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The fairytale of Ruby, her magical kingdom, and the mutilation of poor elseif
Once upon a time there was a beautiful thing born and it was known as Logic. Eventually, Logic gave birth to a beautiful baby Computers. Now, Computers gave birth to many things, but this story focuses on part of it's bastard step child --programming languages and it's cousin software development.

Now programming languages was very promiscuous and had many many bastard children of it's own. One was the demon seed known as Perl. However, evil can change it's stripes in this magical land and eventually from Perl arose a somewhat less evil descendant. This somewhat less evil descendant was named "Ruby."

Eventually, Ruby, the somewhat less evil descendant of the demon seed Perl, developed a kingdom and a large following (mostly from her vast rail network). Many wars were waged between Ruby's kingdom and those of the somewhat evil PHP, a bastard child of C++, who himself was a bastard child C, and so on. These wars lasted many years, but they're not the focus of this story. No, this story focuses on Ruby.

Now, Ruby, with her vast kingdom made many decrees. Some where simple such as "Types shall not be found in my kingdom!, unless they're for conversions?” Other degrees were to appease her kingdom and it's vast population of characters.

One example, was Ruby's degree: "No character shall not have a meaning in our kingdom!"
To which the people cried "Not even ! ?"
Ruby replied "No, ! shall be factorial AND not"
"What of @?" they said next.
"@ shall define class members" she replied
"And |, what of smelly old | ?" the pondered,
"Ah, a tough one, but | shall have a use in iterators"
... this went on for awhile as there were a lot of characters to be appointed.

Near the end one character spoke up, little ^, and asked Ruby for a meaning. Poor little ^ said to Ruby, "Your majesty, I've been known around the world to represent the exponential operation and I'd like have the same meaning in your kingdom."

Ruby, who had a brief affair with ** several years earlier; told poor little ^ to go to hell and appointed ** as the exponential operator. Poor little ^ was left with only being useful as a regular expression operator and eventually committed suicide. Poor little guy. Many in the kingdom were furious and confused about Ruby's decision to select ** over brave little carrot and swore off Ruby and her kingdom forever.

Eventually, an underground began to form in the kingdom. They tried for years to over throw ** as the exponential operator but failed. The operators of the underground were two nobles named If and Else. If and Else were lovers and were recently blessed with a child. If and Else, being subjects of a kingdom founded by a distant relative of Logic, name their child Elseif --a token of their undying love for each other and honor to the legend of Logic.

The wars fought between the underground and Ruby's armies were amazing, even more so then those waged between the Ruby's kingdom and PHP, but there is no time to describe them here. Eventually, the leaders of the movement If and Else were caught along with their two greatest generals, the twins { and }. Being slightly evil, really pissed off by the underground's attacks, and insulted by the fact that anyone in her kingdom would question her decision to appoint ** over ^, Ruby came up with a horrific plan to teach any dissenters a lesson.

First, she imprisoned If and Else's generals, { and }, to work with smelly old | for all eternity. Next, and the most dastardly of all, Ruby ordered Elseif’s e cut off in front of the whole kingdom. Yes! Poor newborn’s e was cut off Poor and waived around for all to see. Poor little Elseif, now forever more only Elsif was forever ruined by Queen Ruby and never could find meaning in life. Yes, it was a sad day for all. The entire kingdom wept, developers fled upon hearing the news and If and Else could not believe Ruby would commit such a horrific act and begged to be executed immediately. In a misguided attempt to honor Elsif, Interpreter, a good friend of the family, refused to throw an error or warning if Elseif’s name was ever used.

However, reaching deeper into her well of evil, Ruby declared one final punishment. Ruby stayed If and Else's executions and ordered them to live with end --the most annoying of all Ruby's kingdom for all eternity.

And all wept again.
posted by Tyler Pitchford on Jul 20, 2006 10:45 PM : 68 comments [permalink]
 

Comments

Re: The fairytale of Ruby, her magical kingdom, and the mutilation of poor elseif
Poooleeez! What the hell is going on here!?
Re: The fairytale of Ruby, her magical kingdom, and the mutilation of poor elseif
Looks like Tyler got a bit frustrated at Ruby ;)

Nice tale though!
Re: The fairytale of Ruby, her magical kingdom, and the mutilation of poor elseif
That made my day! Thanks Tyler!
Re: The fairytale of Ruby, her magical kingdom, and the mutilation of poor elseif
Let _why handle the fiction. Nice try, though.
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Can't please em all. =)
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This story helped me get rid of some frustration. I'm new to Ruby and just got stung by elsif. For the life of me, I didn't see it in the sample code and wrote all sorts of tests to try to figure out what the hell was going on. Give us a break. Can't wait for the next sting. Just how hard would it be to at least warn us when elseif is encountered?
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Eventually, Ruby, the somewhat less evil descendant of the demon seed Perl, developed a kingdom and a large following (mostly from her vast rail network). Many wars were waged between Ruby's kingdom and those of the somewhat evil PHP, a bastard child of C++, who himself was a bastard child C, and so on. These wars lasted many years, but they're not the focus of this story. No, this story focuses on Ruby.
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