Appendix A. Ruby Quick Reference
Basic Ruby Syntax
The Ruby language is made up of expressions. Each expression returns a value. Even elements that are just statements in other languages, such as
for, are expressions in Ruby that return values.
Ruby is a pure object-oriented language. Every variable or constant in Ruby is an object, and there are no basic non-object types. Every variable or literal responds to the basic method call syntax.
A simple Ruby expression is one of the following:
A literal. Ruby has literal syntax for arrays, hashes, numbers, ranges, regular expressions, strings, and symbols.
The name of an existing variable or constant.
A method call, which combines the name of an existing variable or constant with a method name. The basic form of a method call is
<receiver>.<method>(<arguments>). Variants on this form will be discussed later.
One of several special expressions invoked by the use of a keyword such as
if, case, or
Complex expressions can be built using Ruby operators. Variable assignment using
= is considered to be a type of operator. Most expressions can also have arbitrarily complex expressions within them — for example, the arguments of a method call are all themselves expressions.
A Ruby expression ends with a line break unless the Ruby interpreter has a reason to believe the expression is intended to continue. The expression continues if there is an open delimiter such as a quotation mark, parenthesis, bracket, or brace. The expression also continues ...