Apt support of Ruby as a key blocker

I was thinking about the new Rails foundation and things that would move the community forward. Tonight I have been fighting something that I realized was a huge issue early on, and I had forgotten until now: the poor support for Ruby in Apt.

Things like Docked start from the ruby docker image, but for many purposes that is not sufficient. Ex. if you want to use a heavyweight library like Arrow, installing that takes 10 minutes and crushes build pipelines. Apt only has ruby 2.7 and not RVM or RVENV.

It feels like it would be a substantial step forward to get Ruby easily installed on common OS package managers like Apt.

Have others had this experience?


Having taught Rails quite a bit, I think this could lower barriers in bringing folks with only a passing interest in Rails right into setting up their first app. Would significantly simplify things for students. (Although Postgres as well takes a little bit of fiddling around to get up and cruising, and generally I encourage students to use that database engine rather than Sqlite.)

I am just doing Rails gigs now, but back in the classroom we had encouraged people to get a MacBook simply because Homebrew made all that configuration somewhat less obnoxious.

Thinking about all of this, Iā€™m grateful for only one recent thing out of Redmond ā€“ that their WSL Ubuntu shell is able to work pretty well with Rails. From there having further apt support for RVM could open doors for many on Windows machines.

Despite everything, actually Ruby and Rails works relatively well for general development if you install RubyInstaller 2 (and/ or JRuby). Of course, for numerous reasons, you would not deploy on Windows but compatibility is quite good!

Cheers, Mohit.