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Java Fundamental Classes Reference

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11. The java.io Package

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The package java.io contains the classes that handle fundamental input and output operations in Java. The I/O classes can be grouped as follows:

I/O in Java is based on streams. A stream represents a flow of data or a channel of communication. Java 1.0 supports only byte streams. The InputStream class is the superclass of all of the Java 1.0 byte input streams, while OutputStream is the superclass of all the byte output streams. The drawback to these byte streams is that they do not always handle Unicode characters correctly.

As of Java 1.1, java.io contains classes that represent character streams. These character stream classes handle Unicode characters appropriately by using a character encoding to convert bytes to characters and vice versa. The Reader class is the superclass of all the Java 1.1 character input streams, while Writer is the superclass of all character output streams.

The InputStreamReader and OutputStreamWriter classes provide a bridge between byte streams and character streams. If you wrap an InputStreamReader around an InputStream object, the bytes in the byte stream are read and converted to characters using the character encoding scheme specified by the InputStreamReader. Likewise, you can wrap an OutputStreamWriter around any OutputStream object so that you can write characters and have them converted to bytes.

As of Java 1.1, java.io also contains classes to support object serialization. Object serialization is the ability to write the complete state of an object to an output stream, and then later recreate that object by reading in the serialized state from an input stream. The ObjectOutputStream and ObjectInputStream classes handle serializing and deserializing objects, respectively.

The RandomAccessFile class is the only class that does not use a stream for reading or writing data. As its name implies, RandomAccessFile provides nonsequential access to a file for both reading and writing purposes.

The File class represents a file on the local file system. The class provides methods to identify and retrieve information about a file.

Figure 11.1 shows the class hierarchy for the java.io package. The java.io package defines a number of standard I/O exception classes. These exception classes are all subclasses of IOException, as shown in Figure 11.2.

Figure 11.1: The java.io package

[Graphic: Figure 11-1]

Figure 11.2: The exception classes in the java.io package

[Graphic: Figure 11-2]

BufferedInputStream

Name

BufferedInputStream

Synopsis

Class Name:

java.io.BufferedInputStream

Superclass:

java.io.FilterInputStream

Immediate Subclasses:

None

Interfaces Implemented:

None

Availability:

JDK 1.0 or later

Description

A BufferedInputStream object provides a more efficient way to read just a few bytes at a time from an InputStream. BufferedInputStream object use a buffer to store input from an associated InputStream. In other words, a large number of bytes are read from the underlying stream and stored in an internal buffer. A BufferedInputStream is more efficient than a regular InputStream because reading data from memory is faster than reading it from a disk or a network. All reading is done directly from the internal buffer; the disk or network needs to be accessed only occasionally to fill up the buffer.

You should wrap a BufferedInputStream around any InputStream whose read() operations may be time consuming or costly, such as a FileInputStream.

BufferedInputStream provides a way to mark a position in the stream and subsequently reset the stream to that position, using mark() and reset().

Class Summary

public class java.io.BufferedInputStream extends java.io.FilterInputStream {
  // Variables
  protected byte[] buf;
  protected int count;
  protected int marklimit;
  protected int markpos;
  protected int pos;
  // Constructors
  public BufferedInputStream(InputStream in);
  public BufferedInputStream(InputStream in, int size);
  // Instance Methods
  public synchronized int available();
  public synchronized void mark(int readlimit);
  public boolean markSupported();
  public synchronized int read();
  public synchronized int read(byte[] b, int off, int len);
  public synchronized void reset();
  public synchronized long skip(long n);
}

Variables

buf

protected byte[] buf

Description

The buffer that stores the data from the input stream.

count

protected int count

Description

A placeholder that marks the end of valid data in the buffer.

marklimit

protected int marklimit

Description

The maximum number of bytes that can be read after a call to mark() before a call to reset() fails.

markpos

protected int markpos

Description

The position of the stream when mark() was called. If mark() has not been called, this variable is -1.

pos

protected int pos

Description

The current position in the buffer, or in other words, the index of the next character to be read.

Constructors

BufferedInputStream

public BufferedInputStream(InputStream in)

Parameters

in

The input stream to buffer.

Description

This constructor creates a BufferedInputStream that buffers input from the given InputStream, using a buffer with the default size of 2048 bytes.

public BufferedInputStream(InputStream in, int size)

Parameters

in

The input stream to buffer.

size

The size of buffer to use.

Description

This constructor creates a BufferedInputStream that buffers input from the given InputStream, using a buffer of the given size.

Instance Methods

available

public synchronized int available() throws IOException

Returns

The number of bytes that can be read without blocking.

Throws

IOException

If any kind of I/O error occurs.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.available()

Description

This method returns the number of bytes that can be read without having to wait for more data to become available. The returned value is the sum of the number of bytes remaining in the object's buffer and the number returned as the result of calling the available() method of the underlying InputStream object.

mark

public synchronized void mark(int readlimit)

Parameters

readlimit

The maximum number of bytes that can be read before the saved position becomes invalid.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.mark()

Description

This method causes the BufferedInputStream to remember its current position. A subsequent call to reset() causes the object to return to that saved position, and thus reread a portion of the buffer.

markSupported

public synchronized boolean markSupported()

Returns

The boolean value true.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.markSupported()

Description

This method returns true to indicate that this class supports mark() and reset().

read

public synchronized int read() throws IOException

Returns

The next byte of data or -1 if the end of the stream is encountered.

Throws

IOException

If any kind of I/O error occurs.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.read()

Description

This method returns the next byte from the buffer. If all the bytes in the buffer have been read, the buffer is filled from the underlying InputStream and the next byte is returned. If the buffer does not need to be filled, this method returns immediately. If the buffer needs to be filled, this method blocks until data is available from the underlying InputStream, the end of the stream is reached, or an exception is thrown.

 public synchronized int read(byte b[], int off, int len) throws IOException 

Parameters

b

An array of bytes to be filled from the stream.

off

An offset into the byte array.

len

The number of bytes to read.

Returns

The actual number of bytes read or -1 if the end of the stream is encountered immediately.

Throws

IOException

If any kind of I/O error occurs.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.read(byte[], int, int)

Description

This method copies bytes from the internal buffer into the given array b, starting at index off and continuing for up to len bytes. If there are any bytes in the buffer, this method returns immediately. Otherwise the buffer needs to be filled; this method blocks until the data is available from the underlying InputStream, the end of the stream is reached, or an exception is thrown.

reset

public synchronized void reset() throws IOException

Throws

IOException

If there was no previous call to this BufferedInputStream's mark method, or the saved position has been invalidated.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.reset()

Description

This method sets the position of the BufferedInputStream to a position that was saved by a previous call to mark(). Subsequent bytes read from this BufferedInputStream will begin from the saved position and continue normally.

skip

public synchronized long skip(long n) throws IOException

Parameters

n

The number of bytes to skip.

Returns

The actual number of bytes skipped.

Throws

IOException

If any kind of I/O error occurs.

Overrides

FilterInputStream.skip()

Description

This method skips n bytes of input. If the new position of the stream is still within the data contained in the buffer, the method returns immediately. Otherwise the skip() method of the underlying stream is called. A subsequent call to read() forces the buffer to be filled.

Inherited Methods

Method

Inherited From

Method

Inherited From

clone()

Object

close()

FilterInputStream

equals(Object)

Object

finalize()

Object

getClass()

Object

hashCode()

Object

notify()

Object

notifyAll()

Object

read(byte[])

FilterInputStream

toString()

Object

void wait()

Object

void wait(long)

Object

void wait(long, int)

Object

   

See Also

FilterInputStream, InputStream, IOException


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