I think the biggest road block I have with ruby right now is symbols. I'm not quite grasping their use.
So far as I understand it, its an efficiency system of using the same short string multiple times, as an identifier (such as for a hash key). However, I'm not seeing their use/purpose beyond that.
Further more, one of the guides I'm currently following (Learning Ruby the Hard Way), defines a function, then uses a symbol of the function name to reference it. Are function names automatically defined as symbols? As a function name has to be unique, why use a symbol to represent it? Is this acting more like a pointer?