"def" should return a value (the symbol of the method name) instead of nil
The C code that implements Ruby method definitions already creates a symbol corresponding to the method name.
I propose that the "def... end" block returns this symbol.
This would allow the following elegant Ruby code:
protected def foo(); end
private def bar(); end
since "protected" and "private" already take symbol arguments.
I estimate that this would be extremely easy to implement while creating extremely minimal existing code impact.
I proposed this idea to the #ruby IRC channel on freenode.net and it was received very well, they encouraged me to file this ticket! Thank you for considering.
Updated by trans (Thomas Sawyer) about 6 years ago
It has been suggested long long ago. Probably more than once. Here is a link to one: #3753.
Once we start looking at code like that for a while will we then start to think, why not just:
public foo() ... end protected foo() ... end private bar() ... end
Updated by gcao (Guoliang Cao) about 6 years ago
This is a nice addition indeed and I remember I asked for it too in the
past. One usage could be method annotation like what is done in some
command line library:
desc 'Do something'
The above code looks nice but I believe its underlying code involves
using method_added and is fragile when method_added is also used for
If def returns method name, then a comma is all we need to remove the
desc 'Do something',
I really wish one day this will be added to Ruby.
Updated by kernigh (George Koehler) about 6 years ago
I have a problem with this feature.
private def self.sound
With this feature, def..end would return :sound, then private :sound would set Frog#sound to private. This is wrong. I defined Frog::sound, not Frog#sound. Surprise! There is no way for private :sound to know that I defined a metamethod, not an instance method; because def..end only returned a Symbol, not the whole definition. With this feature, "private def" only works for instance methods, not for metamethods.