"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.