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Had trouble finding a definition on the Internet, finally found some good stuff on pages 298 - 300 of "Teach Yourself C Programming in 21 Days""

A stream is a sequence of characters. More exactly, it is a sequence of bytes of data. A sequence of bytes flowing into a program is an input stream; a sequence of bytes flowing out of a program is an output stream. The major advantage of streams is that input/output programming is device independent. ...

Every C stream is connected to a file. In this context, the term file does not refer to a disk file. Rather it is an intermediate step between the stream that your program deals with and the actual physical device being used for input or output. ...

C streams fall into two modes: text and binary. ... Text streams are organized into lines, which can be up to 255 characters long and are terminated by an end-of-line, or newline, character.

Linux has five standard streams:

  • stdin
  • stdout
  • stderr
  • stdprn (dos only)
  • stdaux (dos only)

The book is useful, because it goes on to list the standard library's stream input/output functions, and the versions that use a standard stream vs. those that require a stream name.

I suspect I have a clue as to what a filestream and a datastream are, but I'm not 100% sure.





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  • () RandyKramer - 02 May 2003
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