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Ruby: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Using Environmental Variables...
Using environment variables in Ruby.
The Algorithm
Before we start coding, we take some time to look at the game of 2048.
How to Use Comments for Ruby Code
Use comments to annotate your Ruby code.
A Quick Guide to Installing Ruby on Linux
How to install Ruby on the Linux operating system.
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').
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.
Using the 'split' Method in Ruby
String manipulation using the split method in Ruby. Split strings into a list of substrings.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
Here's What Ruby Is
What type of language is the Ruby programming language?
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?
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 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.
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.
List of Rack Middleware
The following is a list of Rack middleware applications that come with the Rack gem. A brief description of each middleware is given.
How to Use 'Ternary' (Conditional) Operators in...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The ternary (or
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 String Substitution in Ruby
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Splitting a string
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.
How to Install Gems from Git Repositories in Ruby
How to install gems from git repositories.
Using the Logger Library--How to Write Log...
How to use the logger library to create and write to log files in Ruby.
Installing RVM on Linux
Installing the Ruby Version Manager (RVM) on Linux
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.
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.
Part 3: Implementing
In this part, we'll implement a complete working application.
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.
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.
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.
Instantiation and the Initialize Method
Ruby objects are instantiated using the Class.new method, and initialize using their own initialize methods.
Using Strings
Using and manipulating strings and substrings in Ruby.
How to Install Ruby
How to install the Ruby interpreter on Windows, Linux and OS X.
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?
Global Variables
Global variables are not often used in Ruby, however, you should at least understand their usage should you ever encounter them.
Combining Arrays in Ruby
There are a number of ways to combine arrays in Ruby.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting Started with Bundler
The basics of using Bundler are very trivial, you can be up and running in just a few minutes.
Adding Files to a Repository
How to add files to a Git repository.
Understanding 'String Literals' in Ruby
The basics of strings, string interpolation, single and double quotes, escape sequences and alternate string literal syntaxes. Page 2.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Does Ruby Compare to Python?
How do Ruby and Python compare in terms of features, form and function?
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.
Using Rack
In the previous article, you learned what Rack is. Now, it’s time to start using Rack and serve up some pages.
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?
Step 1: Scaffolding Posts
Without a framework like Rails, and particularly the scaffold generator, getting up and running with any project was a pain. You'd be doing a lot of configuring and planning and typing out all the methods to create blog posts and interact with the database. Rails does all this in just a few commands, and while it's not something you'll want to deploy right away, it does give you an excellent starting point.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Install Ruby on Windows
How to install the Ruby interpreter on the Windows operating system.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is Bundler?
Bundler is a gem dependency manager for Ruby.
What's New in Rails 4?
Now that Rails 4 is out, let's see what's new.
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.
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.
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.
An Introduction to Rails: a Quick Blog Part 1
It can be quite difficult to orient yourself for the first time in the Ruby on Rails world. This two-part tutorial should get you up and running, but is far from a comprehensive tutorial.
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.
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.
What is ActiveRecord?
What is ActiveRecord? What can you do with it?
4 Ways Ruby is Better Than Your Programming...
A comparison of Ruby to other programming languages, including Perl, Java, Python and PHP.
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.
Optional Method Parameters with Hashes
Using hashes to simulate optional named parameters in methods.
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.
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.
AJAX With Sinatra
In this article we take a look at how to use jQuery and Sinatra to implement an AJAX interface.
Visual Tutorial: Installing Ruby on Windows
A visual walkthrough on installing Ruby on Windows.
Worked Example: Number Guessing Game
A number guessing game is written, and each of its features explored.
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.
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.
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.
Block Parameters and Yielding
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Block parameters
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.
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.
How Use RMV to Install Ruby On OS X Snow Leopard
So, you've gotten your shiny new Mac and you want to get right into Ruby programming , where how do you
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using an HTTP Proxy
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Mechanize can
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.
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.
Installing jRuby With RVM on OS X
As with most flavors of Ruby, the easiest, cleanest and least painful way to install jRuby is with RVM, the Ruby Version Manager. And although jRuby is different than MRI, the official Ruby interpreter, it can be installed just as easily, arguably easier.
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.
Quick Tip: Last Result in IRB
There's a really quick way to get the result of the last expression evaluated in IRB.
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.
How to Use and Create Blocks in Ruby
How to use blocks in Ruby.
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.
Buttons and Submitting Forms
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Buttons primarily
Package Manager
A package manager is software on a Linux system that manages the other software installed on the system.
Hello, Sinatra! Using Sinatra in Ruby
How to get started in Sinatra, including how to use actions, parameters, ERB and views.
Structure of a JSON Document
JSON is a data serialization format for communicating between applications. It's a text format that features a lightweight syntax and closely mirrors the common data structures in modern programming languages.
Basic Array Operations
Beyond creating arrays using literals, there are a few things you should know to get by with Arrays.
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?
Logging what Mechanize Does
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >In order to analyze
Embedding Images in Gosu Programs
Games can rarely run from a single file. Even if all of the game's code fits in a single file, there's bound to be image and sound data that accompanies it. Traditionally, to distribute a game, you zip the code and data up in a zip archive and distribute this file. However, sending a zip file isn't very transparent, and you often need a file hosting service to host the zip file.
Tainted Data
In large programs, especially when heavy abstraction is involved, it's sometimes impossible to tell where your data is coming from. Consider the following situation: a server application takes user input from a client and does some processing. It then offloads some of this processing (for example, resizing an image file) to an external program using the backtick operator. The command passed to the operating system is partially comprised of input from the client, which cannot be trusted. A p
Using Haml with Sinatra
How to use Haml to create Sinatra views and layouts.
Can't Modify Frozen String
I'm trying to modify a frozen string, but I keep getting this exception. Why?
Running the Ruby Profiler
Running the Ruby profiler to determine which methods are most expensive and which need to be optimized.
Working with Directories
Learning how to work with files is one of the first things new Ruby programmers learn. However, how to work with directories of files is something that's often skipped or only lightly touched upon. Ruby does have some powerful mechanisms for working with directories though.
The Zen of Learning Ruby
Learning Ruby isn't often thought of as a Zen exercise, but that's exactly how the guys at EdgeCase saw it. Thus RubyKoans was born.
Getting a Page via a POST Request
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Although the primary
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.
Update Twitter From an RSS Feed
This Ruby script for Twitter is what's often referred to as a "mashup." Mashups interface one protocol
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.
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.
Conditional Statements
Conditional statements are what makes computer programs tick. Without conditional statements, all computer programs would follow the same path from beginning to end.
Sinatra URL Matching
How do do various types of URL matching in Sinatra.
Hashes
Hashes are an integral part of Ruby. You will (probably) never see a non-trivial Ruby program that does not use Hashes extensively.
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.
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.
References to Methods in Ruby
While it may not make sense to do so at first, it is possible to take a reference to a method in Ruby.
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.
What is the Difference Between alias and...
What is the difference between the alias keyword and the alias_method method? Why are they both there?
Class Variables
Class variables in Ruby are more or less as you'd expect form an object oriented language. However, Ruby throws you a curveball you can use to your advantage.
Using Temporary Files
There are many hidden pitfalls when using temporary files. Ruby's Tempfile class solves many of these.
Capturing the Return Value of an External Program
Ruby makes it easy to run external programs and capture their output. Using the built-in "backtick" operator
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.
Sorting Arrays
One of the most common tasks when dealing with arrays is to sort them. Luckily, Ruby makes this simple and flexible.
An ROT13 Encoder
Building a simple ROT13 encoder with JRuby.
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!
How Can I Rotate an Array in Ruby?
Rotating an array is not something the default Ruby library includes. However, it is quite easy and by using Ruby's open classes, you can add it to the Array class yourself
Serialization in Ruby: YAML
YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is perhaps the most common form of serialization in Ruby applications. It's used for configuration files in Rails and other projects, and is nearly ubiquitous. It also has distinct advantages over marshal, and is usually preferred.
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