Charlie,
I actually spoke with Matz and Koichi at lunch today and Matz said he agrees
that we should eventually roll back the change (he's not sure when though).

The problem with this change is that it helps people who are intimately
familiar with Ruby at the expense of the lay Ruby programmer. It's pretty
easy to work around the problem you showed when writing frameworks, but very
confusing for users who intuitively expect blocks to have lexically scoped
lookup.

-- Yehuda

On Sat, Jul 18, 2009 at 2:38 PM, Charles Oliver Nutter
<headius / headius.com>wrote:

> On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 10:19 PM, Yehuda Katz<wycats / gmail.com> wrote:
> > This test passes in 1.8 but not in 1.9 because of the change in behavior.
> It
> > also clearly articulates the reason for the 1.8 behavior: it is more the
> > expected behavior. One of the things that's great about Ruby is that it
> > focuses on programmer understanding, even if that is sometimes slow. This
> is
> > a case where the programmer expects to see a constant but it is being
> looked
> > up somewhere the programmer knows nothing about. I think it is clear that
> > the old behavior is better, even if it is harder to implement.
> Additionally,
> > both JRuby and Rubinius were able to implement the old behavior in a
> > compiled system, so it should be possible.
>
> As I understand it, this change was actually made *on purpose*. A key
> example of when this is useful is for programmatic class definitions:
>
> class Foo
>  Bar = 1
> end
>
> xyz = Class.new(Foo) do
>  puts Bar
> end
>
> Under Ruby 1.8.x, this raises an error because Bar can't be found.
> Under 1.9, because constant lookups within a block get re-scoped to
> their actual execution context (a subclass of Foo), it prints out '1'.
>
> This is actually very useful, since constants now actually follow the
> runtime scoping of their execution context rather than only following
> their lexical scoping. But I also agree that it's a fairly major
> breaking change, since it can drastically change existing code that
> expected the old behavior:
>
> I don't have a good solution for you. This is one of those language
> changes that makes existing libraries really hard to support across
> Ruby versions. Of course I and others have argued for a way to isolate
> version-specific releases in RubyGems, but that has regularly been
> shot down. So as it stands today, you can't release a separate 1.9
> version of a RubyGem, even though changes like this may make it very
> difficult to support a single gem portably.
>
> - Charlie
>
>


-- 
Yehuda Katz
Developer | Engine Yard
(ph) 718.877.1325