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Java Fundamental Classes Reference

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File

Name

File

Synopsis

Class Name:

java.io.File

Superclass:

java.lang.Object

Immediate Subclasses:

None

Interfaces Implemented:

None

Availability:

JDK 1.0 or later

Description

The File class provides methods to obtain information about files and directories. A File object encapsulates the name of a file or a directory. A File object can list the files in a directory, check the existence and type of a file, create new directories, and rename and delete files, among other things. However, the File class does not handle I/O to files. Actual reading and writing is accomplished using RandomAccessFile, FileReader, FileWriter, FileInputStream, and FileOutputStream objects.

The File class also defines some constants for the platform-specific directory and path separator characters. If you want to avoid putting system-dependent path information in your program, you may want to reference all files relative to the directory in which your program is running (i.e., the current directory). Alternatively, you can use java.awt.FileDialog to prompt the user for system-dependent paths.

Many of the methods in File throw a SecurityException if the application does not have sufficient privileges for the requested operation. This happens in two steps. First, System.getSecurityManager() is called. If a SecurityManager has been installed, it is queried for the appropriate permission. For example, File.canRead() calls SecurityManager.canRead(). If the application does not have permission to read the specified file, the SecurityManager throws a SecurityException, which in turn is thrown by File.canRead().

Class Summary

public class java.io.File extends java.lang.Object
                          implements java.io.Serializable {
  // Constants
  public final static String pathSeparator;
  public final static char pathSeparatorChar;
  public final static String separator;
  public final static char separatorChar;
  // Constructors
  public File(String path);
  public File(String path, String name);
  public File(File dir, String name);
  // Instance Methods
  public boolean canRead();
  public boolean canWrite();
  public boolean delete();
  public boolean equals(Object obj);
  public boolean exists();
  public String getAbsolutePath();
  public String getCanonicalPath();              // New in 1.1
  public String getName();
  public String getParent();
  public String getPath();
  public int hashCode();
  public native boolean isAbsolute();
  public boolean isDirectory();
  public boolean isFile();
  public long lastModified();
  public long length();
  public String[] list();
  public String[] list(FilenameFilter filter);
  public boolean mkdir();
  public boolean mkdirs();
  public boolean renameTo(File dest);
  public String toString();
}

Constants

pathSeparator

public final static String pathSeparator

Description

This string holds the value of System.getProperty('path.separator'). It contains the character that separates paths in a path list. Usually it is ":" or ";".

pathSeparatorChar

public final static char pathSeparatorChar

Description

This variable holds the first (and only) character in pathSeparator.

separator

public final static String separator

Description

This string holds the value of System.getProperty('file.separator'). It contains the character that separates directory and filenames in a path string. Usually it is "/" or "\".

separatorChar

public final static char separatorChar

Description

This variable holds the first (and only) character in separator.

Constructors

File

public File(String path)

Parameters

path

A full pathname (i.e., a directory and filename).

Description

This constructor creates a File object that represents the file specified by path.

public File(String path, String name)

Parameters

path

A directory path.

name

A filename.

Description

This constructor creates a File object that represents the file with the specified name in the directory described by path. In other words, the full pathname is the directory, followed by the separator character, followed by the filename.

If path is null, the constructor creates a File that represents the file with the specified name in the current directory. The current directory is the directory in which the program is running.

public File(File dir, String name)

Parameters

dir

A File object that represents a directory.

name

A filename.

Description

This constructor creates a File object that represents the file with the specified name in the directory described by the File object dir. In other words, the full pathname is the directory represented by dir, followed by the separator character, followed by the filename.

If dir is null, the constructor creates a File that represents the file with the specified name in the current directory. The current directory is the directory in which the program is running.

Instance Methods

canRead

public boolean canRead()

Returns

A boolean value that indicates if the file is readable.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns true if File corresponds to an existing, readable file or directory. Otherwise it returns false.

canWrite

public boolean canWrite()

Returns

A boolean value that indicates if the file is writable.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to write to the File.

Description

This method returns true if File corresponds to an existing, writable file or directory. Otherwise it returns false.

delete

public boolean delete()

Returns

true if the file is deleted; otherwise false.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to delete the file.

Description

This method attempts to delete the file or directory associated with this File object. A directory is only deleted if it is empty.

equals

public boolean equals(Object obj)

Parameters

obj

The Object to be compared.

Returns

true if the objects are equal; false if they are not.

Overrides

Object.equals()

Description

This method returns true if obj is an instance of File that encapsulates the same pathname as this object.

exists

public boolean exists()

Returns

true if the file or directory exists; false otherwise.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns true if this File corresponds to an existing file or directory.

getAbsolutePath

public String getAbsolutePath()

Returns

A String that contains the absolute pathname.

Description

This method returns the absolute pathname of the file or directory associated with this File.

getCanonicalPath

public String getCanonicalPath() throws IOException

Availability

New as of JDK 1.1

Returns

A String that contains the canonical, or exact, pathname.

Throws

IOException

If any kind of I/O error occurs.

Description

This method returns the canonical pathname of the file or directory associated with this File.

getName

public String getName()

Returns

A String that contains the filename.

Description

This method returns the filename associated with this File. The string returned does not include the name of the directory.

getParent

public String getParent()

Returns

A String that contains the parent directory of the file, or null if it does not exist.

Description

This method returns the name of the parent directory of the file or directory associated with this File. The algorithm used returns everything in the pathname before the last separator character.

getPath

public String getPath()

Returns

A String that contains the pathname of the file.

Description

This method returns the full pathname associated with this File.

hashCode

public int hashCode()

Returns

A hashcode value for this file.

Overrides

Object.hashCode()

Description

This method returns a hashcode based on the pathname associated with this File.

isAbsolute

public native boolean isAbsolute()

Returns

true if the File represents an absolute path; false otherwise.

Description

This method indicates if the File represents an absolute path; what constitutes an absolute path is system-dependent.

isDirectory

public boolean isDirectory()

Returns

true if the File represents a directory; false otherwise.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns true if this File corresponds to a directory.

isFile

public boolean isFile()

Returns

true if the File represents a normal file; false otherwise.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns true if this File corresponds to a normal file, as opposed to an alternative, such as a directory, a named pipe, or a device.

lastModified

public long lastModified()

Returns

The time the file was last modified, or 0L if the file does not exist.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns the modification time of the file or directory that corresponds to this File. The format of the time returned is useful for comparing modification times; it's not meant to be used for other purposes.

length

public long length()

Returns

The file length, in bytes, or 0L if the file does not exist.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns the length of the file or directory that corresponds to this File.

list

public String[] list()

Returns

An array of the names of the files and directories contained by this File, or null if this File is not a directory.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns the contents of a directory. The current directory and the parent directory are not included in the list.

public String[] list(FilenameFilter filter)

Parameters

filter

A filter to use.

Returns

An array of the names of the files and directories contained by this File and filtered by filter, or null if this File is not a directory.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to read the File.

Description

This method returns of the contents of a directory as selected by the given FilenameFilter object. Specifically, a name is included if the FilenameFilter object's accept() method returns true for that name.

If filter is null, this method is equivalent to, but slower than, list().

mkdir

public boolean mkdir()

Returns

true if the directory is created; false otherwise.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to write to the File.

Description

This method creates a directory with the pathname specified by this File.

mkdirs

public boolean mkdirs()

Returns

true if the directory is created; false otherwise.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to write to the File.

Description

This method creates a directory with the pathname specified by this File. The method also creates all the parent directories if necessary.

renameTo

public boolean renameTo(File dest)

Parameters

dest

A File that specifies the new name.

Returns

true if the name is changed; false otherwise.

Throws

SecurityException

If the application does not have permission to write to this File or the file represented by dest.

Description

This method changes the pathname of this File to the pathname specified by dest.

toString

public String toString()

Returns

A String that contains the pathname of this File.

Overrides

Object.toString()

Description

This method returns a string representation of this File object.

Inherited Methods

Method

Inherited From

Method

Inherited From

clone()

Object

finalize()

Object

getClass()

Object

notify()

Object

notifyAll()

Object

wait()

Object

wait(long)

Object

wait(long, int)

Object

See Also

FileInputStream, FilenameFilter, FileOutputStream, FileReader, FileWriter, IOException, SecurityException


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