What is RubyGems?

Web Development Jargons Explained in 4 Different Ways

TLDR: RubyGems is a package manager for Ruby libraries. RubyGems is used to deal with installation, removal, updates of Ruby libraries. RubyGems libraries are called Gems for short.


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RubyGems is a package manager for Ruby libraries. RubyGems is used to deal with installation, removal, updates of Ruby libraries. RubyGems libraries are called Gems for short.

There are countless Ruby libraries, or Gems, available that provide all sorts of functionalities. Gems can drastically reduce development time of projects as engineers don't have to write all the features themselves.

RubyGems comes bundled with Ruby as the default package manager since Ruby v1.9. The most famous Ruby Gem is Ruby on Rails, a web application framework for creating websites and related services.

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To avoid reinventing the wheel, engineers create and share standalone programs for a specific use case as a library, also called package, for others to easily incorporate into their projects.

RubyGems' job is to manage those packages, this includes package creation, package hosting, package downloading, package versioning, package management in a project and more.

RubyGems is often used together with another program called Bundler. Bundler helps engineers track the Gems and versions required in a project.

You can browse through available Gems on https://rubygems.org/.

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Use Gems that are well maintained to reduce the number of potential future issues when it comes to updating the project. Avoid using Gems, libraries in general, for small tasks that you can write myself.

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