slice_before(p1 = v1) public

Creates an enumerator for each chunked elements. The beginnings of chunks are defined by pattern and the block. If pattern === elt returns true or the block returns true for the element, the element is beginning of a chunk.

The === and block is called from the first element to the last element of enum. The result for the first element is ignored.

The result enumerator yields the chunked elements as an array for each method. each method can be called as follows.

enum.slice_before(pattern).each {|ary| ... }
enum.slice_before {|elt| bool }.each {|ary| ... }
enum.slice_before(initial_state) {|elt, state| bool }.each {|ary| ... }

Other methods of Enumerator class and Enumerable module, such as map, etc., are also usable.

For example, iteration over ChangeLog entries can be implemented as follows.

# iterate over ChangeLog entries.
open("ChangeLog") {|f|
  f.slice_before(/\A\S/).each {|e| pp e}

# same as above.  block is used instead of pattern argument.
open("ChangeLog") {|f|
  f.slice_before {|line| /\A\S/ === line }.each {|e| pp e}

“svn proplist -R” produces multiline output for each file. They can be chunked as follows:

IO.popen([{"LC_ALL"=>"C"}, "svn", "proplist", "-R"]) {|f|
  f.lines.slice_before(/\AProp/).each {|lines| p lines }
#=> ["Properties on '.':\n", "  svn:ignore\n", "  svk:merge\n"]
#   ["Properties on 'goruby.c':\n", "  svn:eol-style\n"]
#   ["Properties on 'complex.c':\n", "  svn:mime-type\n", "  svn:eol-style\n"]
#   ["Properties on 'regparse.c':\n", "  svn:eol-style\n"]
#   ...

If the block needs to maintain state over multiple elements, local variables can be used. For example, three or more consecutive increasing numbers can be squashed as follows:

a = [0,2,3,4,6,7,9]
prev = a[0]
p a.slice_before {|e|
  prev, prev2 = e, prev
  prev2 + 1 != e
}.map {|es|
  es.length <= 2 ? es.join(",") : "#{es.first}-#{es.last}"
#=> "0,2-4,6,7,9"

However local variables are not appropriate to maintain state if the result enumerator is used twice or more. In such case, the last state of the 1st each is used in 2nd each. initial_state argument can be used to avoid this problem. If non-nil value is given as initial_state, it is duplicated for each “each” method invocation of the enumerator. The duplicated object is passed to 2nd argument of the block for slice_before method.

# word wrapping.
# this assumes all characters have same width.
def wordwrap(words, maxwidth)
  # if cols is a local variable, 2nd "each" may start with non-zero cols.
  words.slice_before(cols: 0) {|w, h|
    h[:cols] += 1 if h[:cols] != 0
    h[:cols] += w.length
    if maxwidth < h[:cols]
      h[:cols] = w.length
text = (1..20).to_a.join(" ")
enum = wordwrap(text.split(/\s+/), 10)
puts "-"*10
enum.each {|ws| puts ws.join(" ") }
puts "-"*10
#=> ----------
#   1 2 3 4 5
#   6 7 8 9 10
#   11 12 13
#   14 15 16
#   17 18 19
#   20
#   ----------

mbox contains series of mails which start with Unix From line. So each mail can be extracted by slice before Unix From line.

# parse mbox
open("mbox") {|f|
  f.slice_before {|line|
    line.start_with? "From "
  }.each {|mail|
    unix_from = mail.shift
    i = mail.index("\n")
    header = mail[0...i]
    body = mail[(i+1)..-1]
    body.pop if body.last == "\n"
    fields = header.slice_before {|line| !" \t".include?(line[0]) }.to_a
    p unix_from
    pp fields
    pp body

# split mails in mbox (slice before Unix From line after an empty line)
open("mbox") {|f|
  f.slice_before(emp: true) {|line,h|
    prevemp = h[:emp]
    h[:emp] = line == "\n"
    prevemp && line.start_with?("From ")
  }.each {|mail|
    mail.pop if mail.last == "\n"
    pp mail
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