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How to enable tab completion in IRB

By Peter Cooper / October 9, 2006


This is going to be child's play to most of you, but Eric Lake has a cool video up about how to enable a simple prompt and tab completion in IRB. I'd never thought of having that feature in IRB before so I found it interesting at least. Still not sure I need it, but if you do..


  1. Ian Ozsvald says:

    Eric's video is the first in what we hope will become a host of Ruby tutorial videos, to compliment our growing Python collection. If you're interested in sharing your knowledge, please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you. Ian @

  2. zimbatm says:

    Add "require 'irb/completion'" to your ~/.irbrc and voilĂ . No need for a screencast :p

  3. Dr Nic says:

    @zimbatm - now now, I don't want your over simple explanations. The 1st 20secs of watching nothing and then opening a terminal were priceless to my education. :)

  4. Peter Cooper says:

    Oi oi :) We need to support any efforts to make cool screencasts, even if they're basic ;-)

  5. Gavri Fernandez says:

    What? WHAT? In a week, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.

  6. Akhil Bansal says:

    May this is better

  7. Ian Ozsvald says:

    I couldn't agree with Peter more! Eric's first video is showing something that's very basic, and if you know it then you won't learn anything. Then again, he's only just starting out with this way of sharing knowledge and we all need to start somewhere.

    Screencasts are a great way of showing off features and inspiring confidence in the watcher, and the Ruby world doesn't have (as far as I've seen, I could be wrong), many at all (excepting the 3 RoR videos which are very nice indeed). Now a Ruby newbie can see irb in action before they've had a crack at installing it, so they'll know what to expect - and that's useful to many new users.

    Our 30+ Python videos are going down very well, and our growing sets of Java videos are similarly receiving nice comments and many views.

    Give Eric kudos for putting in the effort, and maybe some other Ruby users would feel encouraged and choose to build on what he's started? You could be up and running within an hour of starting, using open source software, and we do all of the heavy lifting for you.

    Cheers, Ian (one of the two ShowMeDo founders).

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