Me and my team are starting to build up a few re-usable scripts. They're re-usable within our org only as they work with proprietry apps and our particular server environment. So not really suitable for rubyforge or github, etc.
My question is, what is the best practice for ensuring we're all using the latest and greatest scripts across all users? We pretty much run these scripts on one server, but may need to expand to others.
Should we bundle them into gem(s) and start a private gem server?
Or something simpler like a common, shareable lib directory. Perhaps with a script to download/update from our SCM?
This depends on some factors, like how many people want to change the code (only your team, or someone else too), or how much money you have for this?
Personally I'd create a build+gem server, where you can upload the scripts using some versioning system (like git or svn, depends on how many people are working on the project), and then create a cron job, that would automatically genereate the gems from the sources at generic intervals and store them as different versions. This way you can be sure that you always have an authorative server that stores your applications gems, and you can always get an earlier version if something breaks. Your script might create separate gem version names, like "appserv-edge" or "appserv-stable"
You might also want to check out github's closed source options too, if you have the money to afford that. I don't know however whether they have gem building and hosting facilities for non open-source programs.
I've created a private gemserver and it's dead easy. The only tricky bit is deciding how you want your users to upload gems. Personally, I just use a PHP upload form, and have it check to make sure that it's not masking any existing gems.
At my office we're using a bit of a hybrid approach for some of our shared scripts and libs. We do bundle them all in to a gem, but rather than using a gem server we keep them in source control, and then build the gem (using newgem) and install it locally as necessary.
The downside of this approach is that it takes two commands instead of one to install the gem, but this is largely mitigated in qa and production environments, since we use Capistrano for deployment.
The upsides are that it's dead simple, and in development there is a very short edit/build/deploy cycle if you're working with something that requires changes to the gem. I'm currently pulling a lot of common functionality in to the shared gem, so I'm really appreciating that aspect.