Stop using plugins and just write gems
Plugins are really no different than gems. Why have both systems?
Mario T. Lanza commented
Not the same. Plugins add Rails features. Gems add Ruby features.
Roy Quader commented
I really don't see why removing a feature that has obvious uses and doesn't get in the way of using gems would make any sense. As long as it doesn't cost a lot to keep plugin support around, why get rid of it?
Vlad Hveckovics commented
If there are no performance issues, plugins should stay where they are. And the difference is - you might have several projects running on the same box, and would not like to load 30 gems even though in a particular project only 10 are used?
Please keep the pugins inside Rails. It's stupid to move to gems only. They are painful to maintain, people even try to 'vendor everything', but plugins are already there for that, they come bundled with the app, so will go through the trouble of gems?
"stop using plugins and just write gems" is not a behavior of Rails but of developers. If you think you can persuade all developers to stop using plugins and just write gems, be my guest. I'd love to hear your arguments in favor of gems, but at the moment I'm pretty convinced that in some cases plugins make more sense.
Blake Chambers commented
I like that I can tar my app up and give it to a friend. Sure all they need to do is gem:install, but that is still more that I want. Plus, I am not a fan of the "gem list skyscraper" that is on my laptop and I would like that to change.
being able to distribute plugins as gems is a great feature but it should not means simple plugins support should go away since the latest method is the best when developing plugins or using internal plugins.
Maybe it would make sense to name public gems "plugins" and name the current plugin functionality (for internal use, modularization) something else. But I guess that's pretty hard to realize at this point.
@dhh - I believe you have a LOT of plugins at 37 signals. I know we have a lot at Centro and I don't necessarily want to convert them all right now, but I like way more doing things in only one way.
My only "fear" is that I would have gem explosion, but I more than confident that the community can help me solve that problem through some fancy gem management techniques that are still to come.
In a fact many plugin's developers provides both versions of their extensions for now - as gems and as plugins, and I always choose gem versions. I think plugins are just mess. Gems have better mechanism for upgrades and maintenance.
Plugins pulled from a git repository makes plenty of sense for internal development. I'd hate to have to make gems out of all the internal plugins we have at 37signals. But I do agree that public, published plugins could do well as gems. Support for non-gem plugins is not likely to go anywhere, though.
I ran out of votes but this is HUGELY important to me. This whole "Rails plugin" thing is terrible. Lets move to gems and a peaceful plugin API to support them. If the WillPaginate guys can do it, so can you.