Hi, 

In message "[ruby-talk:5350] Object method scope"
    on 00/10/10, "Morris, Chris" <ChrisM / SNELLINGCORP.COM> writes:
>[http://www.math.sci.hokudai.ac.jp/~gotoken/ruby/ruby-uguide/uguide15.html]
>states that methods defined 'in the top level' are appended to the Object
>class. Then it says that these methods cannot be called with self prefixed,
>because they are private, although they can be called fine without the self
>prefix.
>
>When I tried the example it gave, however, it worked just fine without the
>error the doc said I'd get. Has this been changed in the version I'm
>running? (Which is ... ... lessee ... 1.4.6 - Win32)

That was 1.4.x's bug. Try Ruby 1.6.1:

  % ruby -ve 'def a; end; self.a' 
  ruby 1.6.1 (2000-09-27) [i386-freebsdelf4.1]
  -e:1: private method `a' called for #<Object:0x8106cd8> (NameError)
  %

-- gotoken