The New RubyGems.org: GemCutter and RubyForge Migration Complete

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The New RubyGems.org: GemCutter and RubyForge Migration Complete

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Since October of last year, three hosts for Ruby Gems have been building a new, central hub for the roughly 11,500 Gems hosted on their sites.  Last month, gemcutter.org, gems.rubyforge.org, and rubygems.org finished uniting their resources under one banner: RubyGems.  GemCutter and RubyForge urls now redirect to RubyGems.org.  The final step happened last week when the secure site went live.  

The developers behind RubyForge and GemCutter decided last year to merge their efforts into one renamed site which would use GemCutter's tooling.  GitHub even recommended that Ruby developers use GemCutter instead of their service.  GemCutter makes it very easy to publish Gems.  All that's needed is a gem push command.  This feature, and GemCutter's other tools, have become part of the RubyGems 1.3.6 package manager.  RubyForge accounts were also moved over to the new RubyGems site so that users wouldn't have to create a new account.  

Once it was announced that RubyGems would the definitive hub for Gem hosting, GitHub announced that it will only host Gems for one year after they are uploaded.  GitHub has also stopped automatically building Gems, making RubyGems a more favorable option for many Ruby developers.

RubyGems is different from RubyForge, which was not solely focused on Gems.  RubyForge also included website hosting, bug tracking, file hosting, mailing lists, and forums.  The RubyForge team decided that they were spread too thin and they abandoned these additional features, which many other sites were focused on.  The new RubyGems site only features Gem hosting, package manager support, documentation, issue tracking, and forums.

The gem owner and gem push commands have been merged into RubyGems proper, as of last month.  The gemcutter gem is currently at version 0.4.0, which has gem webhook, but will soon have gem yankgem webhook lets developers register a URL that is called when a gem is pushed.  This way, gem webhook can notify users when a Gem update occurs.  gem yank will take Gems from the RubyGems index while still keeping them available for download.

RubyGems.org also features a web-based API that interacts with the site.  For example, it can create and query Gems or manage owners.  Metrics are another new feature at RubyGems.org.  Each Gem's page has a button that links to Caliper to get the metric_fu results for each Gem that is pushed.  

Going forward, the RubyGems team will use the gemcutter.org domain for gem forking/subdomains, and RubyForge will probably remain inactive.

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