Writing to a file

How do you append a string to a file in Ruby?

If you google for “Ruby file append” you’ll find a bunch of answers that all basically look like this:

File.open(filename, "a+") do |file|

This uses two local variables filename and string, which in our case would be names.txt and the name passed as the param.

The slightly weird looking second argument "a+" tells the open method that we want to use the file for appending something (thus a), and that we’d like it to create a new file unless it already exists (thus +).

Also, File.open takes a block, and passes an object, an instance of the class File to it.

It does this because the file needs to be closed once we’re done with it. The open method makes sure we don’t forget this, and closes the file once it has run our block. Pretty handy.

Inside of the block we simply call puts on the file object, which will append the string that we pass, and also add a newline (just like puts does when you output a string to the terminal).

Alright. Ready to go?