Issue #14336 has been updated by Hanmac (Hans Mackowiak).


dsferreira (Daniel Ferreira) wrote:
> There is also one important thing here that deserves consideration: We are doing a great effort to improve the performance of strings and everything associated to them.
> 
> Symbols are not taking advantage of those improvements.
> 

there are you totally wrong. Symbols can't take advantage of that because Symbols where already optimized to the max before (frozen) strings where even added

if you want to talk about memory usage, google why ruby threat strings with more than 23 characters different

you only see that Strings got abit optimized, but you total don't see that is only a fraction of how Symbols where optimized to begin with

----------------------------------------
Bug #14336: Create new method String#symbol? and deprecate Symbol class
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/14336#change-69445

* Author: dsferreira (Daniel Ferreira)
* Status: Open
* Priority: Normal
* Assignee: 
* Target version: 
* ruby -v: 
* Backport: 2.3: UNKNOWN, 2.4: UNKNOWN, 2.5: UNKNOWN
----------------------------------------
From  the discussions on the three previous issues related to the String vs Symbol subject ([5964](https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/5964), [7792](https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/7792), [14277](https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/14277)) there are some conclusions we can assume:
* Current String vs Symbol is not the ideal scenario. See: Matz and Koichi comments.
* Current philosophy is to use Symbols as identifiers and Strings when strings are needed.
* Current situation is that Symbols are being used in many code bases as strings except for strings that really need the String methods.
* Current situation is that we are designing APIs to handle both String and Symbol inputs forcing an overhead of API development.

I propose the deprecation of `Symbol` class and the introduction of `String#symbol?`.

```ruby
foo = :foo
foo.class # => String
foo.symbol? # => true
bar = "bar"
bar.class # => String
bar.symbol? # => false
```

For backwards compatibility transition path I propose:

```ruby
class Symbol
  def self.===(var)
    warn ("Warning message regarding deprecated class")
    if var.class == Symbol
      true
    elsif var.class == String && var.symbol?
      true
    else
      false
    end
  end
end

class String
  def is_a?(klass)
    case klass
    when String
      true
    when Symbol
      self.symbol?
    else
      false
    end
  end
end
```



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