It’s beginning to feel like tradition –– for the second year now, the Ruby core team has shipped a minor point update on Christmas Day. This year gifting the world Ruby 2.3.
After reading up on this release, it feels more more like a major point update, just for the sheer amount of work that must have been involved. Part of the release seems to be paving the way for immutability in Ruby 3.0 and a large chunk of the release provided new syntax and language features.
Let’s take a look at a few of the new features.
I was most looking forward to both the
The “safe navigation” operator was added, which apparently is a
favorite of Matz.
Additionally, the did_you_mean gem is
now built into the language, a breakthrough for typo-driven-development of which
I am so fond.
Install Ruby 2.3.0
Using ruby-install we can quickly grab the latest version of ruby.
Once that’s done downloading and compiling, I like chruby for switching to the new version.
Hash#dig and Array#dig
Both of these methods are great if you’re dealing with unwieldy data sets that you may or may not have control over. Think complex API responses, legacy system interfaces, etc. They allow you to safely traverse into the data structure without raising an error if a single node in the lookup doesn’t exist.
Given a hash that looks like this:
The dig method allows you to pull out data or simply get
nil if the piece
of data doesn’t exist at the path you’ve “dug” to. For instance:
The dig method for Array works similarly:
Safe Navigation Operator
This is something that I hope people will use sparingly since it seems like it would be a smell otherwise. The “safe navigation” operator allows you to call a method on a variable that might be nil. Other languages, such as C# and Swift, have a similar feature.
In Ruby it looks like this:
I can see this coming in handy in some situations, but I would consider using a null object pattern if I frequently found myself calling methods on something that is possibly nil.
The did_you_mean gem is a nice little tool that provides helpful suggestions when you mispell or tpyo a word. It’s also nice when you might have a good idea of a method name, but need a little help.
Check it out:
What do you like about this release?