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So you want to copy a file quickly and easily, and most important, completely portably. Code it up and try it. In particular, they break up on whitespace. Why a pointer to streambuf and not just a streambuf? Well, the [io]streams hold pointers or references, depending on the implementation to their buffers, not the actual buffers. This allows polymorphic behavior on the chapter of the buffers as well as the streams themselves. The pointer is easily retrieved using the rdbuf member function.
Therefore, the easiest way to copy the file is:. I have seen instances where it is implemented, but the character extraction process removes all the whitespace, leaving you with no blank lines and only "Thequickbrownfox Others don't compile at all. This isn't going to try and be a complete tutorial on reading and writing binary files because "binary" covers a lot of ground , but we will try and clear up a couple of misconceptions and common errors.
There are other things that normal mode does, but that's the most obvious. Because ifstream and ofstream exist for the purpose of formatting , not reading and writing. This may or may not be what you want, see below. Notice how all the problems here are due to the inappropriate use of formatting functions and classes to perform something which requires that formatting not be done?
There are a seemingly infinite number of solutions, and a few are listed here:. This is a Bad Thing, because while the compiler would probably be just fine with it, other humans are going to be confused.
The overloaded bitshift operators have a well-defined meaning formatting , and this breaks it. Well, this is easy to make work, and easy to break, and is pretty equivalent to using:: While not trivial for the beginner, this is the best of all solutions.
How to go about using streambufs is a bit beyond the scope of this document at least for now , but while streambufs go a long way, they still leave a couple of things up to you, the programmer. As an example, byte ordering is completely between you and the operating system, and you have to handle it yourself.
Deriving a streambuf or filebuf class from the standard ones, one that is specific to your data types or an abstraction thereof is probably a good idea, and lots of examples exist in journals and on Usenet. Using the standard filebufs directly either by declaring your own or by using the pointer returned from an fstream's rdbuf is certainly feasible as well.
One area that causes problems is trying to do bit-by-bit operations with filebufs. If you're trying to read or write a few bits at a time, you're going about it the wrong way. Another area of problems is opening text files in binary mode. Generally, binary mode is intended for binary files, and opening text files in binary mode means that you now have to deal with all of those end-of-line and end-of-file problems that we mentioned before. An instructive thread from comp.
The subject heading is "binary iostreams" on both comp. Briefly, the problems of byte ordering and type sizes mean that the unformatted functions like ostream:: Binary Input and Output.