Before RubyGems came along, module distributors were left to their own devices—many opting to utilize some variation on
install.rb-- for distributing their packages. Underpinning these are generally Rakefiles and Makefiles. For programmers coming from *nix, this is a familiar convention. However, a lot is left to the module maintainers to implement on their own. RubyGems provides an easier way.
Today we have two complementary packaging systems:
setup.rb and RubyGems. The two systems are both important: For packages that need a commitment to security, getting security updates from your *nix distribution requires that the module has been packaged in that distribution’s packaging format. For example, ...