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Data Types in Ruby

Introduction to Data Types in Ruby

In the programming world, understanding data types is crucial as it helps determine the operations that can be performed on a particular piece of data.

Ruby, being an object-oriented language, offers several unique data types.

In this article, we will delve into the various data types in Ruby, giving you a clear understanding to aid your development efforts.

A Deeper Look at Ruby’s Data Types


Numbers in Ruby are essentially objects built on classes.

They can be broadly classified into integers and floating point numbers.

Integers are whole numbers without a decimal point while floating point numbers include a decimal point.

# Integer Number
int_num = 25

# Float Number
float_num = 25.12


Strings represent a sequence of characters. They are surrounded by either single or double quotes in Ruby.

# String
str = "Hello, This is Ruby"


Ruby also provides Boolean data types, which can hold either a true or false value.

This data type is often used in conditional expressions.

# Boolean
boolean_t = true
boolean_f = false


Symbols in Ruby are lightweight strings.

They take up less memory space than Strings and perform better because they can be reused without being re-created each time. They are represented with a leading colon.

# Symbol
sym = :symbol_name

Data Structures in Ruby


Ruby has an additional data type known as Array, which can store multiple items, regardless of their data type.

As the keys in an array are always consecutive numbers starting from zero (array[0]), accessing and manipulating the data in an Array becomes smoother.

# Array
array = [1, "two", :three, false]


A Hash in Ruby is another unique data type.

It stores key-value pairs in an associative way. A key-value pair is separated by a ‘=>’ sign, and all pairs are enclosed in curly braces.

# Hash
hash = { "name" => "Ruby", "type" => "Programming Language"}

Determining Object Type in Ruby

Often, during development, it becomes important to know the type of an object.

Ruby is object-oriented, so all data types are considered objects. The best practice is to check if it responds to the methods you are interested in rather than tying it down to a particular class.

# Determine an object type

# Determine if an object is of a particular type


This article covered numbers, strings, booleans, and special data structures like arrays and hashes. We also explored the best way to determine the type of an object in Ruby.

Remember, each data type in Ruby is an object; keeping this in mind will help you leverage Ruby’s power more effectively.

If you missed our previous article, check out Variables in Ruby


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