Class

A Module is a collection of methods and constants. The methods in a module may be instance methods or module methods. Instance methods appear as methods in a class when the module is included, module methods do not. Conversely, module methods may be called without creating an encapsulating object, while instance methods may not. (See Module#module_function.)

In the descriptions that follow, the parameter sym refers to a symbol, which is either a quoted string or a Symbol (such as :name).

module Mod
  include Math
  CONST = 1
  def meth
    #  ...
  end
end
Mod.class              #=> Module
Mod.constants          #=> [:CONST, :PI, :E]
Mod.instance_methods   #=> [:meth]

Class Methods


In the first form, returns an array of the names of all constants accessible from the point of call. This list includes the names of all modules and classes defined in the global scope.

Module.constants.first(4)
   # => [:ARGF, :ARGV, :ArgumentError, :Array]

Module.constants.include?(:SEEK_SET)   # => false

class IO
  Module.constants.include?(:SEEK_SET) # => true
end

The second form calls the instance method constants.

Returns the list of Modules nested at the point of call.

module M1
  module M2
    $a = Module.nesting
  end
end
$a           #=> [M1::M2, M1]
$a[0].name   #=> "M1::M2"

Creates a new anonymous module. If a block is given, it is passed the module object, and the block is evaluated in the context of this module like module_eval.

fred = Module.new do
  def meth1
    "hello"
  end
  def meth2
    "bye"
  end
end
a = "my string"
a.extend(fred)   #=> "my string"
a.meth1          #=> "hello"
a.meth2          #=> "bye"

Assign the module to a constant (name starting uppercase) if you want to treat it like a regular module.

Returns an array of all modules used in the current scope. The ordering of modules in the resulting array is not defined.

module A
  refine Object do
  end
end

module B
  refine Object do
  end
end

using A
using B
p Module.used_modules

produces:

[B, A]

Instance Methods


Returns true if mod is a subclass of other. Returns nil if there's no relationship between the two. (Think of the relationship in terms of the class definition: “class A < B” implies “A < B”.)

Returns true if mod is a subclass of other or is the same as other. Returns nil if there's no relationship between the two. (Think of the relationship in terms of the class definition: “class A < B” implies “A < B”.)

Comparison—Returns -1, 0, +1 or nil depending on whether module includes other_module, they are the same, or if module is included by other_module.

Returns nil if module has no relationship with other_module, if other_module is not a module, or if the two values are incomparable.

Equality — At the Object level, == returns true only if obj and other are the same object. Typically, this method is overridden in descendant classes to provide class-specific meaning.

Unlike ==, the equal? method should never be overridden by subclasses as it is used to determine object identity (that is, a.equal?(b) if and only if a is the same object as b):

obj = "a"
other = obj.dup

obj == other      #=> true
obj.equal? other  #=> false
obj.equal? obj    #=> true

The eql? method returns true if obj and other refer to the same hash key. This is used by Hash to test members for equality. For objects of class Object, eql? is synonymous with ==. Subclasses normally continue this tradition by aliasing eql? to their overridden == method, but there are exceptions. Numeric types, for example, perform type conversion across ==, but not across eql?, so:

1 == 1.0     #=> true
1.eql? 1.0   #=> false

Case Equality—Returns true if obj is an instance of mod or an instance of one of mod's descendants. Of limited use for modules, but can be used in case statements to classify objects by class.

Returns true if mod is an ancestor of other. Returns nil if there's no relationship between the two. (Think of the relationship in terms of the class definition: “class A < B” implies “B > A”.)

Returns true if mod is an ancestor of other, or the two modules are the same. Returns nil if there's no relationship between the two. (Think of the relationship in terms of the class definition: “class A < B” implies “B > A”.)

Makes new_name a new copy of the method old_name. This can be used to retain access to methods that are overridden.

module Mod
  alias_method :orig_exit, :exit
  def exit(code=0)
    puts "Exiting with code #{code}"
    orig_exit(code)
  end
end
include Mod
exit(99)

produces:

Exiting with code 99

Returns a list of modules included/prepended in mod (including mod itself).

module Mod
  include Math
  include Comparable
  prepend Enumerable
end

Mod.ancestors        #=> [Enumerable, Mod, Comparable, Math]
Math.ancestors       #=> [Math]
Enumerable.ancestors #=> [Enumerable]

The first form is equivalent to attr_reader. The second form is equivalent to attr_accessor(name) but deprecated. The last form is equivalent to attr_reader(name) but deprecated.

Defines a named attribute for this module, where the name is symbol.id2name, creating an instance variable (@name) and a corresponding access method to read it. Also creates a method called name= to set the attribute. String arguments are converted to symbols.

module Mod
  attr_accessor(:one, :two)
end
Mod.instance_methods.sort   #=> [:one, :one=, :two, :two=]

Creates instance variables and corresponding methods that return the value of each instance variable. Equivalent to calling “attr:name'' on each name in turn. String arguments are converted to symbols.

Creates an accessor method to allow assignment to the attribute symbol.id2name. String arguments are converted to symbols.

Registers filename to be loaded (using Kernel::require) the first time that module (which may be a String or a symbol) is accessed in the namespace of mod.

module A
end
A.autoload(:B, "b")
A::B.doit            # autoloads "b"

Returns filename to be loaded if name is registered as autoload in the namespace of mod.

module A
end
A.autoload(:B, "b")
A.autoload?(:B)            #=> "b"

Evaluates the string or block in the context of mod, except that when a block is given, constant/class variable lookup is not affected. This can be used to add methods to a class. module_eval returns the result of evaluating its argument. The optional filename and lineno parameters set the text for error messages.

class Thing
end
a = %q{def hello() "Hello there!" end}
Thing.module_eval(a)
puts Thing.new.hello()
Thing.module_eval("invalid code", "dummy", 123)

produces:

Hello there!
dummy:123:in `module_eval': undefined local variable
    or method `code' for Thing:Class

Evaluates the given block in the context of the class/module. The method defined in the block will belong to the receiver. Any arguments passed to the method will be passed to the block. This can be used if the block needs to access instance variables.

class Thing
end
Thing.class_exec{
  def hello() "Hello there!" end
}
puts Thing.new.hello()

produces:

Hello there!

Returns true if the given class variable is defined in obj. String arguments are converted to symbols.

class Fred
  @@foo = 99
end
Fred.class_variable_defined?(:@@foo)    #=> true
Fred.class_variable_defined?(:@@bar)    #=> false

Returns the value of the given class variable (or throws a NameError exception). The @@ part of the variable name should be included for regular class variables. String arguments are converted to symbols.

class Fred
  @@foo = 99
end
Fred.class_variable_get(:@@foo)     #=> 99

Sets the class variable named by symbol to the given object. If the class variable name is passed as a string, that string is converted to a symbol.

class Fred
  @@foo = 99
  def foo
    @@foo
  end
end
Fred.class_variable_set(:@@foo, 101)     #=> 101
Fred.new.foo                             #=> 101

Returns an array of the names of class variables in mod. This includes the names of class variables in any included modules, unless the inherit parameter is set to false.

class One
  @@var1 = 1
end
class Two < One
  @@var2 = 2
end
One.class_variables          #=> [:@@var1]
Two.class_variables          #=> [:@@var2, :@@var1]
Two.class_variables(false)   #=> [:@@var2]

Says whether mod or its ancestors have a constant with the given name:

Float.const_defined?(:EPSILON)      #=> true, found in Float itself
Float.const_defined?("String")      #=> true, found in Object (ancestor)
BasicObject.const_defined?(:Hash)   #=> false

If mod is a Module, additionally Object and its ancestors are checked:

Math.const_defined?(:String)   #=> true, found in Object

In each of the checked classes or modules, if the constant is not present but there is an autoload for it, true is returned directly without autoloading:

module Admin
  autoload :User, 'admin/user'
end
Admin.const_defined?(:User)   #=> true

If the constant is not found the callback const_missing is not called and the method returns false.

If inherit is false, the lookup only checks the constants in the receiver:

IO.const_defined?(:SYNC)          #=> true, found in File::Constants (ancestor)
IO.const_defined?(:SYNC, false)   #=> false, not found in IO itself

In this case, the same logic for autoloading applies.

If the argument is not a valid constant name a NameError is raised with the message “wrong constant name name”:

Hash.const_defined? 'foobar'   #=> NameError: wrong constant name foobar

Checks for a constant with the given name in mod. If inherit is set, the lookup will also search the ancestors (and Object if mod is a Module).

The value of the constant is returned if a definition is found, otherwise a NameError is raised.

Math.const_get(:PI)   #=> 3.14159265358979

This method will recursively look up constant names if a namespaced class name is provided. For example:

module Foo; class Bar; end end
Object.const_get 'Foo::Bar'

The inherit flag is respected on each lookup. For example:

module Foo
  class Bar
    VAL = 10
  end

  class Baz < Bar; end
end

Object.const_get 'Foo::Baz::VAL'         # => 10
Object.const_get 'Foo::Baz::VAL', false  # => NameError

If the argument is not a valid constant name a NameError will be raised with a warning “wrong constant name”.

Object.const_get 'foobar' #=> NameError: wrong constant name foobar

Invoked when a reference is made to an undefined constant in mod. It is passed a symbol for the undefined constant, and returns a value to be used for that constant. The following code is an example of the same:

def Foo.const_missing(name)
  name # return the constant name as Symbol
end

Foo::UNDEFINED_CONST    #=> :UNDEFINED_CONST: symbol returned

In the next example when a reference is made to an undefined constant, it attempts to load a file whose name is the lowercase version of the constant (thus class Fred is assumed to be in file fred.rb). If found, it returns the loaded class. It therefore implements an autoload feature similar to Kernel#autoload and Module#autoload.

def Object.const_missing(name)
  @looked_for ||= {}
  str_name = name.to_s
  raise "Class not found: #{name}" if @looked_for[str_name]
  @looked_for[str_name] = 1
  file = str_name.downcase
  require file
  klass = const_get(name)
  return klass if klass
  raise "Class not found: #{name}"
end

Sets the named constant to the given object, returning that object. Creates a new constant if no constant with the given name previously existed.

Math.const_set("HIGH_SCHOOL_PI", 22.0/7.0)   #=> 3.14285714285714
Math::HIGH_SCHOOL_PI - Math::PI              #=> 0.00126448926734968

If sym or str is not a valid constant name a NameError will be raised with a warning “wrong constant name”.

Object.const_set('foobar', 42) #=> NameError: wrong constant name foobar

Returns an array of the names of the constants accessible in mod. This includes the names of constants in any included modules (example at start of section), unless the inherit parameter is set to false.

The implementation makes no guarantees about the order in which the constants are yielded.

IO.constants.include?(:SYNC)        #=> true
IO.constants(false).include?(:SYNC) #=> false

Also see Module::const_defined?.

Defines an instance method in the receiver. The method parameter can be a Proc, a Method or an UnboundMethod object. If a block is specified, it is used as the method body. This block is evaluated using instance_eval.

class A
  def fred
    puts "In Fred"
  end
  def create_method(name, &block)
    self.class.define_method(name, &block)
  end
  define_method(:wilma) { puts "Charge it!" }
end
class B < A
  define_method(:barney, instance_method(:fred))
end
a = B.new
a.barney
a.wilma
a.create_method(:betty) { p self }
a.betty

produces:

In Fred
Charge it!
#<B:0x401b39e8>

Makes a list of existing constants deprecated.

Prevents further modifications to mod.

This method returns self.

Invokes Module.append_features on each parameter in reverse order.

Returns true if module is included in mod or one of mod's ancestors.

module A
end
class B
  include A
end
class C < B
end
B.include?(A)   #=> true
C.include?(A)   #=> true
A.include?(A)   #=> false

Returns the list of modules included in mod.

module Mixin
end

module Outer
  include Mixin
end

Mixin.included_modules   #=> []
Outer.included_modules   #=> [Mixin]
An alias for to_s

Returns an UnboundMethod representing the given instance method in mod.

class Interpreter
  def do_a() print "there, "; end
  def do_d() print "Hello ";  end
  def do_e() print "!\n";     end
  def do_v() print "Dave";    end
  Dispatcher = {
    "a" => instance_method(:do_a),
    "d" => instance_method(:do_d),
    "e" => instance_method(:do_e),
    "v" => instance_method(:do_v)
  }
  def interpret(string)
    string.each_char {|b| Dispatcher[b].bind(self).call }
  end
end

interpreter = Interpreter.new
interpreter.interpret('dave')

produces:

Hello there, Dave!

Returns an array containing the names of the public and protected instance methods in the receiver. For a module, these are the public and protected methods; for a class, they are the instance (not singleton) methods. If the optional parameter is false, the methods of any ancestors are not included.

module A
  def method1()  end
end
class B
  include A
  def method2()  end
end
class C < B
  def method3()  end
end

A.instance_methods(false)                   #=> [:method1]
B.instance_methods(false)                   #=> [:method2]
B.instance_methods(true).include?(:method1) #=> true
C.instance_methods(false)                   #=> [:method3]
C.instance_methods.include?(:method2)       #=> true

Returns true if the named method is defined by mod (or its included modules and, if mod is a class, its ancestors). Public and protected methods are matched. String arguments are converted to symbols.

module A
  def method1()  end
  def protected_method1()  end
  protected :protected_method1
end
class B
  def method2()  end
  def private_method2()  end
  private :private_method2
end
class C < B
  include A
  def method3()  end
end

A.method_defined? :method1              #=> true
C.method_defined? "method1"             #=> true
C.method_defined? "method2"             #=> true
C.method_defined? "method3"             #=> true
C.method_defined? "protected_method1"   #=> true
C.method_defined? "method4"             #=> false
C.method_defined? "private_method2"     #=> false

Evaluates the string or block in the context of mod, except that when a block is given, constant/class variable lookup is not affected. This can be used to add methods to a class. module_eval returns the result of evaluating its argument. The optional filename and lineno parameters set the text for error messages.

class Thing
end
a = %q{def hello() "Hello there!" end}
Thing.module_eval(a)
puts Thing.new.hello()
Thing.module_eval("invalid code", "dummy", 123)

produces:

Hello there!
dummy:123:in `module_eval': undefined local variable
    or method `code' for Thing:Class

Evaluates the given block in the context of the class/module. The method defined in the block will belong to the receiver. Any arguments passed to the method will be passed to the block. This can be used if the block needs to access instance variables.

class Thing
end
Thing.class_exec{
  def hello() "Hello there!" end
}
puts Thing.new.hello()

produces:

Hello there!

Returns the name of the module mod. Returns nil for anonymous modules.

Invokes Module.prepend_features on each parameter in reverse order.

Makes existing class methods private. Often used to hide the default constructor new.

String arguments are converted to symbols.

class SimpleSingleton  # Not thread safe
  private_class_method :new
  def SimpleSingleton.create(*args, &block)
    @me = new(*args, &block) if ! @me
    @me
  end
end

Makes a list of existing constants private.

Returns a list of the private instance methods defined in mod. If the optional parameter is false, the methods of any ancestors are not included.

module Mod
  def method1()  end
  private :method1
  def method2()  end
end
Mod.instance_methods           #=> [:method2]
Mod.private_instance_methods   #=> [:method1]

Returns true if the named private method is defined by _ mod_ (or its included modules and, if mod is a class, its ancestors). String arguments are converted to symbols.

module A
  def method1()  end
end
class B
  private
  def method2()  end
end
class C < B
  include A
  def method3()  end
end

A.method_defined? :method1            #=> true
C.private_method_defined? "method1"   #=> false
C.private_method_defined? "method2"   #=> true
C.method_defined? "method2"           #=> false

Returns a list of the protected instance methods defined in mod. If the optional parameter is false, the methods of any ancestors are not included.

Returns true if the named protected method is defined by mod (or its included modules and, if mod is a class, its ancestors). String arguments are converted to symbols.

module A
  def method1()  end
end
class B
  protected
  def method2()  end
end
class C < B
  include A
  def method3()  end
end

A.method_defined? :method1              #=> true
C.protected_method_defined? "method1"   #=> false
C.protected_method_defined? "method2"   #=> true
C.method_defined? "method2"             #=> true

Makes a list of existing class methods public.

String arguments are converted to symbols.

Makes a list of existing constants public.

Similar to instance_method, searches public method only.

Returns a list of the public instance methods defined in mod. If the optional parameter is false, the methods of any ancestors are not included.

Returns true if the named public method is defined by mod (or its included modules and, if mod is a class, its ancestors). String arguments are converted to symbols.

module A
  def method1()  end
end
class B
  protected
  def method2()  end
end
class C < B
  include A
  def method3()  end
end

A.method_defined? :method1           #=> true
C.public_method_defined? "method1"   #=> true
C.public_method_defined? "method2"   #=> false
C.method_defined? "method2"          #=> true

Removes the definition of the sym, returning that constant's value.

class Dummy
  @@var = 99
  puts @@var
  remove_class_variable(:@@var)
  p(defined? @@var)
end

produces:

99
nil

Removes the method identified by symbol from the current class. For an example, see Module.undef_method. String arguments are converted to symbols.

Returns true if mod is a singleton class or false if it is an ordinary class or module.

class C
end
C.singleton_class?                  #=> false
C.singleton_class.singleton_class?  #=> true

Returns a string representing this module or class. For basic classes and modules, this is the name. For singletons, we show information on the thing we're attached to as well.

Prevents the current class from responding to calls to the named method. Contrast this with remove_method, which deletes the method from the particular class; Ruby will still search superclasses and mixed-in modules for a possible receiver. String arguments are converted to symbols.

class Parent
  def hello
    puts "In parent"
  end
end
class Child < Parent
  def hello
    puts "In child"
  end
end

c = Child.new
c.hello

class Child
  remove_method :hello  # remove from child, still in parent
end
c.hello

class Child
  undef_method :hello   # prevent any calls to 'hello'
end
c.hello

produces:

In child
In parent
prog.rb:23: undefined method `hello' for #<Child:0x401b3bb4> (NoMethodError)