Gregory Brown wrote:
> But this may be to preserve compatibility with Ruby 1.8.6:

Ah, that's a good enough reason.

'ri Array#map' from 1.8.6 doesn't mention the possibility that it could 
be used without a block, which led me off the scent.

-------------------------------------------------------------- Array#map
     array.collect {|item| block }  -> an_array
     array.map     {|item| block }  -> an_array
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Invokes _block_ once for each element of _self_. Creates a new
     array containing the values returned by the block. See also
     +Enumerable#collect+.

        a = [ "a", "b", "c", "d" ]
        a.collect {|x| x + "!" }   #=> ["a!", "b!", "c!", "d!"]
        a                          #=> ["a", "b", "c", "d"]
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