On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM, Dami=E1n M. Gonz=E1lez <lists / ruby-forum.c=
om>wrote:

> Guys, how are you?
>  Watch this simple code first:
>
>
> class Foo
>   @@x =3D 1
>   def self.x
>     @@x
>   end
>   def self.x=3D (y)
>     @@x =3D y
>   end
> end
>
> class << Foo
>   attr_accessor :x
>   @x =3D 1
> end
>
>
>  I'm developing an aplication, and I'm wondering which way of the both
> above I should use, or is recommended to use, I really need your advice,
> 'cause I'm noob. This is the point: the instances of Foo class almost
> will never access the class variable @@x. @@x is just a thing related
> with the class itself, which is accessed generally from outside the
> class, like...for example:
>
>
> class Dog
>   @@all_the_legs =3D 0
>   def initialize
>     @@all_the_legs +=3D 4
>   end
> end
>
>
>  And I just want to take a look sometimes at how many legs are...so:
>
>
> class Dog
>   def self.all_the_legs
>      @@all_the_legs
>   end
> end
>
>
>  This class variable will not be accessed anymore(after the initialize)
> by any instance. So I'm wondering if is better to do this instead:
>
>
> class << Dog
>   attr_accessor :all_the_legs
>   @all_the_legs =3D 0
> end
>
> class Dog
>   def initialize
>     Dog.all_the_legs +=3D 4
>   end
> end
>
>
>  Because I can see that if I choose the first way, and I want to Inherit
> a class from Dog, I will fail:
>
>
> class Dogo < Dog
>   @@all_the_legs =3D 0 #with and without this line: same result for both
>   def initialize
>      @@all_the_legs +=3D 4
>   end
>   def self.all_the_legs
>      @@all_the_legs
>   end
> end
>
> Dog.new; Dog.new; Dog.new; Dog.all_the_legs
> #=3D> 12
> Dogo.new; Dogo.new; Dogo.new; Dogo.all_the_legs
> #=3D> 24
>
>
>   I have examples like this in my whole source code, so I'm thinking
> which way to take. Hope you can view my point(the example could not be
> the best): I need your advice about if is good to use class variables if
> you almost don't use it for the access of instances, instead you need to
> require that information from outside the class(suppose that I want to
> maintain in a GUI the amount of legs that share all the dogs). It is
> good in this cases to enter the singleton class of a class and define
> accessors and instance variables to later be accessed? Thank you all.
>
>
The instance variable solution is better, I advocate never using class
variables for the reason that you showed.

Singletons tend to force you into a workflow that you will later regret. So
these days, I try fairly hard to avoid them. For your example, where it
sounds like it is just a trick for debugging / getting information, and it
has very little behaviour, I'd probably do what you're doing (I'm assuming
we're deleting this code after we decide that it's doing what we think it
is).

If it were more complex than just incrementing a counter, or if you were
planning on keeping it around for a while, I'd probably try to create some
other object to handle the behaviour, then just store an instance of that
object on this class. Maybe something like this:

class Counter
  attr_reader :count

  def initialize(increment, count=3D0)
    @increment =3D increment
    @count     =3D count
  end

  def count!
    @count +=3D @increment
  end
end

class Dog
  def self.leg_count
    @leg_counter.count
  end

  def self.new(*)
    @leg_counter.count!
    super
  end

  def self.reset!
    @leg_counter =3D Counter.new 4
  end
  reset!
end

Dog.leg_count # =3D> 0
Dog.new
Dog.leg_count # =3D> 4
Dog.new
Dog.leg_count # =3D> 8
Dog.reset!
Dog.leg_count # =3D> 0


In this example, it's of course overkill, but for something with more
complex behaviour, try to get it where you can deal with it outside of the
constraints of the singleton (e.g. to test it or to use it in a different
way than imagined).

Also, since I don't know what you're doing with it, let me warn against
tracking all the instances in some collection. This will prevent them from
being garbage collected, and will prevent you from being able to create
instances where that is not the case (e.g. when you subclass pretty much
anything in Rails, it tracks that and then does things with it that you may
reasonably want it to not do).