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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.
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.
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).
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.
A Quick Guide to Using Environmental Variables...
Using environment variables in Ruby.
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.
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.
Using Strings
Using and manipulating strings and substrings in Ruby.
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 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.
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?
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.
Part 3: Implementing
In this part, we'll implement a complete working application.
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?
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 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.
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 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.
Here's What Ruby Is
What type of language is the Ruby programming language?
How to Use String Substitution in Ruby
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Splitting a string
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.
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.
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.
Update Twitter From an RSS Feed
This Ruby script for Twitter is what's often referred to as a "mashup." Mashups interface one protocol
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.
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.
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
Global Variables
Global variables are not often used in Ruby, however, you should at least understand their usage should you ever encounter them.
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.
Instantiation and the Initialize Method
Ruby objects are instantiated using the Class.new method, and initialize using their own initialize methods.
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.
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 Ruby
How to install the Ruby interpreter on Windows, Linux and OS X.
How to Install Gems from Git Repositories in Ruby
How to install gems from git repositories.
How to Use 'Ternary' (Conditional) Operators in...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The ternary (or
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.
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.
The Algorithm
Before we start coding, we take some time to look at the game of 2048.
What is Bundler?
Bundler is a gem dependency manager for Ruby.
Can I add empty directories to Git repositories?
Can I add empty directories to Git repositories?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
Getting Started with Bundler
The basics of using Bundler are very trivial, you can be up and running in just a few minutes.
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 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.
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?
Sinatra URL Matching
How do do various types of URL matching in Sinatra.
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.
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.
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.
Combining Arrays in Ruby
There are a number of ways to combine arrays 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.
Visual Tutorial: Installing Ruby on Windows
A visual walkthrough on installing Ruby on Windows.
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.
Optional Method Parameters with Hashes
Using hashes to simulate optional named parameters in methods.
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.
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.
Install Ruby on Windows
How to install the Ruby interpreter on the Windows operating system.
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.
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.
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.
Method Visibility
Method visibility is crucial to implement proper encapsulation. Ruby provides ways to not only hide instance variables, but to hide instance methods as well.
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.
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.
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.
What's New in Rails 4?
Now that Rails 4 is out, let's see what's new.
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.
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.
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.
Using Rack
In the previous article, you learned what Rack is. Now, it’s time to start using Rack and serve up some pages.
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 Python?
How do Ruby and Python compare in terms of features, form and function?
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.
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.
4 Ways Ruby is Better Than Your Programming...
A comparison of Ruby to other programming languages, including Perl, Java, Python and PHP.
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.
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.
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.
Check Email With Ruby
Learn to use Ruby's pre-installed POP3 libraries to check your email.
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.
Constant Variables
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The speed of light
Building Hashes
A hash is an associative array. Instead of using numerical indexes, any object (but typically symbols) can be used. They can be both a fast way to retrieve an object based on a key, and a convenient key/value store. There's no doubt, hashes are one of the most used types in Ruby.
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.
Using Haml with Sinatra
How to use Haml to create Sinatra views and layouts.
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.
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.
How to Use and Create Blocks in Ruby
How to use blocks in Ruby.
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.
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.
Hello, Sinatra! Using Sinatra in Ruby
How to get started in Sinatra, including how to use actions, parameters, ERB and views.
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.
Logging what Mechanize Does
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >In order to analyze
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.
Basic Array Operations
Beyond creating arrays using literals, there are a few things you should know to get by with Arrays.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Running the Ruby Profiler
Running the Ruby profiler to determine which methods are most expensive and which need to be optimized.
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.
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 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?
Sorting Arrays
One of the most common tasks when dealing with arrays is to sort them. Luckily, Ruby makes this simple and flexible.
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.
AJAX With Sinatra
In this article we take a look at how to use jQuery and Sinatra to implement an AJAX interface.
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.
What is RVM?
RVM is the Ruby Version Manager. It allows you to install and manage several different versions and implementations of Ruby on one computer, including the ability to manage different sets of RubyGems one each.
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.
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.
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.
Block Parameters and Yielding
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Block parameters
Unit Testing with Minitest: Basic Assertions
Test-Driven development is a popular and powerful development methodology, and Ruby's built in MiniTest library makes this task simple.
Buttons and Submitting Forms
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Buttons primarily
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.
Finding Frames and IFrames
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >While Mechanize
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.
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.
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.
Variables Declared in the Global Scope
I declared a variable in the global scope, and now I can't access it. What's going on here?
What's a Regular Expression? Ruby Regular...
What is a regular expression and how do you use them in Ruby?
Checkboxes and Radiobuttons
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Checkboxes and
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.
Finding Links
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Most likely, you'll
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?
Encapsulation
Encapsulation refers to a principal in Object Oriented programming of one part of the program not being able to effect another.
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.
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.
Spotlight on Gems: Trollop
In a previous article we discussed how to parse command-line options with Ruby's default OptionParser class. While this does work quite well, it's quite verbose. Trollop is a great library that solves these problems.
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.
Doing Things Wrong in Ruby: Number Guessing...
Doing things wrong in Ruby: to to (and how not to) write a number guessing game in Ruby.
What is ActiveRecord?
What is ActiveRecord? What can you do with it?
Adding Files to a Repository
How to add files to a Git repository.
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.
Worked Example: Number Guessing Game
A number guessing game is written, and each of its features explored.
Getting Information About a File in Ruby Using...
Sometimes blindly opening files just won't cut it, sometimes you need to know more information about a file before opening it.
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
Visual Tutorial: Installing Rubygame on Windows
A visual tutorial with screenshots showing how to install the Rubygame library on Windows, including installing all needed DLL files.
Special Characters & Escape Sequences
Aside from the basic regular expression operators such as groupings and quantifiers, there are some other special characters and escape sequences (backslash followed by a character) that can help you out when you're working with Ruby.
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