FAQ: Control Flow in Ruby - Equal or Not?

This community-built FAQ covers the “Equal or Not?” exercise from the lesson “Control Flow in Ruby”.

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I put "is_true = 2 != 3

is_false = 2 == 3

and got the error message “(ruby):3: syntax error, unexpected keyword_end, expecting end-of-input”

I don’t understand why. Unless I’ve been sucked into an alternate dimension, 2 is indeed not equal to 3.

I know, this one is tricking me as well, and it does not offer what the solution is…

Let’s look at the example given in the narration text…

x = 2
y = 2
if x == y
  print "x and y are equal!"

In Ruby, block structures have a beginning (a keyword and expression), a block (the statement within) and an end. That is standard syntax.

Two statements inline do not represent a block structure, so would never be followed by end.

is_true = 2 != 3
is_false = 2 == 3

If we follow this with end we do indeed get the error given in the previous post.


Since the “program” as stated didn’t do anything except declare two variables, I decided to include an if/else block with print statements to show some results. Nothing I tried worked. Pressing RUN did nothing except change the RUN button to a pinwheel (which I found out can be stopped by editing a single letter [any letter] in the program). In desperation I finally commented out everything except a single line, PRINT “X” and pressed RUN again. Nothing.

I copied the program, as is, to the clipboard and exited out of Codeacademy. I then logged in fresh and pasted my program into the editor and pressed RUN. Sure enough, X appeared in the output panel.

So, apparently the RUBY emulator had choked on something without my knowledge and I wasted my time and mental quiescence until I figured it out.

Is this worth it? I realize it’s free but if this is any indication of the stability of this emulator, why bother?

I downloaded and installed “rubyinstaller-devkit-2.6.6-1-x64.exe” but don’t know what to do with it. When I run it I get a DOS command box and nothing else. If anyone knows where I go from here, I’appreciate knowing.

Thanks for listening.