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Class IO is the basis for all input and output in Ruby. An I/O stream may be duplexed (that is, bidirectional), and so may use more than one native operating system stream.

Many of the examples in this section use class File, the only standard subclass of IO. The two classes are closely associated.

As used in this section, portname may take any of the following forms.

  • A plain string represents a filename suitable for the underlying operating system.

  • A string starting with “|” indicates a subprocess. The remainder of the string following the “|” is invoked as a process with appropriate input/output channels connected to it.

  • A string equal to “|-” will create another Ruby instance as a subprocess.

Ruby will convert pathnames between different operating system conventions if possible. For instance, on a Windows system the filename “/gumby/ruby/test.rb” will be opened as “gumbyrubytest.rb”. When specifying a Windows-style filename in a Ruby string, remember to escape the backslashes:

"c:\\gumby\\ruby\\test.rb"

Our examples here will use the Unix-style forward slashes; File::SEPARATOR can be used to get the platform-specific separator character.

I/O ports may be opened in any one of several different modes, which are shown in this section as mode. The mode may either be a Fixnum or a String. If numeric, it should be one of the operating system specific constants (O_RDONLY, O_WRONLY, O_RDWR, O_APPEND and so on). See man open(2) for more information.

If the mode is given as a String, it must be one of the values listed in the following table.

Mode |  Meaning
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
"r"  |  Read-only, starts at beginning of file  (default mode).
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
"r+" |  Read-write, starts at beginning of file.
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
"w"  |  Write-only, truncates existing file 
     |  to zero length or creates a new file for writing.
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
"w+" |  Read-write, truncates existing file to zero length
     |  or creates a new file for reading and writing.
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
"a"  |  Write-only, starts at end of file if file exists,
     |  otherwise creates a new file for writing.
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
"a+" |  Read-write, starts at end of file if file exists,
     |  otherwise creates a new file for reading and 
     |  writing.
-----+--------------------------------------------------------
 "b" |  (DOS/Windows only) Binary file mode (may appear with 
     |  any of the key letters listed above).

The global constant ARGF (also accessible as $<) provides an IO-like stream which allows access to all files mentioned on the command line (or STDIN if no files are mentioned). ARGF provides the methods #path and #filename to access the name of the file currently being read.

Constants

SEEK_END = INT2FIX(SEEK_END)

SEEK_CUR = INT2FIX(SEEK_CUR)

SEEK_SET = INT2FIX(SEEK_SET)

Attributes

Show files where this class is defined (3 files)
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