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section_spacer "03. Methods" # ... or Subroutines in Perl
def foo
puts "foo!"
# same thing just on one line so we have to use ;
def foo; puts "foo redefined!"; end
def add(one_thing, another_thing)
return one_thing + another_thing
# same thing, minus parens
def add one_thing, another_thing
one_thing + another_thing # last line in method is the return value
foo # call foo
puts add(1,2) # call add (we redefined it, so it's really calling the 2nd one)
# Ok here's the thing. That's the syntax. But that's not the spirit. The
# spirit is more like sending messages.
puts Kernel.send(:add, 3, 4)
# Ok that's a little weird because we're not in a class. Add is like defined
# on the main. So we'll get to classes next. But also, WTF IS THAT :add THING?
puts :this_is_a_symbol
# it's just a special kind of string. It can't have - in it. So a lot of times
# it makes for great keys and almost constants. They are used everywhere.
# You can just thing of them as keys.
# You can turn any string into a symbol, but normally you won't need to.
puts "just fyi".to_sym.class
# if you print a symbol, puts is going to call .to_s on it
puts "string to symbol back to string".to_sym
# So let's say that we wanted to write chop() by hand.
def add_w(string)
string << "w"
def add_t(string)
string << "t"
def add_f(string)
string << "f"
puts add_f(add_t(add_w(""))) # same as perl, really hard to read
# Now the difference is, Ruby gives us flexibility if we want to
# monkey patch String to make this more readable. Most of the time you won't
# do this. But this will illustrate how we can chain methods together.
class Wtfer < String
def add_w
self << "w"
def add_t
self << "t"
def add_f
self << "f"
wtfer = ""
puts wtfer.add_w.add_t.add_f
# Ruby passes the message to the left <---
# Ok that's a bit weird. Bad example. Most of the time you'll be chaining
# together cooler and clearer stuff than that. For example, let's say you
# wanted to reverse a string, split on the first character and return the second
# half. So like writing your own Perl chomp.
string = "Please chop off this period."
# ok so ruby doesn't have a substr() which makes this a bit confusing. :(
# can't say I'm stacking the deck against Perl!
# the data looks like this:
# .reverse ".doirep siht ffo pohc esaelP"
# [1,string.length] "doirep siht ffo pohc esaelP"
# .reverse "Please chop off this period"
# [1,string.length] is like substr(). You can treat a string like an array.
# "asdf"[0] is "a"
# "asdf"[0] is "s"
# USE THE REPL (read eval print loop). Fire up irb or pry. Pry is best.
# This is why you use the REPL, irb to figure this out.
# Then start writing code files when it gets too long or annoying to retype.
# Then write short, clear and descriptive methods.
# But first, play around in the REPL (irb).
# or just use chop
string = "Please chop off this period."
puts string.chop # perl returns the character chopped
# ruby will leave string alone but return the string result
# ruby has a naming convention (by name only) of naming destructive methods
# with a bang!. Look at the difference.
string = "Please chop off this period."
puts string
string.chop! # destructive version
puts string
# ruby has default parameters
def foo(x='yes')
puts "default parameters: Foo is #{x}"
section_spacer "Ok enough of the boring string stuff."