I certainly see what you mean--I can think of cases where it would be
useful to bypass the private status of a method, as well. I was curious
how others felt, though. The reason I ran across the #send behavior is
this--I've been toying with different ways of writing a Infocom-style
text adventure interpreter in Ruby, and one idea I had was a 'command'
object or module that would contain a bunch of methods named after
verbs, such as 'look' and 'west'. Then I would just have the
interpreter do a #send with whatever the user typed in, and let
#method_missing handle the "I don't understand what you mean" type
messages. I was just a bit shocked when I discovered that typing 'gets'
into my interpreter actually called the private method 'gets' (and I
started thinking about what the adventurous adventurer could do with a
well-designed #instance_eval command
But of course, this is easily avoided by checking whether #send would
call a public method, or using the awesome "evil ruby" to make a class
without Object and Kernel methods. Not to mention that, while an
interesting idea, it's not necessarily the most elegant way to do things
I--and surely others on this group--am working with MUDs (text-based
MMORPG predecessors for those not in the know). There're several
command interpretation options around, a Trie (a ternary tree of
sorts) being probably the fastest for Ruby (due to lack of pointer
manipulation). I've also got a class that implements a partial hash
(allows 'hel' or 'hlep' to match 'help') while still reasonably fast. I can send you some code if you want to take a look at it.