What Is $LOAD_PATH (also known as $:)
I have come across
$LOAD_PATH many times and have always skipped over it, never quite understanding what it meant. Well, that is, until recently. The project that I am working on forced me to take a closer look. And once I did, like most things, it really wasn’t that difficult at all.
The first thing to understand is what it refers to. Quite simply
$LOAD_PATH is what Ruby uses to determine which directories to look in when you use
require in your code. In other words,
$LOAD_PATH contains nothing more than lots of directories. Easy, huh?
The second thing you should know is how to reference it. You can refer to
$LOAD_PATH in two ways. The first way is to simply call it by its name,
The second way is to use the predefined variable,
Both mean the exact same thing.
Finally to see it in action, here is an example of adding a directory to
$: << File.expand_path('../', __FILE__)