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Ruby Programming
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Extending Ruby

It is easy to extend Ruby with new features by writing code in Ruby. Once you start adding in low-level code written in C, however, the possibilities are endless.

Extending Ruby with C is pretty easy. For instance, suppose we are building a custom Internet-ready jukebox for the Sunset Diner and Grill. It will play MP3 audio files from a hard disk or audio CDs from a CD jukebox. We want to be able to control the jukebox hardware from a Ruby program. The hardware vendor gave us a C header file and a binary library to use; our job is to construct a Ruby object that makes the appropriate C function calls.

But before we can get Ruby and C to work together, we need to see what the Ruby world looks like from the C side.[Much of the information in this chapter is taken from the README.EXT file that is included in the distribution. If you are planning on writing a Ruby extension, you may want to refer to that file for more details as well as the latest changes.]
Ruby Programming
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