• Javascript
  • Python
  • Go

Ruby Mixins: Optimizing Method Calls with "super

" Ruby mixins are a powerful feature of the Ruby programming language that allows for the efficient reuse of code. They are especially usefu...


Ruby mixins are a powerful feature of the Ruby programming language that allows for the efficient reuse of code. They are especially useful when it comes to optimizing method calls, as they provide a way to call methods from different modules and classes without having to explicitly specify them. One of the most commonly used techniques for optimizing method calls with mixins is the use of the "super" keyword.

Before we dive into the details of how "super" can optimize method calls, let's first understand what mixins are and how they work. Mixins are essentially groups of methods that can be included in a class or module, allowing the class or module to inherit those methods. This is in contrast to traditional inheritance, where a class can only inherit from one superclass. With mixins, a class can inherit from multiple modules, giving it access to a wide range of methods.

Now, let's take a look at how mixins can help optimize method calls. Consider a scenario where we have a class called "Animal" that has a method called "speak." We also have a module called "Flyable" that has a method called "fly." If we want our Animal class to have both the "speak" and "fly" methods, we can simply include the "Flyable" module in our Animal class using the "include" method.

However, what if our Animal class already has a "speak" method defined? In that case, including the "Flyable" module would overwrite the "speak" method, and we would lose its functionality. This is where the "super" keyword comes in. Instead of overwriting the "speak" method, we can use "super" to call the original "speak" method from the Animal class, and then add on the functionality from the "Flyable" module.

Let's see this in action:


module Flyable

def fly

puts "I am flying!"



class Animal

def speak

puts "I am an animal!"



class Bird < Animal

include Flyable

def speak


puts "I am a bird!"



bird = Bird.new




In the above code, we have a Bird class that inherits from the Animal class and includes the Flyable module. The "speak" method in the Bird class uses "super" to call the original "speak" method from the Animal class and then adds on its own functionality. This way, we get the best of both worlds – the "speak" method from the Animal class and the "fly" method from the Flyable module.

The use of "super" is not limited to just one level of inheritance. It can be used in a chain of inheritance, allowing for even more flexibility and optimization. This is because "super" will always call the next method up in the inheritance chain, providing a way to access methods from any superclass or module.

In conclusion, mixins are a powerful tool in Ruby, and when combined with the "super" keyword, they can greatly optimize method calls. By using "super," we can avoid overwriting methods and seamlessly combine functionality from different modules and classes. So the next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to include multiple methods, remember the power of mixins and the "super" keyword.

Related Articles

How to Validate on Destroy in Rails

As a web developer, one of the key tasks is to ensure the security and stability of the application. This includes validating user input and...

Top Tools for Profiling Rails Apps

Rails is a popular web application framework that has been embraced by developers all over the world. With its ease of use, scalability, and...