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Ruby Programming
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Source Layout

Ruby programs are written in 7-bit ASCII.[Ruby also has extensive support for Kanji, using the EUC, SJIS, or UTF-8 coding system. If a code set other than 7-bit ASCII is used, the KCODE option must be set appropriately, as shown on page 137.]

Ruby is a line-oriented language. Ruby expressions and statements are terminated at the end of a line unless the statement is obviously incomplete---for example if the last token on a line is an operator or comma. A semicolon can be used to separate multiple expressions on a line. You can also put a backslash at the end of a line to continue it onto the next. Comments start with `#' and run to the end of the physical line. Comments are ignored during compilation.

a = 1

b = 2; c = 3

d = 4 + 5 +      # no '\' needed     6 + 7

e = 8 + 9   \     + 10         # '\' needed

Physical lines between a line starting with =begin and{=begin...=end@{=begin documentation} a line starting with =end are ignored by the compiler and may be used for embedded documentation (see Appendix A, which begins on page 511).

Ruby reads its program input in a single pass, so you can pipe programs to the compiler's stdin.

echo 'print "Hello\n"' | ruby

If the compiler comes across a line anywhere in the source containing just ``__END__'', with no leading or trailing whitespace, it treats that line as the end of the program---any subsequent lines will not be compiled. However, these lines can be read into the running program using the global IO object DATA, described on page 217.
Ruby Programming
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