I would like to summarize in this blog post what has been going on with RubyInstaller project and what is coming up.
On a previous post I mentioned we reached RubyInstaller goal of provide a stable installer and a series of tools to ease the life of Ruby developers using Windows.
Of course, perfection is a myth, and is good to know that you can always improve what you did before.
But, where to start?
Development Kit as installer
We start looking to what users said on Twitter, our group and of course the bug tracker. We noticed one of the big problems: the Development Kit and complicated instructions.
As you might know already, Windows do not come with development tools out of the box. Even more, if you opt for Microsoft ones (Visual Studio) you might end having issues with GNU tools or projects that do not support MSVC very good.
We took the approach of using Free Software, and base our work on GCC and MinGW project which made more easy for us redistribute things ready for you to use.
A proper DevKit installer is under works, at this time a 7z and self extracting packages can be generated, but the installer will do more stuff, which you find more about it in our group.
Upgrading to GCC 4.5.0
One of the reasons we moved from Visual C 6.0 to GCC was that the compiler was no longer available (and also cost money). Now, it is time to move to a newer version of GCC, to take advantage of specific optimization flags and improved debugger (GDB).
All the components which lack GCC binaries for Windows are built from source for RubyInstaller project.
You can checkout use-devkit branch at GitHub use-devkit branch has been merged into master.
This proved two important things: our DevKit is able to compile out of the box some projects without tweaks, and two, we are eating our own food.
Getting ready for Ruby 1.9.2
Yes, Ruby 1.9.2 final is coming out soon, and we can say RubyInstaller provided a rc2 for experimentation 2 months ago, and we are building newer packages for further testing.
We hope be able to deliver RubyInstaller 1.9.2 binaries as soon 1.9.2 gets out.
We still need you, and your feedback
Please keep in mind all the contributors are doing all this work in their free time.
Help is always welcome and appreciated. There is not a specific set of skills required, just the willingness to help.
Feedback is important too, and will love hear from your experiences using RubyInstaller, no matter how weird or Rails-related is the thing you’re working on.
That’s all, as I said, exciting stuff coming soon.