of little files. We
got pretty far down the Ruby-in-a-jar path before giving up. The
problems we encountered are:

  1. Dir.entries doesn’t work for files in a jar. Based on feedback
    from Charles and Nick, there may be a few cases like this where jar
    URLs are not handled properly.
  2. The default install
    location on windows is C:\Program Files so this was a deal breaker.
  3. There was a perceived performance hit when using jar files. We
    don’t have any data to back it up but it sure did seem slower.

I think this Ruby-in-a-jar concept is powerful and I’d like to see it
work seamlessly. So my colleague Colin and I would like to help tie
up some of the loose ends today. Nick pointed us at RubyFile and
RubyDir so we can get started there. If anyone has any info, related
bugs, or tips, please let us know.


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