On Thursday 05 January 2006 03:55 pm, Steve Litt wrote:
> On Thursday 05 January 2006 03:13 am, Chad Perrin wrote:
> > On Thu, Jan 05, 2006 at 04:25:31PM +0900, Dave Howell wrote:
> > > So Steve, or anybody, I've learned that I can :mysymbol.to_i and I get
> > > an integer back. OK, I give up. What possible use do I have for this
> > > zany parlor trick? I'll hazard a guess that, as a "normal" programmer,
> > > not doing system-level stuff, not extending Ruby, not trying to do
> > > something dense and clever and incomprehensible...I don't.
> >
> > The integer value can be regarded as a side effect of the way symbols
> > are managed.  They're stored as values in a hash table with the integers
> > as keys, basically.  It's the atomic number-like value of the symbol,
> > and the "it has always been there" behavior[1] of it when first defined,
> > that the language feature is after -- not the integers associated with
> > symbols in the hash table.  If you find a good use for the .to_i
> > behavior, though, have at it.
> >
> > At least, that's my understanding.
>
> Internals question: Curious -- why don't they hash with the object id
> instead?

Oh never mind -- a more careful reading of Evan's internals explanation makes 
it clear.

SteveT

Steve Litt
http://www.troubleshooters.com
slitt / troubleshooters.com