How do you maintain ruby based stuff

Julien Cigar julien at
Thu Mar 1 12:30:39 UTC 2018

On Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 10:06:51AM -0600, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
> Dear Experts,


> In another thread one attractive solution was recommended to me 
> (redmine) with the comment: yes, it is based on ruby, still... And when 
> I was setting it up I fully understood the comment. Now I have more 
> general question (just to make fundamental decision for myself for a 
> future, which will allow me not to waste my time and not even consider 
> things that one can not maintain because they are based on...).
> So, in general, does anyone maintain any solution, service, software 
> suite based on ruby? If yes, how do you do that? Do you set it up once, 
> freeze it, and keep it without updating? Or it is updated together with 
> everything else (which may be just dedicated jail)?

I've to manage/deploy dozen of Ruby on Rails webapps and I would highly
recommend to use rbenv and bundler

> One thing I observe all the time about ruby: its major version changes 
> as frequently as twice a year. Older versions are finally obsoleted. 
> What happens to the stuff that is based on ruby? In my particular case I 
> was installing redmine + apache + passenger. Apache module is provided 
> by one of ruby packages via symlink, which points into wrong place, but 
> even if it was correct apache configuration imminently contains paths 
> with major plus minor ruby versions. This will mean that routine update 
> bringing upgraded versions of ruby and friends will break things, this 
> fixing "enterprise level" solution broken by update sound like routine 
> future.
> So, I'm at loss, any advise will help. How does one maintain things 
> based on ruby?
> <OT>
> In the past when helping my users who are scientists and use python for 
> variety of things, when some python modules were breaking on them, I was 
> telling "python is a sneaky snake": compatibility of modules grossly 
> depends on versions... Yet, I can point to the greatest example based on 
> python: mailman. I use mailman since forever, and never ever I had any 
> issue with it. This is the great example of how software should be 
> written. In the past I was staying away from ruby for some reason, but 
> now after having to touch it a bit I realize how much I love python - 
> compared to my ruby experience that is.
> </OT>
> Thanks in advance for all your insights!
> Valeri
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Valeri Galtsev
> Sr System Administrator
> Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
> Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
> University of Chicago
> Phone: 773-702-4247
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Julien Cigar
Belgian Biodiversity Platform (
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