I am a total noob when it comes to programming. These last few days, I
am learning ruby thanks to the book, 'beginning ruby, from novice to
professional.' In page 96, chapter 4, developing a basic ruby app, it
showed one other way to code to show number of lines in the file,
'text.txt.' (*see attached file)

text=''
line_count = 0
File.open("text.txt").each do |line|
line_count += 1
text << line
end
puts "#{line_count} lines"

I do not understand what the variable 'text' is for in the first, and
fifth, lines of the code. The book explained it this way--

"...Compared to your previous attempt, this code introduces the text
variable and adds each line onto the end of it in turn. When the
iteration over the file has finishedĦ½that is, when you run out oflinesĦ½text contains the entire file in a single string ready for you to
use."

Since I did not understand what the variable 'text' was for, I removed
it to see if I'll get something different. Removing that variable did
not change anything--I still got the same number of lines.

line_count = 0
File.open("text.txt").each do |line|
line_count += 1
end
puts "#{line_count} lines"

Was the 'text' variable placed there in case there was more code to
follow that might use that file? Removing that 'text' variable, I opened
the file text.txt to see if the code somehow changed the file content.
It didn't.

Please enlighten...? Thanks!

Attachments:
http://www.ruby-forum.com/attachment/6132/text2.txt