Issue #6507 has been reported by trans (Thomas Sawyer).

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Feature #6507: File Literal
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/6507

Author: trans (Thomas Sawyer)
Status: Open
Priority: Normal
Assignee: 
Category: core
Target version: 2.0.0


=begin
One of the features of the Rebol programming language that I has always liked is its direct support for files via the (({%filename})) notation (See http://www.rebol.com/r3/docs/datatypes/file.html). I've often wondered how Ruby might support the same, but finding a suitable and available notation proved rather difficult.

Today it occurred to me that perhaps the `/` symbol could do the trick:

  file = /README.rdoc

For absolute paths it could be `//`:

  file = //etc/fstab

Exactly what class of object (({file})) should be is up for debate. Probably it would be a (({Pathname})) instance, but I suppose it could a different "Path" class basically a wrapper round (({File})) and (({Dir})) classes.

The benefit of this is fairly obvious I think, but I'll give one clear usecase just the same:

  class Foo
    def initialize(source)
      case source
      when String
        parse(source)
      when Pathname  # assuming this to be the instance
        parse(source.read)
      end
    end
  end

  # from string
  Foo.new "content of foo"

  # from file
  Foo.new /foo.txt

There is the ambiguity of `x /a` for division, but I think expecting `x/a` or `x / a` for that is okay. After all, the same limitation holds for other unary operators too.

Actually, while I like the concise notation, it may be more flexible to require a string:

  /'foo.txt'

Then `/` could actually be a unary operator.

In anycase, whether this notation works or not, I hope this spurs some debate so that ultimately something along these lines will come of it. I truly tire of typing things like (({File.read(File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), fname))})).
=end



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