And I agree - hand-cut carpentry can be a delight to the eye. It can also be some of the roughest and most miserable joinery you've ever seen. It depends on how good (or, often, how pretentious) the woodworker is.
In the computer business, I've often come across folk who prefer to do by command line what someone automated centuries ago. I swear that if the water wheel was just invented, these people would insist on turning it by hand. People who used donkeys and slaves would be cajoled and those who had the temerity to use electric motors would be hung from the nearest daffodil.
I think of such things when I read blog posts like this one from Les Hill. And this one from Jeff Kreeftmeijer.
Ruby, the programming language, has a standardized way of encapsulating bits of code; they're called (naturally enough), gems. Sometimes (often) these gems rely on other gems; as a result, you need a way of indicating that. In the olden days you'd look at the ReadMe file and hope the author had remembered to include the relevant information. Quite often they included some of what you needed and you embarked upon a
After a few zillion years of evolution, someone came up with a way of automating all this "dependency management". They called it a Gemfile. It listed the gems your gem needed, and where they could be found. All was well. Ish. The wellishness of it all prompted a few other folk to build a different way of managing these dependencies. What they came up with was Bundler and the gemspec. Bundler is a nice bit of automation and the gemspec if an arcane bit of complexity that needs to be carefully constructed - it is the house of cards you've just built your mansion on top of.
But like those dovetail joints - fiendishly difficult or fairly easy, depending on the wood you're using - sometimes it's just better to have a machine to do the job for you. Some things are best done by hand and some things are best done by machine. You never read of a new car that comes with ignition timing and mixture controls on the dash, for instance. (Not even the Royal Enfield motorcycle comes with a mixture control anymore! It's fuel-injected, these days. Mine isn't. It has a mixture control. And a choke.) One of the things that's best done by machine is managing arcane, convoluted configuration files. These files need some manual input, and it's always helpful to understand the file itself. But to build a gemspec by hand? Yes, it's possible, but I can't think of a single valid reason why anyone would want to do that. Unless you just like doing such things. I mean, I like cutting dovetails by hand - when they go right.
Good job it's not daffodil season... :-)
PS I will note that Messrs Hill and Kreeftmeijer make convincing cases for "rolling your own". But I well remember rolling my own cigs - and how variable they could be in quality.