Issue #7792 has been updated by dsferreira (Daniel Ferreira).


> But Strings and Symbols represent different concepts and should be treated differently.

Jeremy I agree with you on this and that is one of the reasons, possibly the biggest reason, why I think it will make a huge difference if we stop using symbols as if they were plain simple strings like I see scattered all over the place.

Let°«s put symbols where they belong shall we?

I ask again: Shall we open a new issue under common ruby with a broader purpose?

The reality is that converting current symbol°«s syntax to be used as yet another string°«s syntax will keep intact the great majority of the code currently in production.

From this discussions we don°«t see many examples of proper use of symbols as such.

I believe we can fix this and keep Symbols and Strings as part of ruby API in a much better way.

A new syntax for symbols is the first thing that comes to my mind or a plain `Symbol.new` instantiation.

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Feature #7792: Make symbols and strings the same thing
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/7792#change-69007

* Author: rosenfeld (Rodrigo Rosenfeld Rosas)
* Status: Rejected
* Priority: Normal
* Assignee: matz (Yukihiro Matsumoto)
* Target version: Next Major
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Recently I had to replace several of my symbols to plain strings in my project. Here is what happened:

I generated some results with some class that would add items to an array like this:

results << {id: 1, name: 'abc'}

Then I would store such results in cache using Redis, encoded as a JSON string. But then when I restore the data from cache the hash will be {'id' => 1, 'name' => 'abc'}.

This wasn't a problem until recently because I never used the results directly in the same request before and would always use the value stored on Redis and parsed by JSON.

But recently I had to use the values directly in a view. But then I had a problem because I would have to use symbols in the results for the first time and strings the next times when the result was available on cache. I really don't want to care about memory management in Ruby if possible and symbols forces me to abandon the new sexy hash syntax many times. Now I have to write

results << {'id' => 1, 'name' => 'abc}

when I'd prefer to write

results << {id: 1, name: 'abc}

This is not the first time I had a bad user experience due to symbols being different from strings. And I'm not the only one or ActiveSupport Hash#with_indifferent_access wouldn't be so popular and Rails wouldn't use it all the time internally.

It is really bad when you have to constantly check how you store your keys in your hashes. Am I using symbols or strings as keys? If you use the wrong type on plain hashes you can find a bad time debugging your code. Or you could just use Hash#with_indifferent_access everywhere, thus reducing performance (I guess) and it is pretty inconvenient anyway.

Or if you're comparing the keys of your hash in some "each" closure you have to worry about it being a symbol or a string too.

Ruby is told to be programmers' friendly and it usually is. But symbols are certainly a big exception.



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