Copying Classes

From across the desk, George asks “can you copy classes in Ruby?”. We talk about it quickly and reason that since everything’s an Object (even classes), you probably can. Since the constant isn’t changed or duplicated (you’re essentially assigning a new one) then it ought to be possible.

Turns out it is!

class First  def initialize    @value = 99  end  def say_value    @value # => 99
Second = First.cloneSecond.class_eval do  define_method :say_value do    @value + 100 # => 199


I’m not sure quite why you would want to clone a class to take advantage of re-use - rather than extract to a module (and share the implementation that way) or, if there’s a strong relationship that doesn’t violate the LSP etc. then look for some kind of inheritance-based design.

But, I guess you could work some kind of cool ultra-dynamic super-meta system from it. Perhaps someone with way more of a Ruby-thinking brain than me could offer some thoughts?