I am currently looking into Ruby/Ruby on Rails as an alternative to Python/Django. My main problem is that it is rather unclear what the best practices are when it comes to installing Ruby gems and/or Ruby on Rails projects on a Linux with a general dist or Gentoo in particular.
In Gentoo the devs tend to package the gems. It is the prefered way to install those via portage instead of gem. Yet I don't know if this is the right way because you will always have major projects and their dependencies missing which you would either have to write your own ebuild for (not such a big deal) and maintain it. And at that point I don't see any more advantage because I have to follow the packages closely for new developments once I wrote my own ebuild because there won't be any magical bumps to the package. :-) Also the Ruby world is a fast moving target and not all packaged gems in the dist's tree are really up to speed.
On the other hand, installing directly via Bundler or directly via the gem package manager seems kinda flaky as well. You by-pass the dists package manager and have two competing managers if you are not careful. The dist updates to Ruby 1.9.4 and introduces some dist specific characteristics and some gems break unexpectedly, for example. Yet they patch their own packaged gems for it. Or if you use Bundler, projects tend to be rather strict when it comes to the versions of their dependencies and thus, even if a security update for a dependency is available, you might not get it because the project specified explicitly one version. So you have to jump in again manually.
Right now, I would appreciate the community's opinion about the right way (TM) to deal with such things and how to properly maintain a Ruby / Ruby on Rails base and several projects (incl. third party ones) on a production server.
Please note, this is not about how to deploy a project/app. This is about best practices when it comes to maintenance...