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GitHub Stops Automatic Gem Building

by Werner Schuster on Oct 10, 2009 |

GitHub has moved from EngineYard to RackSpace, and while the move was rather smooth, the automatic Gem building feature was killed.
As a reminder, GitHub had a feature where it would automatically build a Gem every time a change was pushed to a repository. These Gems were then hosted at GitHub, at gems.github.com, which will remain online for another year.

The Gem building and hosting feature was somewhat controversial because it added another Gem hosting site next to RubyForge. Since it made the building of Gems trivial and automatic, many considered only publishing Gems on GitHub and not RubyForge, thus fragmenting the Gem space.

Now that the feature is turned off, it's time to dust off useful tools (eg. project setup tool hoe) that automate the process of building the Gem and uploading it to RubyForge.

The GitHub blog entry announcing the demise of the Gem feature also points out an other option for hosting Gems: Gemcutter.
Publishing Gems on Gemcutter is simple: gem push name.gem.
Gem users can enable Gemcutter as their Gem source easily: gem install gemcutter installs a Ruby Gems plugin which handles the Gemcutter features. gem tumble switches Gems to use the Gemcutter server as source.

The developers behind Gemcutter seem interested in becoming the main Gem hosting site. Everybody can create and push a Gem under a new name - except for Gem names that already exist on RubyForge - for obvious security reasons.
For developers who want to provide their own versions of Gems can also use Gemcutter to host them, they'll need to edit their .gemspec files to add an extra suffix to the Gem name to distinguish it.

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