shift(*args) public

Removes the first element of self and returns it (shifting all other elements down by one). Returns nil if the array is empty.

If a number n is given, returns an array of the first n elements (or less) just like array.slice!(0, n) does. With ary containing only the remainder elements, not including what was shifted to new_ary. See also Array#unshift for the opposite effect.

args = [ "-m", "-q", "filename" ]
args.shift     #=> "-m"
args           #=> ["-q", "filename"]

args = [ "-m", "-q", "filename" ]
args.shift(2)  #=> ["-m", "-q"]
args           #=> ["filename"]
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April 1, 2010
3 thanks

Doesn't return nil on empty array when param is given

This does not return nil if the array is empty and n is given.

[].shift(2) # => []

a = []
a.shift(2) # => []
a # => []