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Ruby Ruby Objects and Classes Build a Bank Account Class Part 1: Create the Class

Jason Woo
Jason Woo
11,730 Points

Hi there I redid the contact_list project on my own and cannot diagnose this issue. Could you tell me what's wrong?

def ask(question, type = "string") puts question + " " answer = gets.chomp if type == 'number' answer = answer.to_i end return answer end

contact_list = []

def add_contact contact = {'name' => '', 'phone_numbers' => []} contact['name'] = ask('What is the name of the contact? ') add_number ="" until add_number == 'n' add_number = ask("Add a number for #{contact['name']}? (y/n)") if add_number == 'y' contact['phone_numbers'].push(ask('Enter a number for ' + contact['name'])) end end return contact end

def show contact_list.each do |contacts| puts "Name: #{contacts['name']}" contacts['phone_numbers'].each do |numbers| puts "Number: #{numbers}" end puts "------------ \n" end end

answer = "" until answer == 'n' contact_list.push(add_contact) answer = ask('Would you like to add another contact? (y/n)') end

show

4 Answers

Brendan Whiting
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.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree seal-36
Brendan Whiting
Front End Web Development Techdegree Graduate 84,676 Points

I ran your code and I got this error when I got to the end:

contact_list.rb:26:in `show': undefined local variable or method `contact_list' for main:Object (NameError)
    from contact_list.rb:41:in `<main>'

Is that the problem you're referring to? If so, this seems to be a problem with variable scope. This stack overflow answer was enlightening: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/9671259/ruby-local-variable-is-undefined

I applied this to "define method" change to your code and it solve that error, see line line 26 in the code below:

def ask(question, type = "string")
    puts question + " "
    answer = gets.chomp
    if type == 'number'
        answer = answer.to_i
        end
    return answer 
end

contact_list = []

def add_contact
    contact = {'name' => '', 'phone_numbers' => []} 
    contact['name'] = ask('What is the name of the contact? ') 
    add_number ="" 
    until add_number == 'n' 
        add_number = ask("Add a number for #{contact['name']}? (y/n)") 
        if add_number == 'y' 
            contact['phone_numbers'].push(ask('Enter a number for ' + contact['name']))
            end
        end 
    return contact 
end


define_method :show do
    contact_list.each do |contacts| 
        puts "Name: #{contacts['name']}"
        contacts['phone_numbers'].each do |numbers| 
            puts "Number: #{numbers}"
        end 
        puts "------------ \n"
    end
end

answer = ""
until answer == 'n'
    contact_list.push(add_contact)
    answer = ask('Would you like to add another contact? (y/n)')
end

show
Jason Woo
Jason Woo
11,730 Points

Yes, I received the same error.

I don't understand why contact_list is unavailable when I already defined it in the outermost scope (aka local variable correct?). My previous understanding was that methods and classes should be able to access them.

Based on what I read in your link, my new understanding is methods (written as def or class) can only access variables defined within themselves, whereas classes can access outermost/local variables. Is that right?

Your edit on line 26 allows for the method to take from local variables (like classes), and can be called upon like a normal method without the :(colon). Correct?

Brendan Whiting
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.a{fill-rule:evenodd;}techdegree seal-36
Brendan Whiting
Front End Web Development Techdegree Graduate 84,676 Points

Honestly, it surprised me too. I'm more of a JavaScript guy, so my understanding of scope is from that language, and this isn't how I expected it to behave. But I guess that's ruby.

Jason Woo
Jason Woo
11,730 Points

I also want to make sure I have the syntax of define_method nailed down.

1) The colon is necessary (I tried it without and ran an error when called) 2) Requires the word 'do', unlike a regular method definition. 3)In order to call the method, it has to be without the colon (so its show, not :show in our case).

Jason Woo
Jason Woo
11,730 Points

No worries, those were just the conclusions I came to from experimenting.

Thank you so much for help!