On Saturday 12 May 2007 07:20, enduro wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I was exited when I heard that
> Symbol was made a subclass of String
> in Ruby 1.9, September last year.
>
> But then I heard that the experiment
> was stopped after only two months.
>
> And recently I have started to think about this
> topic again and I've tried to collect the reasons
> why the idea was not pursued any longer.
>
> I have not been very lucky searching the net
> for that, that's why I am asking you:
>
> Could someone give me a summary of the reasons
> why the approach to make Symbol a subclass of String
> is not considered for future Ruby versions anymore?
> Or point me towards some information explaining that?
>
> Thank you very much
>
> Sven

basic reason - as stated in ruby hacking guide is that Symbol internally is 
just Int !

that makes hash based on symbols much much faster, as a consequence of above
Symbol is "read-only" and you can modify String as much as you want.

so to sum up - Symbols are smaller, faster, but "read-only", good for indexing 
hashes - passing methods names etc.
Strings - heavy, slow, but with greater flexability,

if you want more in deep explenations read ruby internals/hacking guide

-- 
Marcin Raczkowski
---
Friends teach what you should know
Enemies Teach what you have to know