Too Ruby

Ruby, a programming language of which I’m quite fond, is well-known for it’s readability and ease of comprehension, among about thirty-seven other wonderful features.

I rediscovered quite how readable the language is when I genuinely ended up writing the following method last week:

# On saving, updates the #Shift counters if the #ExperienceLevel of this
# #Volunteer has been changed
def update_counters_if_experience_level_changed
  update_counters if experience_level_changed?

For the benefit of those of you who aren’t programmers, I’ll point out that which is obvious to those of us who are: the body of the method (that’s the line that’s indented) is almost identical to the method name (the line that starts with “def”).

This is the equivalent of going to WikiHow and looking up the article on, say, How to Make a Tie Dyed Cake, only to discover that the text of the article simply says, “Choose what colours you want, and then make a cake in those colours”… and you understand perfectly and go and make the cake, because you’ve got that good an understanding. In this metaphor, you’re the Ruby interpreter, by the way. And the cake is delicious.

Okay, I cheated a little: the experience_level_changed? method was provided for me by the Rails framework. And I had to write the update_counters method myself (although it, too, contains only one line of code in its body). But the point is still the same: writing Ruby, and thinking in a Rubyish way, produces beautifully readable, logical code.



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