Ruby from C++ (new to both) question

Hi,

I’m currently taking a beginning C++ class and learning Ruby on my own.

One thing I’m curious about (but don’t have the vocabulary to articulate
it
to a search engine, apparently) is if there’s an equivalent to declaring
functions and then defining them later in the file so you don’t have to
worry about where the function is in relation to another function that
calls
it (or is called by it). In Ruby, I guess I’m talking about methods
rather
than functions, but the same principle: is there a way for method x to
call
method y (which appears later on in the program) by having declaration
statements at the top of your program? (I think that time my question
may
have made more sense).

This wasn’t addressed on the Ruby webpage on the “Ruby From C and C++”
page
as being a “difference” or a “similarity”.

-Steven

P.S.–I’m new. Hi!

Steven,
C/++ and Ruby are fundamentally different in a few ways, and you have
stumbled onto one of the effects of those differences.

With C/++, the reason you name those functions before calling them is
for
something which basically sanity-checks your code before compiling it to
a
binary. Regardless, when you run a program written with C/++, it has
parsed
the entire file and the function you wrote at the end of the file are
available from the beginning of the execution. This is a gross
oversimplification, I know, but I hope that it’s sufficiently clear.

In Ruby, each line is executed one after the other. So, the short answer
is
that there is not a way to do what you are saying.
Technically, you could def method; end and then redefine the method
later,
however, a method does not need to be defined for you to define a method
which calls it: that is, there is no sanity check to confirm that
“variable”
knows how to “do_something” in the following code.

def method
variable.do_something
end

So this allows you to include all of your libraries at the top of your
file
and then actually call the methods later. Provided that the method
exists at
the time that the line is actually executed, you won’t run into
problems.

I hope this makes sense. Welcome to Ruby! I think you’ll like it quite a
lot.

-chris

Steven LeBeau wrote:

method y (which appears later on in the program) by having declaration
statements at the top of your program? (I think that time my question may
have made more sense).

This wasn’t addressed on the Ruby webpage on the “Ruby From C and C++” page
as being a “difference” or a “similarity”.

-Steven

P.S.–I’m new. Hi!

Hi, welcome to ruby!

In ruby, there is no need to declare a function before the compiler sees
it, only before your program calls it. If your functions are all in
classes or modules, you rarely need to think about how they are ordered
in files.

The case where order matters is when you have a function called directly
from a script file, as you would if you were writing a script to be
called from the command line (rather than a library). In that case,
there is a trick that you can use to call a function above where it is
defined, if you prefer. You can use the BEGIN construct to designate a
block to be evaluated after the file is parsed, but before anything else
in the file is executed:

####################
main

BEGIN {
def main
puts “Hello, world.”
end
}
####################

There is also an END construct, which you can use to get the same
effect:

####################
END {
main
}

def main
puts “Hello, world.”
end
####################

Without any special trickery, you would have to put the main call below
the definition, which arguably obscures the intent of the script.
(There’s no need to call the method “main”–that’s just an example.)

HTH.

This forum is not affiliated to the Ruby language, Ruby on Rails framework, nor any Ruby applications discussed here.

| Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Remote Ruby Jobs