Hash & keys

I’m having some trouble understanding how hashes work in Ruby. Consider
the following test :

irb(main):002:0> v=Vector[4,5]
=> Vector[4, 5]
irb(main):003:0> v2=Vector[4,5]
=> Vector[4, 5]
irb(main):004:0> v==v2
=> true
irb(main):005:0> v.hash
=> 17
irb(main):006:0> v2.hash
=> 17
irb(main):007:0> h=Hash.new
=> {}
irb(main):008:0> h[v]=“whatever is in (4,5)”
=> “whatever is in (4,5)”
irb(main):009:0> h[v2]
=> nil

I’d have expected h[v2] => “whatever is in (4,5)”, since v==v2 and both
have the same hash value… what am I doing wrong?

Sébastien Wautelet wrote:

I’d have expected h[v2] => “whatever is in (4,5)”, since v==v2 and both
have the same hash value… what am I doing wrong?

Hash keys can be any object. So your hash, h, has one key, the object v.

Take another hash real quick, we’ll call it hash.

hash = Hash.new

hash[‘rabbit’] = ‘cute’ # ‘cute’
hash[‘blue’] # nil

The value for any hash key not defined is nil (unless you explicitly
tell the hash during instantiation to use another value).

So just because you’re using the value of v as a key in your hash, does
not mean that v2 is automatically another key in your hash.

I think you’re getting hung up on this part:

Sébastien Wautelet wrote:

irb(main):004:0> v==v2
=> true

Yes, v and v2 are equal. But that is irrelevant with regards to your
hash.

Now, if you had to objects that were identical (not equal, but
identical) then it would work:

s1 = ‘string’
s2 = s1

h = Hash.new

h[s1] # ‘string’
h[s2] # ‘string’

s1.upcase!

h[s2] # ‘STRING’
h[s1] # ‘STRING’

Hope that helps.

Timothy H. wrote:

irb(main):005:0> v.hash
I’d have expected h[v2] => “whatever is in (4,5)”, since v==v2 and
both have the same hash value… what am I doing wrong?

It’s not enough that they have the same hash value or that obj1 ==
obj2. For the purposes of Hash, two objects are the same if
obj1.eql?(obj2). Does v1.eql?(v2)?

Testing reveals that they don’t. but that strikes me as a bug in the
Vector class. It violates the guidelines given in the PickAxe book
(bottom of page 568), and more importantly, it violates common
intuition. If two vectors that are created in exactly the same manner
aren’t eql?, they’re useless for use as hash keys. I’d say file a bug
report, or at least a problem, on this one.

Cheers,
Ken

Sébastien Wautelet wrote:

=> 17
have the same hash value… what am I doing wrong?

It’s not enough that they have the same hash value or that obj1 == obj2.
For the purposes of Hash, two objects are the same if obj1.eql?(obj2).
Does v1.eql?(v2)?

Daniel W. wrote:

identical) then it would work:
I think it is relevant, given that the Vector class is designed to be
immutable. I would agree that the Vector class should probably define
#eql? as an alias for #==.

On 10/13/06, Phrogz [email protected] wrote:

I think it is relevant, given that the Vector class is designed to be
immutable. I would agree that the Vector class should probably define
#eql? as an alias for #==.

It appears to be a typo in Matrix.rb - This is in ruby1.8.4:

class Vector

Returns +true+ iff the two vectors have the same elements in the

same order.

def ==(other)
return false unless Vector === other

other.compare_by(@elements)

end
alias eqn? ==
~~~

And Vector seems to be the only implementor of eqn?

[email protected]:~/ruby-1.8.4$ ri eqn
------------------------------------------------------------ Vector#eqn?
eqn?(other)

 Alias for #==

And it’s not yet fixed in 1.9
[email protected]:~/ruby-1.8.4$ grep eqn
/public/rubysource/ruby1.9/ruby/lib/matrix.rb
alias eqn? ==


Rick DeNatale

My blog on Ruby
http://talklikeaduck.denhaven2.com/

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