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What's New in Ruby 1.9.1? --The String Index Operator in Ruby 1.9.1

What Does the Question Mark Operator Return?

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In past Ruby versions, the question mark operator returned the ASCII value of a character. For example, ?g will return the integer 103, the ASCII code for the character lower-case g. This, however, turned out to be less than useful.

In Ruby 1.9, this has changed. The question mark operator now returns a single-character string of that character. For example, ?g will return "g".

To get the old behavior, to get the ASCII value of a string, use the ord method. The ord method returns the ASCII value of the first character of a string.

 #!/usr/bin/env ruby
 
 # In Ruby 1.9, this returns a single
 # character string
 puts ?g
 
 # To get the ASCII value, use the ord method
 "g".ord
 
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