Bug #5067


BasicObject's constant lookup documentation

Added by shyouhei (Shyouhei Urabe) about 10 years ago. Updated about 10 years ago.

Target version:
ruby -v:
doesn't matter


Take a look at .

It's OK for me to merge this request -- no technical difficulties -- but is it a right thing to be documented?

Related issues

Related to Ruby master - Feature #3768: Constant Lookup doesn't work in a subclass of BasicObjectRejectedmatz (Yukihiro Matsumoto)08/31/2010Actions

Updated by mame (Yusuke Endoh) about 10 years ago

Matz explicitly stated in #3768, that it is intended that BasicObject does not
resolve constants beyond itself. But he does not make mention to the workaround
by using const_missing.

Yusuke Endoh

Updated by matz (Yukihiro Matsumoto) about 10 years ago

I agree to merge this documentation clarification, but without the last five lines. The work around may or may not work, depending on the applications's requirement. I don't want to encourage the half-baked solution in the document.


Updated by trans (Thomas Sawyer) about 10 years ago

But that was the main point of adding the documentation! And how can it be "half-baked"? What other solution is there?

The documentation states that it is "if" you need to reference constant normally from within a basic object, then the solution is #cont_missing. Maybe it needs to be worded better, but that's the ONLY solution there is.

Maybe you do not write DSL often, I work with them very often. Having known this upfront could have saved me many hours and days of headache. And saved me from reporting it as a bug. It sure seems like bug at first. But you and others have explained to me why it is not a bug. It only seems right to explain that in the documentation and to give the ONLY work around if it is needed.

Updated by matz (Yukihiro Matsumoto) about 10 years ago

Well, BasicObject is a blank slate, and adding const_missing to it could affect all classes in the Ruby class hierarchy. Even though it might solve your problem, that could have huge side effect, e.g. entering infinite loop.

OKay, as a compromise, I can accept more clarified version of workaround.

class Foo < BasicObject
def self.const_missing(name)

How do you think?


Updated by trans (Thomas Sawyer) about 10 years ago

Ah, I see. Yes, your example is what is meant.

Updated by drbrain (Eric Hodel) about 10 years ago

In light of the workaround required to access Ruby classes descending from Object I think "very useful as the base class for DSLs" is not quite accurate.

I think the first paragraph should say something more like "useful for creating object systems that won't be interfered with Ruby's object system" and the second paragraph should explain various workarounds required.

It might be useful to mention you can include Kernel in BasicObject descendants to provide access to methods like open, require, etc.

Updated by trans (Thomas Sawyer) about 10 years ago

eric (Eric Anderson) Makes sense. I think "system" might be too overloaded a word, maybe "hierarchy"?

Should I work on wording and update example?

Updated by trans (Thomas Sawyer) about 10 years ago

Here is my improved documentation:

If overall satisfactory, please merge and tweak as needed.

Actions #9

Updated by drbrain (Eric Hodel) about 10 years ago

  • Status changed from Open to Closed
  • % Done changed from 0 to 100

This issue was solved with changeset r32700.
Shyouhei, thank you for reporting this issue.
Your contribution to Ruby is greatly appreciated.
May Ruby be with you.

  • object.c: Add usage documentation for BasicObject. Based on patch by Thomas Sawyer. [Ruby 1.9 - Bug #5067]

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