Feature #14249


Remove str[match_str]

Added by ana06 (Ana Maria Martinez Gomez) over 5 years ago. Updated about 5 years ago.

Target version:


I wonder if str[match_str] makes sense.

"ana"['a'] => "a"

I would say this is not expected and it brings problems, for example when accessing nested hashes. For example:

params = { "user" => "Nicolas Cage" } => {"user"=>"Nicolas Cage"}

params["user"]["age"] => "age"

I think str[regexp] is enough and that str[match_str] can be removed.

Actions #1

Updated by ana06 (Ana Maria Martinez Gomez) over 5 years ago

  • Tracker changed from Bug to Feature
  • ruby -v deleted (2.4)
  • Backport deleted (2.3: UNKNOWN, 2.4: UNKNOWN, 2.5: UNKNOWN)

Updated by naruse (Yui NARUSE) over 5 years ago

Use Hash#dig instead.

Updated by ana06 (Ana Maria Martinez Gomez) about 5 years ago

My example in the first comment is not really correct (something went wrong when copying). What I meant:

params = { "user" => { "name" => "Nicolas Cage", "age" => 27 } }

params["user"]["age"] #=> 27

params = { "user" => "Nicolas Cage" }

params["user"]["age"] #=> "age"

@naruse (Yui NARUSE) using dig works nicely for this case, but then the question is if it makes sense to keep str[match_str]. It is a confusing method...

Updated by Hanmac (Hans Mackowiak) about 5 years ago

I can tell you that the str[match_str] is used in many codes, but i can't find any example now

and no, it is different from str[regex] !

Updated by yugui (Yuki Sonoda) about 5 years ago

IIUC, Ana is saying that str[match_str] does not make sense because it always returns match_str.
But it does make sense because it returns nil if str does not contain such a substring. i.e. it is useful to test if the string contains a substring.

You would say that str[regex] can do the same thing. And theoretically it is true. But it also means you must compile match_str into Regexp beforehand.
So str[match_str] is a convenient (and sometimes more efficient) way to test substrings.

Then, you might say that str.contains can do the same thing. And theoretically it is true. Here str[match_str] is necessary to just keep compatibility between String and Regexp.
Since most of all methods in the standard library which expect a pattern of character sequence accepts both of String and Regexp, it is natural for users to expect that the compatibility is kept in String#[] too.

Updated by Eregon (Benoit Daloze) about 5 years ago

I believe "abc".include?("ab") is much clearer than "abc"["ab"].
Are there real usages of it?
I guess the main concern here is compatibility.

Updated by gotoken (Kentaro Goto) about 5 years ago

A use in replacement may look intuitive.

s = "Cage"
s["age"] = "heese"
p s
#=> "Cheese"

Updated by shevegen (Robert A. Heiler) about 5 years ago

As Kentaro showed, there are use cases for [], as-in replacement.

It is quite concise so I think it may be useful for some ruby hackers.

I personally use the more verbose variants usually; as Benoit showed,
".include?" checks, and then often .tr() or .sub() or .gsub(). It
is not as concise as Kentaro's example, but I like working with
.sub() and .gsub() and .include?() so I tend to use them when possible.

I also use Regexes a lot; they are extremely useful.

Of course in the above, a regex can be used and I think there is more
ruby code that uses regexes instead:

s[/age/] = "heese"

Mostly because, I think, because it will be more flexible, since you
can check for more substring-replacements, and it sort of combines
the .include? check as well, since the replacement is only done when
there is a match to the regex. Regexes are absolutely awesome in ruby.

I don't know offhand about differences as hanmac stated, but I personally
use regexes almost always, so the // syntax. But Yuki also mentioned a
difference, e. g. the String having to become a regex (and I remember
in the old pickaxe, that creating a regex is more costly than creating
a String).

Since some time we can use regexes for .start_with?() and .end_with?()
checks; before that, I think we could use only Strings.

In .include?() checks, we seem to be only able to use Strings. Would
adding regex support there be good? I don't want to distract from the
issue here, so I am just mentioning it.

Anyway, Ana wrote:

the question is if it makes sense to keep str[match_str]. It is a
confusing method...

I don't really think it is a confusing method - it seems very simple
to me. I don't use it myself because of alternatives, but I think
trying to want to make ruby "perfect" in every theoretical aspect,
is very, very difficult, even without backwards compatibility.

Ruby is a great language but that does not necessarily mean that 100%
of ruby is perfect (or great). Ruby hackers have to decide on what
they want to write, how to write it and so forth.

What works in my case is to focus (and use) what I like in ruby and
mostly ignore the rest. (I am not speaking about string[match_string]
but e. g. @@class_variables as example; I realized one day that I do
not need it, so I stopped using them and everything is fine).

Perhaps that also works for your use cases when writing ruby code Ana.


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