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Radix is a very easy to use Ruby library for converting numbers to and from any base. It supports both Integer, Float and Rational numbers, as well as representational string-notations that need not be in ASCII order.


  • Convert to and from any base.
  • Convert Integers, Floats and Rational numbers.
  • Define custom encoding and character sets.
  • Can be used to encode/decode bytecode strings.
  • Very intuitive API.


Base conversions with ASCII ordered notations are easy in Ruby.

255.to_s(16)   #=> "FF"

"FF".to_i(16)  #=> 255

But Ruby reaches it's limit at base 36.

255.to_s(37)   #=> Error

Radix provides the means of converting to and from any base.

For example, a number in base 256 can be represented by the array [100, 10] (100**256 + 10**1) and can be convert to base 10.

[100,10].b(256).to_a(10)  #=> [2,5,6,1,0]

Or, to get a string representation for any base up to 62.

[100,10].b(256).to_s(10)  #=> "25610"

A string representation of a number can be converted too, again, up to base 62.

"10".b(62).to_s(10)  #=> "62"

To use a custom character set, use an array of characters as the base rather than an integer. For example we can convert a base 10 number to another base 10 number using a different encoding.

base = [:Q, :W, :E, :R, :T, :Y, :U, :I, :O, :U]

"10".b(10).to_a(base)  #=> [:W, :Q]

To learn more have a look at the QED Demo.


To install with RubyGems simply open a console and type:

$ gem install radix

Radix follows Ruby Setup package standard so it can also be installed in an FHS compliant manner using setup.rb.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to douglascodes for taking the time to fully document Radix's API. Documentation is an under-addressed and time-consuming affair, so your contribution is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Douglas!


Copyright (c) 2009 Rubyworks

This program is distributable in accordance with the BSD-2-Clause license.

See LICENSE.txt for details.