Before I/O operations can take place on a stream, the stream must be opened, and it must be set to be current input or current output. As illustrated in the figure “Categorization of Stream Handling Predicates”, the operations of opening and setting are separate with respect to the stream predicates, and combined in the File Specification Predicates.
open(File, Mode, Stream)attempts to open the file File in the mode specified (read,write or append). If the
open/3request is successful, a stream object, which can be subsequently used for input or output to the given file, is unified with Stream.
read mode is used for input. The
append modes are used for output. The
write option causes
a new file to be created for output. If the file already exists,
it is set to empty and its previous contents are lost. The
append option opens an already-existing file and adds output to
the end of it. The
append option will create the file if it does
not already exist.
Options can be specified by calling
set_input(Stream)makes Stream the current input stream. Subsequent input predicates such as
get_code/1will henceforth use this stream.
set_output(Stream)makes Stream the current output stream. Subsequent output predicates such as
put_code/1will henceforth use this stream.
Opening a stream and making it current are combined in
see(S)makes file S the current input stream. If S is an atom, it is taken to be a file specification, and
see/1, it is made the current input stream;
fileerrorsflag is on (as it is by default),
see/1raises an error exception. Otherwise,
tell(S)makes S the current output stream.
tell/1, it is made the current output stream;
fileerrorsflag is on (which it is by default),
tell/1raises an error exception. Otherwise,
It is important to remember to close streams when you have finished with
close/1 for input files, and
close/1 for output files.
open_null_stream(Stream)opens a text output stream that is not connected to any file and unifies its stream object with Stream. Characters or terms that are sent to this stream are thrown away. This predicate is useful because various pieces of local state are kept for null streams: the predicates
line_position/2can be used on these streams (see ref-iou-sos).