RubyNode is a library that allows read only access to Ruby's internal NODE structure. It can retrieve the node trees of methods and procs and it can use Ruby's parser to parse ruby source code strings to node trees.
It provides the class RubyNode, which wraps an internal NODE. Trees of RubyNode instances can also be transformed into trees of arrays and hashes (similar to s-expressions), which are easy to manipulate and work with.
Ruby is a dynamic, reflective, general purpose object-oriented programming language that combines syntax inspired by Perl with Smalltalk-like features. Ruby originated in Japan during the mid-1990s and was initially developed and designed by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto.
Ruby supports multiple programming paradigms (including functional, object oriented and imperative), and features a dynamic type system and automatic memory management; it is therefore similar in varying respects to Python, Perl, Lisp, Dylan, and CLU.
In its current, official implementation, written in C, Ruby is a single-pass interpreted language. As there is currently no specification of the Ruby language, this implementation is considered the de facto reference. As of 2008, there are a number of alternative implementations of the Ruby language, including Rubinius, JRuby, YARV, and IronRuby, each of which takes a different approach, with JRuby providing just-in-time compilation functionality.
The language was created by Yukihiro Matsumoto, who started working on Ruby on February 24, 1993, and released it to the public in 1995. "Ruby" was named as a gemstone because of a joke within Matsumoto's circle of friends alluding to the name of the Perl programming language.
As of December 2007, the latest stable version of the reference implementation is 1.8.6. Apart from the reference, several other virtual machines are being developed for Ruby. These include JRuby, a port of Ruby to the Java platform, IronRuby, an implementation for the .NET Framework produced by Microsoft, and Rubinius, an interpreter modeled after self-hosting Smalltalk virtual machines.