By Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler, Andy Hunt
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Additional info for Programming Ruby 1.9: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide (Facets of Ruby) 3rd Edition
We’ll look at that some more on page 342. Onward and Upward That’s it. We’ve finished our lightning-fast tour of some of the basic features of Ruby. We took a look at objects, methods, strings, containers, and regular expressions; saw some simple control structures; and looked at some rather nifty iterators. We hope this chapter has given you enough ammunition to be able to attack the rest of this book. Time to move on and move up—up to a higher level. Next, we’ll be looking at classes and objects, things that are at the same time both the highest-level constructs in Ruby and the essential underpinnings of the entire language.
Ruby statement modifiers are a useful shortcut if the body of an if or while statement is just a single expression. Simply write the expression, followed by if or while and the condition. For example, here’s a simple if statement: if radiation > 3000 puts "Danger, Will Robinson" end Here it is again, rewritten using a statement modifier: puts "Danger, Will Robinson" if radiation > 3000 Similarly, a while loop such as this: square = 2 while square < 1000 square = square*square end becomes this more concise version: square = 2 square = square*square while square < 1000 These statement modifiers should seem familiar to Perl programmers.
Each method is a chunk of functionality that may be called in the context of the class and (depending on accessibility constraints) from outside the class. These instance methods in turn have access to the object’s instance variables and hence to the object’s state. A Song class, for example, might define an instance method called play. If the variable my_way referenced a particular Song instance, you’d be able to call that instance’s play method and play a particular song. Methods are invoked by sending a message to an object.