System() Function


I'm new to RoR and to begin I decided to do a graphic calculator as my second project. I plan to use octave to evaluate the expressions, I can't get to install the octave-ruby gem and for the sake of development speed I'll be fetching the ouput of "octave --eval" instead. I found that ruby uses the same command as php to run external commands, system(), but whether i use system("octave","/usr/bin") or system("octave"), it will return "true", telling me that the application was successfully executed. I can't convert the output to string, either.

What are your recommendations to grab the output from an application?


An alternative method of calling system commands is the back-tick - on my keyboard, it's on the key above tab, next to "1". As an example, I have used it to return the value of a mount command to see whether a particular mount point is attached:

device_path = `mount | grep /media/backups`.split(" ").first