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Ruby: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
How to Fix Missing Class or Module Errors
Problem: You encounter an error reading NameError: uninitialized constant Something or NameError: uninitialized constant Object::Something (with various class names in place of Something).
A Quick Guide to Forming Command Line Arguments...
Use command-line arguments to pass parameters to your Ruby scripts from the command line.
What Every Coder Should Know About Running Ruby...
Learn how to use the command line interface on Windows, Linux and OS X to run rb files and use the interactive Ruby program. Page 2.
A Quick Guide to Creating and Using Hashes in...
This article explains and teaches how to use a associative arrays (hashes) as a way to store multiple variables in one data structure.
A Quick Guide to Using Environmental Variables...
Using environment variables in Ruby.
How to Create Arrays in Ruby
This article explains and teaches how to use a arrays as a way to store multiple variables in one data structure.
How to Use 'Loops' in Ruby (While, Until, Each,...
Loops, including while and include loops, are one of the most commonly used constructs in computer programs. Page 2.
How to Use Comments for Ruby Code
Use comments to annotate your Ruby code.
Using the 'split' Method in Ruby
String manipulation using the split method in Ruby. Split strings into a list of substrings.
Checking Your Email with Ruby
How to check POP3 email accounts in Ruby.
Splitting Strings
Unless user input is a single word or number, that input will need to be split, or turned into a list of strings or numbers.
A Quick Guide to Installing Ruby on Linux
How to install Ruby on the Linux operating system.
Using Strings
Using and manipulating strings and substrings in Ruby. Page 4.
How to Use OptionParser: Ruby's Powerful...
Ruby comes equipped with a powerful and flexible tool to parse command-line options, OptionParser. The class is an alternative to GetoptLong for analyzing command line options.
How to Create a URL Shortener in Ruby on Rails...
URL shortening is a useful feature for any Rails application. Making it easy for people to share links to your content is always a good thing.
NameError: undefined local variable or method...
Problem: You encounter an error reading NameError: undefined local variable or method `a' for # or NameError: undefined local variable or method `a' for main:Object (with various identifiers in place of 'a').
A Simple Guide to Using Aliases in Ruby
Aliasing is a powerful Ruby feature that allows more than one method to be referred to by multiple names. This can be used to give a programmer more expressive options or to create copies of a method, allowing you to change the behavior of a class.
How to Use 'OptionParser' for Command Parsing...
Using OptionParser to parse command line options is a preferable alternative to GetoptLong or looking through ARGV manually. But how do you use it?
How to Use Case (Switch) Statements in Ruby
The case statement is a control structure that is usually quite limited in other programming langauges. However, it's quite powerful and flexible in Ruby.
Here's What Ruby Is
What type of language is the Ruby programming language?
A Simple Guide to Using the Command Line in Ruby
How to use the command line interface on Windows, Linux and OS X to run Ruby scripts and use the interactive Ruby program.
Making Deep Copies in Ruby
It's often necessary to make a copy of a value in Ruby. While this may seem simple, and it is for simple objects, as soon as you have to make a copy of a data structure with multiple array or hashes on the same object, you will quickly find there are many pitfalls.
Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example
Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example by Michael Hartl is a hands on introduction to not only Ruby on Rails but all the related software and services many Rails developers use such as Git, Github, Heroku and RSpec. There are no long-winded discussions on theory or REST or MVC, each and every part of every chapter is a hands on exercise in building a Rails application. This book is recommended for anyone who prefers a hands on approach to learning.
How to Use 'DIR.GLOB' with Directories in Ruby
In the previous article in this series, we discussed the basics of the Dir class. Particularly useful was the Dir.for each method for iterating over all files in a directory. However, this only goes so far. What if you want to iterate over only some files (for example, just XML files) in a directory?
How to Use 'Ternary' (Conditional) Operators in...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The ternary (or
Creating a URL Shortener in Rails
The following is a list of articles that will show you how to write, style and deploy a URL shortener (like TinyURL) application in Ruby on Rails.
How to Use String Substitution in Ruby
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Splitting a string
Using Attributes
There are two basic things you can do with an object: call a method on it and access an attribute. Ruby doesn't make a distinction between these things, but it does give you some tools to make some methods act like attributes.
Wondering if You Should Overlook The "Require"...
The 'require' method is the reusable code mechanism in Ruby. It allows you to import other source files into your programs.
Installing RVM on Linux
Installing the Ruby Version Manager (RVM) on Linux. Page 2.
Generating Random Numbers in Ruby
It's often useful in games, simulation and unit testing to generate random numbers, Ruby provides easy access to a pseudo-random number generator.
Two Dimensional Arrays in Ruby
We'll use a two dimensional array to represent the 2048 game board, but how do we create a 2D array in Ruby?
Using the Logger Library--How to Write Log...
How to use the logger library to create and write to log files in Ruby.
Net::SSH--The SSH (Secure Shell) Protocol
Net::SSH is a way for Ruby to interact with SSH (Secure Shell) protocol. It relies on the OpenSSL library for encryption.
Instantiation and the Initialize Method
Ruby objects are instantiated using the Class.new method, and initialize using their own initialize methods.
3 Ruby Scripts for Twitter Automation
Exploring and knowing the Twitter API is fine, but what do you do from there? Here are 3 practical scripts to help you follow followers on Twitter, update your Twitter account via an RSS feed and to be notified of your friend's new Tweets as they come in.
Quick Rails 4 Blog Tutorial
What do you do when a new version of Rails comes out? Build a blog, of course. The blog is kind of the hello, world application of the web application world.
Instance Variables
Instance variables are some of the most common and important variables types in Ruby. They begin with the at sign (@) and allow objects to track their internal state.
Be Notified of New Twitter Updates by IM
Be notified of Twitter updates by IM, using this Ruby script. It's a pain to switch to a Web browser every you want to check your Twitter account. This script solves that by sending you an instant message (IM) using the Jabber protocol when there's something new to see on Twitter.
Step 3: Authentication with Devise
Before we get too invested in our blog, we need to set up some authentication. We'll be using the popular and capable Devise gem to handle authentication.
How Does Ruby Compare to Python?
How do Ruby and Python compare in terms of features, form and function?
How Does Ruby Compare to the Java Programming...
What features do Ruby and the Java programming language share? How are they alike and how are they different?
Constant Variables
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The speed of light
Iterating Over Strings
It's not a very common thing in Ruby. You have more sophisticated string tools (such as split or scan), but there are times when you'd want to iterate over the characters in a string. Unicode complicates this matter, but Ruby makes it simple.
How to Install JSON Gem in Ruby
It's easy to jump into parsing and generating JSON in Ruby with the json gem. It provides an API for parsing JSON from text as well as generating JSON text from arbitrary Ruby objects. It's easily the most used JSON library in Ruby.
How to Install Ruby
How to install the Ruby interpreter on Windows, Linux and OS X.
What is Rack?
There’s a lot of talk about Rack , but unless you’re a framework author yourself, you rarely see it. So what is Rack? And why, as an application developer, should you care about it?
How to Install Ruby's Development Environment...
In the past, the Ruby “One-Click Installer” was the primary choice for installing Ruby on Windows. However, the One-Click Installer fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. Something new was needed, and thus, RubyInstaller was born.
Can I add empty directories to Git repositories?
Can I add empty directories to Git repositories?
25 Gem Commands for RubyGems
The gem command is one of the most used Ruby-related commands. This article shows 25 Gem Commands and their functions.
Understanding 'String Literals' in Ruby
The basics of strings, string interpolation, single and double quotes, escape sequences and alternate string literal syntaxes. Page 2.
How to Install and Use Ruby's Tk Toolkit
Directions of how to install the Tk GUI and its Ruby bindings on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Getting Started with Bundler
The basics of using Bundler are very trivial, you can be up and running in just a few minutes.
Optional Method Parameters with Hashes
Using hashes to simulate optional named parameters in methods.
Mapping Arrays
Iterating over arrays isn't the only trick up Ruby's sleeve. Having the ability to map arrays (and other enumerable collections) is a powerful feature.
Visual Tutorial: Installing Ruby on Windows
A visual walkthrough on installing Ruby on Windows. Page 7.
The 10 Fantastic Free Ways to Learn Ruby
Sometimes the old adage rings true: the best things in life are free. If you've wanted to learn a little Ruby, but haven't been able to fit a programming course into your budget, don't worry. There are a number of places on the Web to begin your learning, without sacrificing money or quality.
Keyword Arguments
Until Ruby 2.0, Ruby has not had true keyword arguments. You could simulate them using a hash, but as of Ruby 2.0 there's no longer any need to do that.
What is Sinatra?
Sinatra is a web framework. Simply put, it's a library that allows you to write web applications with a minimum of red tape.
What is Cloud Computing?
What is cloud computing? Interviews with industry experts help us define cloud computing, software as service, platform as service and more.
Block Parameters and Yielding
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Block parameters
Install Ruby on Windows
How to install the Ruby interpreter on the Windows operating system.
Net:SSH--Executing Programs with Net::SSH
Running programs with Net::SSH is simple enough. The Session object gives you two convenient methods with which to accomplish this task.
How to Install Gems from Git Repositories in Ruby
How to install gems from git repositories.
CSV Example: Parsing CSV
A crash course on what CSV is, what it is used for and how it is parsed. A method for parsing CSV files using only Ruby's built-in string methods is presented and discussed.
Creating Hashes from Arrays
How do you create hashes from tabular data? There are a few ways, but there's a way built into Ruby that fits onto a single line.
A Beginner's Guide to Creating a Blog in Ruby
Part one of the Ruby on Rails blog tutorial focuses on creating a Rails project and scaffolding a basic blog post data structure.
Using Rack
In the previous article, you learned what Rack is. Now, it’s time to start using Rack and serve up some pages.
undefined method `to_sym' for nil:NilClass
Problem: Seemingly at random, you've encountered the error undefined method `to_sym' for nil:NilClass, or a similar error message for any method name other than to_sym.
Mouse and Keyboard Input in Gosu
Games are, by definition, interactive. Gosu makes this interaction straightforward with a simple interface for detecting and reacting to key and mouse button presses.
Boolean Operators
While simple boolean expressions will get you pretty far, you'll soon find yourself wanting to act on more than one condition. For that you'll need boolean operators.
The Algorithm
Before we start coding, we take some time to look at the game of 2048.
Making a Text Adventure Game in Ruby
Text adventure games were a very popular game genre on minicomputers and microcomputers from the 1970's through the 1990's. This article series will take you through each step of making a text adventure game in Ruby.
extconf.rb:1:in `require': no such file to load...
Problem: You're trying to install a gem and you encounter an error reading no such file to load -- mkmf. This doesn't always occur, only when you're trying to install gems with native C code that must be compiled.
Net:SSH--Transferring Files with Net::SCP
SSH is not just for running commands, it's a general conduit for encrypted communications between two hosts. One common use for SSH is to transfer files using the SCP protocol over SSH. You can use SCP in your Ruby programs with the Net::SCP library, which is a supplement to Net::SSH. Page 5.
NoSQL and Document Oriented Databases
Chances are, you've spent your entire database life with relational databases. Data gets organized into columns, and stored in rows. You manipulate data with SQL (Structured Query Language) and there's really no other way to do it. There are competing SQL servers out there (MySQL, SQLite, etc), but they all more or less operate in the same way. But there's much more out there than SQL databases, especially with all the new software in the past few years.
Global Variables
Global variables are not often used in Ruby, however, you should at least understand their usage should you ever encounter them.
Hello, Sinatra! Using Sinatra in Ruby
How to get started in Sinatra, including how to use actions, parameters, ERB and views.
What is Ruby?
New to Ruby? Or even to programming? Find out what Ruby really is (and isn't) and why you should (and shouldn't) use it.
Adding and Installing Gems from the Ruby Gems...
Learn to search the Ruby Gems repository to find gems to add and install to your library.
The Main Loop
The main loop is the heartbeat of any game, and is the first thing you need to learn to start making your own games.
Riding Shotgun with Sinatra
Now that you can write controller logic and views and Haml, you can start putting together some more complex application. There's one very annoying thing though: Sinatra does not reload its code whenever you make a change. If you make a change, you have to stop and restart the server. This is just an extra step and generally an annoyance. This where shotgun comes in.
4 Ways Ruby is Better Than Your Programming...
A comparison of Ruby to other programming languages, including Perl, Java, Python and PHP.
What is Ruby on Rails?
Learn about the concepts of Ruby on Rails, a Model-View-Controller framework for creating database-driven websites in Ruby.
Agile Development
The principles of Agile Development and how agile applies to Ruby on Rails.
Part 3: Implementing
In this part, we'll implement a complete working application.
Cloud Computing and Ruby: Interviewing Hampton...
Why are cloud computing and Ruby on Rails a good match? Let's hear what Hampton Catlin, author of HAML and Wikipedia's head Ruby/mobile architect has to say!
Sorting Arrays
One of the most common tasks when dealing with arrays is to sort them. Luckily, Ruby makes this simple and flexible.
Using the Enumerable Module
By using the Enumerable module, you can make any of your classes act like Ruby standard collections. All you need to do is implement the 'each' method.
How Use RMV to Install Ruby On OS X Snow Leopard
OS X has pretty easy access to a GCC development environment installed with XCode (an IDE and development
Why JRuby?
As a Rubyist you probably know and love the official Ruby implementation. It's very stable and capable, so why should you use JRuby?
Base64 in Ruby
Base64 is a way to represent any data as ASCII data. Ruby provides a few handy functions to encode and decode Base64.
Load Vs. Require
You probably know about the 'require' method (yes, it is a method, it's not a keyword), but what about the 'load' method? What's so different about it?
Creating and Distributing Gems with Bundler
Creating Ruby gems has always been a bit of a pain. When you get right down to it, it's not a hard thing to do, but it's easy to forget how if you don't do it often enough. There are quite a few gems to help you write other gems, but if you're using Rails 3, there's already a gem on your system that does this: Bundler.
Using Git With Ruby on Rails
You don't have to use version control, but you should be. In the past, version control software has been large, clunky, required servers and really was only used when working in groups. But with Git, it's so easy that you really have no excuse, you should be using version control.
How to Use and Create Blocks in Ruby
How to use blocks in Ruby.
Click Blocks and Animation
Now that you know how to use the animate method , you can create a crude timer application. A timer application
RVM and 'sudo'
RVM is great. However, there may be times where you must run Ruby scripts with RVM as root (or another user) via sudo.
What's New in Rails 4?
Now that Rails 4 is out, let's see what's new.
Serialization in Ruby: Marshal
Serializing an object is to convert an object to a byte stream and either store that object for future loading, or sending to another program to be loaded there. There are several common ways to serialize objects in Ruby. The Marshal module is used less often than the other methods, but it's included in the standard library.
5 Must Know Features of the Ruby Language
If you're going to program in the Ruby language, there are some basic features you absolutely must know. Here are the Top 5.
Rails Blog Tutorial - Allowing Comments
Part four of the Ruby on Rails blog tutorial shows you how to create a comments table to allow users to comment on your blog posts. Page 4.
What is Bundler?
Bundler is a gem dependency manager for Ruby.
The Heroku Hacker's Guide by Randall Degges
comes in. The Heroku Hacker's Guide doesn't aim to be a complete reference (and since cloud computing
Overlooking Input and Output? Using the Input /...
Input and output methods are often overlooked by many Ruby programmers. How often have you used the <b>gets</b> and <b>puts</b> methods without giving them a second glance? Learn all the features of these methods to better put them to use in your code.
What's New in Ruby 1.9.1? -The Lambda Operator
Among the new features in release of Ruby 1.9.1 is the Lambda operator, a shortcut used to make nameless methods. Learn how to use this feature introduced in Ruby 1.9.1.
Hash Tips and Tricks
Hashes aren't just data structures, they have a few tricks up their sleeves. And while you may never end up using any of these tricks, they really show off how flexible the Hash class is.
Constants in Ruby
Like just about every programming language every conceived, Ruby supports constants. A constant is a variable whose value cannot be changed. However, in Ruby, this has some caveats.
Getting Gaming With Rubygame
Loading images from files and displaying them om the screen is the one of the most basic things you can do in game programming. Luckily, Rubygame makes this really simple.
Cryptographic Hashes in Ruby
Generating cryptographic hashes in Ruby is quite easy. Ruby provides both a built in method and gives access to OpenSSL's hashing algorithms in most installations.
Step 2: Integrating a Wordpress Theme
The scaffold generator gave us something rather spartan, let's spruce this up by adapting a Wordpress theme to work with our shiny new blog.
How to Use the Twitter Gem for Ruby
Using the Twitter RubyGem, making API requests to Twitter is even easier than using the twitter method.
Eval: Running Code on the Fly
Most non-compiled languages have some kind of eval function, which will take a string and execute it as code.
Check Email With Ruby
Learn to use Ruby's pre-installed POP3 libraries to check your email.
Advanced Hash Usage
There's more you can do with hashes than simple key value stores. One of the biggest hash 'tricks' is to emulate keyword parameters.
The ‘exec’ Method
There are several ways to run other programs in Ruby. There is the system> method, backticks, etc. However, they all spawn new processes. If there is nothing left for your Ruby program to do, it has to sit there wasting memory until the launched program finishes. The exec> method fixes this.
How to Display Your Ruby Version in Your Bash...
With RVM installed on your system, it's easy to have many versions of Ruby installed. And, especially if you switch between them often, it's easy to forget which Bash command prompt is using which Ruby version. You can solve this by putting your Ruby version in your Bash prompt.
Running the Ruby Profiler
Running the Ruby profiler to determine which methods are most expensive and which need to be optimized.
Sinatra URL Matching
How do do various types of URL matching in Sinatra. Page 2.
Overloading Operators
What does a + b mean? That all depends on what 'a' is. Ruby allows you to define a number of arithmetic operators and they're called on the left-hand side of any such expression.
An Introduction to Distributed Ruby
Distributed Ruby, or DRb, is a library that allows you to communicate with remote Ruby objects and programs, using TCP/IP network protocols.
Loading and Displaying Images in Gosu
To oversimplify a rather complex topic, a game is a program that loads images and displays them at the screen. So vital to game programming, loading and displaying images is one of the first things you should learn. Gosu does a pretty good job of making this easy, to a certain degree.
The Curious Case of the Flip-Flop
The flip-flop operator is a strange case indeed: part range, part conditional.
Step 4: Working on the Views
Now that things are working correctly, it's time to make this actually look like a blog. We finally ditch the views generated by the scaffold generator, implement pagination and even RedCloth formatting.
Using RVM Gemsets
One of the most powerful, useful and often overlooked features of RVM is the gemset. A gemset is a separate gem directory, so the gems in one gemset don't conflict with the gems in another gemset.
Installing Ruby on Rails on OS X
While Apple does include both Ruby and Ruby on Rails by default with OS X, you'll need to install newer versions. This is a bit of a process, but thankfully you'll only need to get through this just once.
Loops
Ruby has a the usual and expect loops, as well as a number of loops specific to Ruby. It even has a way to define you own types of loops.
Rails Application Flow
When you program with any framework, you relinquish flow control in favor of convenience. The following is a description of what happens to a request as it passes through Ruby on Rails.
Quickly Run an HTTP Server with Ruby (Also, the...
Quickly Run an HTTP Server with Ruby (Also, the Un Library)
Finding Links
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Most likely, you'll
How Does Ruby Compare to Perl?
How do Ruby and Perl compare in function and form?
Everything You Need to Know About Variables
Variables are named references to objects in memory. Their several variants (local, instance, class, constant, etc) each have their own subtleties.
Installing Ruby on Rails on Windows
Installing Ruby, Rails and the few other things you'll need way always a pain on Windows. It's just not a very friendly environment for the task. But fear not, the guys at EngineYard have made RailsInstaller, and this task is braindead simple and will be done in minutes.
Named Regexp Groups
Ruby 1.9 introduces the concept of a named capture group. These named groups can be defined at the beginning of a regexp statement using a trick that tells for the regexp engine to look for exactly 0 instances of the group. Later, the group can be recalled using the \g element, followed by the name of the group. You can think of named capture groups as subroutines inside of a regular expression.
Using Haml with Sinatra
How to use Haml to create Sinatra views and layouts. Page 7.
Rapid Game Prototyping in Ruby
Myth: Ruby is unsuitable for game development. It's much too slow, there are no good libraries and it's too hard to deploy your games written in Ruby.
Reading Files
Ruby programs rarely exist in their own little world. And while many choose to communicate over the internet, there's still plenty of need to access plain old files.
An ROT13 Encoder
Building a simple ROT13 encoder with JRuby.
How Can I Store Key/Value Pairs in Ruby?
Storing key/value pairs in Ruby doesn't always need to be accomplished by using a hash. You can also use the Struct and OpenStruct classes.
How to Install 'Git' on Windows
Installing command line tools such a Git on Windows is often difficult. Not only do you have to find a Windows port or attempt to compile the tool yourself from C source code, you also have to deal with the Windows command line. The Windows command line is, to say the least, a little lacking. Windows users are in luck here though, the MSysGit project solves both these problems.
Worked Example: Number Guessing Game
A number guessing game is written, and each of its features explored.
Installing Gosu
While Gosu does require native compilation, the developers thankfully require pre-compiled packages for all platforms. On Windows, Linux and OS X, Gosu can be installed with a single gem command.
Logging what Mechanize Does
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >In order to analyze
Quick Tip: Install Gems Faster
Some larger projects, especially Ruby on Rails, come with quite a bit of documentation. This is good, documentation is good, but the code that processes this documentation (RDoc) into HTML and ri format is not exactly speedy. On slower computers, or with larger projects, the time this takes becomes and annoyance.
AJAX With Sinatra
In this article we take a look at how to use jQuery and Sinatra to implement an AJAX interface.
Getting a Page via a POST Request
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Although the primary
RubyMine 5.0
I've always been a Vim person. Just give me a good solid editor and I'll take it from there. But I decided to give RubyMine a good honest try, and here's what I think about it.
A Quick Introduction to DataMapper
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >DataMapper is
One Tree to Rule Them All
Some problems seem difficult, there are just too many things to consider and it's going to become a mess. However, if you analyze it, there's often a single data structure that will make the whole thing easier.
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