robert williams robert williams - 2 months ago 15
Ruby Question

difference between class method , instance method , instance variable , class variable?

I recently started learning ruby. I am confused between class methods, instance methods, instance variables, and class variables. I googled a lot, but I didn't get any clarification on those. Any help along with examples would be appreciated.

Answer

First take a look at this diagram:

from "Metaprogramming Ruby" book

You can rightly say that “obj has a method called my_method( ),” meaning that you’re able to call obj.my_method(). By contrast, you shouldn’t say that “MyClass has a method named my_method().” That would be confusing, because it would imply that you’re able to call MyClass.my_method() as if it were a class method.

To remove the ambiguity, you should say that my_method() is an instance method (not just “a method”) of MyClass, meaning that it’s defined in MyClass, and you actually need an instance of MyClass to call it. It’s the same method, but when you talk about the class, you call it an instance method, and when you talk about the object, you simply call it a method. Remember this distinction, and you won’t get confused when writing introspective code like this:

String.instance_methods == "abc".methods # => true String.methods == "abc".methods # => false

an object’s instance variables live in the object itself, and an object’s methods live in the object’s class. That’s why objects of the same class share methods but don’t share instance variables.