[LRUG] Gemfile.lock for gems - to check in or not to check in, that is the question

Kerry Buckley kerryjbuckley at gmail.com
Wed May 10 03:12:01 PDT 2017

The advice I've always followed is that if you're building an application
you check it in (so you can guarantee that everyone's
developing/testing/running against the same set of dependencies), but if
you're building a library you don't, as you don't get to control what
versions users of your library are running (other than through the
dependency specifications in your gemspec).


On Wed, May 10, 2017 at 11:08 AM, Asfand Qazi <ayqazi at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I have a question regarding Bundler, developing gems, and Gemfile.lock .
> It is a question I thought I had the answer to, but apparently not.
> I USED to believe that you do not check in Gemfile.lock, so as to allow
> situations during development to occur where your gem is used with a
> version of a dependency that you did not expect, therefore allowing
> possibly breaking interface changes to dependencies to be made apparent.
> This is what Mr. Katz says here, in 2010: http://yehudakatz.com/2010/12/
> 16/clarifying-the-roles-of-the-gemspec-and-gemfile/.
> However, checking the latest bundler docs, here we read something
> different: http://bundler.io/v1.14/guides/creating_gem.html
> "By running bundle install, Bundler will generate the extremely important
> Gemfile.lock file. This file is responsible for ensuring that every system
> this library is developed on has the exact same gems so it should always be
> checked into version control. For more information on this file read “THE
> GEMFILE.LOCK” section of the bundle install manpage."
> Que?
> What do y'all think? Follow the old advice, or the new advice?
> Thanks
> Regards,
>     Asfand Qazi
>     The DevOps Doctors
>     E: asfand at thedevopsdoctors.com
>     W: https://www.thedevopsdoctors.com/
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