Not even sure what to call this for the thread subject

I want to create a class which is a simple packed set of digits (as a
string) as the one and only attribute of the class. There will be
several methods to extract chunks from and format this string, but
there's only the one attribute.

For the life of me I can't figure out how to to populate the dang this
to start with, without have to go through an attribute. If it were a
normal multi-attribute object, I'm fine, but in light of there only
being one attribute, I'm trying to work with it a different way. Maybe
I'm just going about it all wrong to start with?

The essentials:

class PackedNumber
  def initialize
    @packedNumber
  end

  def methodX
    ...
  end

  def methodY
    ...
  end
end

So, I'd want to work with it like this:
   whatever = PackedNumber.new('12345')
Or
   whatever = PackedNumber.new
   whatever = '12345'  # but I don't want whatever to be String

I'm trying to avoid the obvious, and maybe this is what is not possible
  whatever.packedNumber = '12345'

I tried creating a method just for = but that didn't fly

def =(chars)
   @packedNumber = chars
end

Feels pretty lame I can't see this, but there ya go.

-- gw
-- 
Posted via http://www.ruby-forum.com/.