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The Ruby Programming Language

Cover of The Ruby Programming Language by Yukihiro Matsumoto... Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. The Ruby Programming Language
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
    3. Preface
      1. Acknowledgments
      2. Conventions Used in This Book
      3. Using Code Examples
      4. How to Contact Us
      5. Safari® Enabled
    4. 1. Introduction
      1. A Tour of Ruby
      2. Try Ruby
      3. About This Book
      4. A Sudoku Solver in Ruby
    5. 2. The Structure and Execution of Ruby Programs
      1. Lexical Structure
      2. Syntactic Structure
      3. File Structure
      4. Program Encoding
      5. Program Execution
    6. 3. Datatypes and Objects
      1. Numbers
      2. Text
      3. Arrays
      4. Hashes
      5. Ranges
      6. Symbols
      7. True, False, and Nil
      8. Objects
    7. 4. Expressions and Operators
      1. Literals and Keyword Literals
      2. Variable References
      3. Constant References
      4. Method Invocations
      5. Assignments
      6. Operators
    8. 5. Statements and Control Structures
      1. Conditionals
      2. Loops
      3. Iterators and Enumerable Objects
      4. Blocks
      5. Altering Control Flow
      6. Exceptions and Exception Handling
      7. BEGIN and END
      8. Threads, Fibers, and Continuations
    9. 6. Methods, Procs, Lambdas, and Closures
      1. Defining Simple Methods
      2. Method Names
      3. Methods and Parentheses
      4. Method Arguments
      5. Procs and Lambdas
      6. Closures
      7. Method Objects
      8. Functional Programming
    10. 7. Classes and Modules
      1. Defining a Simple Class
      2. Method Visibility: Public, Protected, Private
      3. Subclassing and Inheritance
      4. Object Creation and Initialization
      5. Modules
      6. Loading and Requiring Modules
      7. Singleton Methods and the Eigenclass
      8. Method Lookup
      9. Constant Lookup
    11. 8. Reflection and Metaprogramming
      1. Types, Classes, and Modules
      2. Evaluating Strings and Blocks
      3. Variables and Constants
      4. Methods
      5. Hooks
      6. Tracing
      7. ObjectSpace and GC
      8. Custom Control Structures
      9. Missing Methods and Missing Constants
      10. Dynamically Creating Methods
      11. Alias Chaining
      12. Domain-Specific Languages
    12. 9. The Ruby Platform
      1. Strings
      2. Regular Expressions
      3. Numbers and Math
      4. Dates and Times
      5. Collections
      6. Files and Directories
      7. Input/Output
      8. Networking
      9. Threads and Concurrency
    13. 10. The Ruby Environment
      1. Invoking the Ruby Interpreter
      2. The Top-Level Environment
      3. Practical Extraction and Reporting Shortcuts
      4. Calling the OS
      5. Security
    14. Index
    15. About the Authors
    16. Colophon
    17. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly


This section documents Ruby’s simple looping statements: while, until, and for. Ruby also includes the ability to define custom looping constructs known as iterators. Iterators (see Iterators and Enumerable Objects) are probably more commonly used than Ruby’s built-in looping statements; they are documented later in this chapter.

while and until

Ruby’s basic looping statements are while and until. They execute a chunk of code while a certain condition is true, or until the condition becomes true. For example:

x = 10               # Initialize a loop counter variable
while x >= 0 do      # Loop while x is greater than or equal to 0
  puts x             #   Print out the value of x
  x = x - 1          #   Subtract 1 from x
end                  # The loop ends here

# Count back up to 10 using an until loop
x = 0                # Start at 0 (instead of -1)
until x > 10 do      # Loop until x is greater than 10
  puts x
  x = x + 1
end                  # Loop ends here

The loop condition is the Boolean expression that appears between the while or until and do keywords. The loop body is the Ruby code that appears between the do and the end keyword. The while loop evaluates its condition. If the value is anything other than false or nil, it executes its body, and then loops to evaluate its condition again. In this way, the body is executed repeatedly, zero or more times, while the condition remains true (or, more strictly, non-false and non-nil).

The until loop is the reverse. The condition is tested and the body is executed if the condition evaluates to false or nil. This means that the ...

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