Developing on Beta Software

The purpose of this blog is to describe my recent experience with attempting Rails web development using a beta operating system (specifically OS X Yosemite). First and foremost, allow me to explain that I am an absolute tech junkie, and if it’s new and shiny, I want it, especially if it has an Apple logo on it. Call me a fan boy if you wish, but I prefer ‘connoisseur of premium technology products’.

I first knew I had issues when I began to install my dev environment. Ruby installed fine, as did Rails and Homebrew. Once I got to Python and specific gem installations, things just started to fall apart. I couldn’t seem to get the installation to recognize a C compiler, even though I had already installed Xcode Command Line tools. Git refused to cooperate and insisted that it wasn’t installed, even though I had done so three times. And sadly, Terminal decided it wanted to crash when I attempted installation of HubFlow.

After several days of fighting, cursing, and sobbing, I was finally able to get a Rails server running… sort of. Once I managed to get to the point that I could bundle the gems required for a specific project, I discovered that a good portion of the gems were incompatible with Yosemite, about 25% of them. This was partially due to the fact that I had used a script to take care of most of my installations, so I proceeded to spend another several hours reinstalling updated versions of gems and managed to get down to a select few gems that wouldn’t work.

At this point, I had spent 3 days fighting with my computer simply to run ONE Rails application. After commenting out the offending gems in the Gemfile, and ATTEMPTING to tell Git to ignore these changes, I had a working Rails app. However, Git did NOT like the environment and refused to ignore changes made to the Gemfile as well as additions to the .gitignore file so every time I went to push work up to a repository, I had to checkout each file that had a vendetta against me and my beta copy of Yosemite.

After 2 weeks of this back and forth method of developing, I finally caved. I ended up repartitioning my hard drive and installing a clean copy of Mavericks to use for dev work. In a matter of an hour and a half, I managed to get a successfully working dev environment installed with all components and gems in working order, a feat that took me several days on Yosemite and never completely worked.

Moral of the story, DO NOT install beta software if you intend to use that machine for anything other than amusement and tinkering with API’s and SDK’s for upcoming OS releases.

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