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Ruby Programming
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Editor Support

Ruby is designed to read a program in one pass; this means you can pipe an entire program to Ruby's standard input and it will work just fine.

We can take advantage of this feature to run Ruby code from inside an editor. In Emacs, for instance, you can select a region of Ruby text and use the command Meta-| to execute Ruby. The Ruby interpreter will use the selected region as standard input and output will go to a buffer named ``*Shell Command Output*.'' This feature has come in quite handy for us while writing this book---just select a few lines of Ruby in the middle of a paragraph and try it out!

You can do something similar in the vi editor using ``:!ruby'' which replaces the program text with its output, or ``:w[visible space]!ruby'', which displays the output without affecting the buffer. Other editors have similar features.

While we are on the subject, this would probably be a good place to mention that there is a Ruby mode for Emacs included in the distribution as misc/ruby-mode.el. There are also several syntax-highlighting modules for vim (an enhanced version of the vi editor), jed, and other editors available on the net as well. Check the Ruby FAQ for current locations and availability.
Ruby Programming
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