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  1. #1
    Senior Coder
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    New Jersey
    Thanked 259 Times in 256 Posts

    Symbols as function names?

    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?

  2. #2
    New to the CF scene
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    What's the example from Learning Ruby the Hard Way that you're referring to?

    I use symbols purely for efficiency. I'm guessing the example is passing some method a method name as a string, and is looking up the method to call it. Hopefully I can tell you more after seeing the example.


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