Files and Streams

C# views each file as a sequential stream of bytes (Fig. 18.2). Each file ends either with an end-of-file marker or at a specific byte number that is recorded in a system-maintained administrative data structure. When a file is opened, an object is created and a stream is associated with the object. When a program executes, the runtime environment creates three stream objects that are accessible via properties Console.Out, Console.In and Console.Error, respectively. These objects facilitate communication between a program and a particular file or device. Console.In refers to the standard input stream object, which enables a program to input data from the keyboard. Console.Out refers to the standard output stream object, which enables a program to output data to the screen. Console.Error refers to the standard error stream object, which enables a program to output error messages to the screen. We have been using Console.Out and Console.In in our console applicationsConsole methods Write and WriteLine use Console.Out to perform output, and Console methods Read and ReadLine use Console.In to perform input.

Figure 18.2. C#'s view of an n-byte file.

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There are many file-processing classes in the FCL. The System.IO namespace includes stream classes such as StreamReader (for text input from a file), StreamWriter (for text output to a file) and FileStream (for both input from and output to a file). These stream classes inherit from abstract classes TextReader, TextWriter and Stream, respectively. Actually, properties Console.In and Console.Out are of type TexTReader and TextWriter, respectively. The system creates objects of Textreader and TextWriter derived classes to initialize Console properties Console.In and Console.Out.

Abstract class Stream provides functionality for representing streams as bytes. Classes FileStream, MemoryStream and BufferedStream (all from namespace System.IO) inherit from class Stream. Class FileStream can be used to write data to and read data from files. Class MemoryStream enables the transfer of data directly to and from memorythis is much faster than reading from and writing to external devices. Class BufferedStream uses buffering to transfer data to or from a stream. Buffering is an I/O performance enhancement technique, in which each output operation is directed to a region in memory, called a buffer, that is large enough to hold the data from many output operations. Then actual transfer to the output device is performed in one large physical output operation each time the buffer fills. The output operations directed to the output buffer in memory often are called logical output operations. Buffering can also be used to speed input operations by initially reading more data than is required into a buffer, so subsequent reads get data from memory rather than an external device.

In this chapter, we use key stream classes to implement file processing programs that create and manipulate sequential-access files. In Chapter 23, Networking: Streams-Based Sockets and Datagrams, we use stream classes to implement networking applications.

Preface

Index

    Introduction to Computers, the Internet and Visual C#

    Introduction to the Visual C# 2005 Express Edition IDE

    Introduction to C# Applications

    Introduction to Classes and Objects

    Control Statements: Part 1

    Control Statements: Part 2

    Methods: A Deeper Look

    Arrays

    Classes and Objects: A Deeper Look

    Object-Oriented Programming: Inheritance

    Polymorphism, Interfaces & Operator Overloading

    Exception Handling

    Graphical User Interface Concepts: Part 1

    Graphical User Interface Concepts: Part 2

    Multithreading

    Strings, Characters and Regular Expressions

    Graphics and Multimedia

    Files and Streams

    Extensible Markup Language (XML)

    Database, SQL and ADO.NET

    ASP.NET 2.0, Web Forms and Web Controls

    Web Services

    Networking: Streams-Based Sockets and Datagrams

    Searching and Sorting

    Data Structures

    Generics

    Collections

    Appendix A. Operator Precedence Chart

    Appendix B. Number Systems

    Appendix C. Using the Visual Studio 2005 Debugger

    Appendix D. ASCII Character Set

    Appendix E. Unicode®

    Appendix F. Introduction to XHTML: Part 1

    Appendix G. Introduction to XHTML: Part 2

    Appendix H. HTML/XHTML Special Characters

    Appendix I. HTML/XHTML Colors

    Appendix J. ATM Case Study Code

    Appendix K. UML 2: Additional Diagram Types

    Appendix L. Simple Types

    Index



    Visual C# How to Program
    Visual C# 2005 How to Program (2nd Edition)
    ISBN: 0131525239
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2004
    Pages: 600

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