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RubyGems.org Replaces RubyForge as Gem Host

by Paul Blair on Mar 30, 2010 |

With a recent announcement from Nick Quaranto, RubyGems.org has become the default gem source for RubyGems. The three domains gemcutter.org, gems.rubyforge.org, and rubygems.org now all point to the same place, and gem serving and installation work for all three. RubyGems.org is the main web front end, to which the other two sites redirect. The secure site, https://rubygems.org, also went live on March 23.

Hosting approximately 11,500 Gems, RubyGems.org is now the default Gem host for the community, superseding both RubyForge and GitHub.  GitHub announced in October that it would no longer automatically build Gems, and that it would only host existing gems for a year; it recommended Gemcutter for hosting. Shortly thereafter, the teams behind Gemcutter, RubyGems and RubyForge announced that RubyForge would be phased out in favor of Gemcutter, which would take the name RubyGems.org.

Gemcutter appeared last year as a repository aiming to simplify the hosting and release of Gems. With the gemcutter RubyGems plugin, a simple gem push command would publish a Gem to the repository; this functionality has now become part of the RubyGems package manager with the 1.3.6 release. The only change in RubyGems relevant to the downloading and installation of Gems is the use of RubyGems.org as the default repository.

For publishers of Gems, user accounts from RubyForge have been merged over to RubyGems.org; users new to the site but with existing RubyForge accounts can log in with their RubyForge account information.

The focus of RubyGems.org is Gem hosting; other features of RubyForge, such as website hosting, file hosting, bug tracking, forums, and mailing lists, are being retired in deference to other hosting sites that specialize in such features. Support for the RubyGems package manager, however, as well as for the RubyGems.org site as a whole, is available at help.rubygems.org. This site features knowledge base articles, forums, and issue tracking.

While the gem push and gem owner commands have been merged into the RubyGems package manager, the gemcutter plugin continues to exist and makes available several additional commands. The gem yank command will remove a Gem from the RubyGems.org index while leaving it available for download; by using gem webhook a user can be notified about Gem updates by registering a URL to be called each time a gem gets pushed.

Some other features of the RubyGems.org site include a "Metrics" button on each Gem's page that links to Caliper, which generates metric_fu results for every pushed gem. RubyGems.org also makes available a web-based API for creating and querying Gems, for managing owners, and for various other interactions with the site.

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