On Thu, 10 Aug 2006, ngoc wrote:

> > Symbols can best be described as identities. A symbol is all about who
> > it is, not what it is. Fire up irb and see the difference:
> >
> Many persons use advanced language to explain Symbols to make it more
> difficult.
> For me, it is a text string like any other text string. But you can not
>   manipulate it like split, sub!, etc.... There are only 4 methods
> (id2name  inspect  to_i  to_s) for it.
>
> Use it for hash key instead of normal string. (we do not need all
> manipulating functions for hash key)
>
> Is it simple enough?

There's (at least) one more key fact (which was hidden inside of the 'use
it for hash key instead of normal string') -- there is only one instance
of a given symbol allocated in memory at a time, which can be a great boon
to writing efficient code.

Nate