jacoby@oz:~$ uname -a Linux oz 2.6.32-34-generic #77-Ubuntu SMP Tue Sep 13 19:40:53 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux jacoby@oz:~$ ruby -v ruby 1.9.1p378 (2010-01-10 revision 26273) [i486-linux] jacoby@oz:~$ gem -v 1.3.5 jacoby@oz:~$ gem install boom WARNING: Installing to ~/.gem since /var/lib/gems/1.9.1 and /var/lib/gems/1.9.1/bin aren't both writable. WARNING: You don't have /home/jacoby/.gem/ruby/1.9.1/bin in your PATH, gem executables will not run. ERROR: Error installing boom: multi_json requires RubyGems version >= 1.3.6
jacoby@oz:~$ gem update --system 1.3.7 ERROR: While executing gem ... (RuntimeError) gem update --system is disabled on Debian. RubyGems can be updated using the official Debian repositories by aptitude or apt-get. jacoby@oz:~$
I followed this up by downloading and building ruby and trying to do a gem install from that. Into my second day, I decided that spending more of my precious time trying to get it working on Ubuntu was a waste. So I briefly considered reimplementing it in perl, then found ruby for Windows and installed it on my Win7 box. Then I opened a term and did the gem install. And now it works.
I find this profoundly disappointing.
I don't think this is the fault of Zach Holman, the creator of boom. I have now tried boom on Windows and kinda like it. I suspect (and might pop open VirtualBox and a bleeding-edge distro to check) that the problem is that Ubuntu or just U10.04 is stuck with an ancient RubyGems the way that RHEL is stuck with ancient Perl. I just know that I don't believe it should've been a problem.