Using Ruby's .digits method

I discovered the .digits method in Ruby the other day. As a quick illustration, it extracts the digits of a method into an array, reverse sorted.

12345.digits #=> [5, 4, 3, 2, 1]

You can optionally specify what base you’d like it to use to calculate the digits using, i.e. the same calculation as above but in base 100 would give you the following:

12345.digits(100) #=> [45, 23, 1]

Reading around a little bit, it seems that if you’re trying to get hold of the digits of a number, simply doing a .digits.reverse is perhaps an ok solution if the number is small, but at a certain point it starts to get slow. This is because .digits isn’t just ‘splitting’ the number.

For that reason, perhaps using .to_s.chars might be a better alternative. You can then use a .map function to convert the characters into integers: { |digit| digit.to_i }

I’m not entirely sure what .digits is actually used / useful for, given the speed issues.