String and name

When defining a function, the parentheses are not necessary.So this one

def say_hello name
  "Hello " + name

puts say_hello "man"

is the same as this.

def say_hello(name)
  "Hello " + name


However, when there are more than one parameters, it will be difficult to know which argument goes with which method invocation.So it’s recommended using parentheses in all but the simplest cases.

We can use single-quote or double-quote to create a string.What’s the difference?

First, single-quoted string can’t represent the escape character, and double-quoted string can.

puts '\nabc'
puts "\nabc"

The above code will output this.



Second, double-quoted string can be expression interpolated.

name = 'Tom'

puts 'Hello #{name}'
puts "Hello #{name}"

The above code will output this.

ruby test.rb
Hello #{name}
Hello Tom

And we can even invoke methods.

name = 'Tom'
puts "Hello #{name.upcase}"

This will generate the following.

Hello TOM

When the expression is a global, instance or class variable, there is no need to use the braces.

@h = "Hello"    # @ means instance
$name = 'Tom'    # $ means global

puts "#@h #$name"

This will generate the same output.

There are some conventions for the name in Ruby.

  • Local variables, method parameters and method names should all start with a lowercase letter or an underscore.

  • Class names, module names and constants must start with an uppercase letter.

  • Global variables start with $.

  • Instance variables begin with @.

  • Class variables are prefixed with @@.

Arrays and Hashes

In ruby, arrays and hashes can hold objects of different types.

a = [1, 'abc', :sym]
puts a

It will generate the following output.


By the way, nil is an object, represent nothing.

If we want to create an array of string, we have to list all the strings. And we have to type lots of quotes and commas.However, %w can do it more easily.

a = ['a', 'b', 'c']
b = %w{a b c}

puts a
puts b

It will generate the following output.


The index of Array is integer, but the index of Hash is anything.

It has the following form.

var = {
  key1 => value1
  key2 => value2

For example:

girl = {
  :name => 'Mary',
  :age => 20

puts "#{girl[:name]} is #{girl[:age]} years old."


Mary is 20 years old.

A new Hash can also be created in this way.

decimal =
puts decimal[:first]
decimal[:first] = 1
puts decimal[:first]



0 is the default value for all keys.

Control Structures

In Ruby, there is a elsif keyword instead of else if.

The method gets return the next line from the standard input stream and return nil when get the EOF, so the following code can let all the inputs be upcase.

while line = gets
  puts line.upcase

If the if and while statement is just a single expression, we usually write them in this way.

puts 'Hey' if 2 > 1

i = 1
puts i while (i += 1) < 10

Someone say that this style is similar with Perl.

Regular expressions

‘/’ forward slash

‘|’ pipe

The match operator is =~. For example,

line = “Perlppp”

if line =~ /Perl|Python/
  puts "match"

The replace method is sub and gsub.

sub(pattern, str) will replace the first string that matched pattern with str.

gsub(pattern, str) will replace all the string that matched pattern with str. g means global.

Blocks and Iterators

This is a code block.

{ puts 'Hello World!' }

This is also a code block.

  a = 1
  puts a

When we define a function like this,

def hello
  puts "Do some staff before calling the code block"
  puts "Do some staff after calling the code block"

now we can call this function in this way.

hello { puts 'Hello World' }

yield will execute the code block { puts 'Hello World' }. Here code is just like data. There may be many functions that should do some staff before calling them and do some staff after calling them. For example, logging and open/close file. This is call AOP.

yield can also accept parameters.

def hello
  puts "Do some staff before calling the code block"
  yield('Hello ')
  puts "Do some staff after calling the code block"

hello { |greet| puts greet + 'Ruby' }

Code block is used to implement Iterator. The famouse function each is an example.

animals = %w(ant bee cat dog)
animals.each { |animal| puts animal }

If we want to print 5 ‘*’ in C/C++, we will do it in this way.

for (int i = 0; i < 5; ++i) {

But in Ruby, you can do it in an elegant way.

5.times { print '*' }