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Ruby Programming
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Iterators for Reading

As well as using the usual loops to read data from an IO stream, you can also use various Ruby iterators. IO#each_byte invokes a block with the next 8-bit byte from the IO object (in this case, an object of type File).

aFile = File.new("testfile")
aFile.each_byte {|ch| putc ch; putc ?. }
produces:
T.h.i.s. .i.s. .l.i.n.e. .o.n.e.
.T.h.i.s. .i.s. .l.i.n.e. .t.w.o.
.T.h.i.s. .i.s. .l.i.n.e. .t.h.r.e.e.
.A.n.d. .s.o. .o.n.......
.

IO#each_line calls the block with the next line from the file. In the next example, we'll make the original newlines visible using String#dump , so you can see that we're not cheating.

aFile.each_line {|line| puts "Got #{line.dump}" }
produces:
Got "This is line one\n"
Got "This is line two\n"
Got "This is line three\n"
Got "And so on...\n"

You can pass each_line any sequence of characters as a line separator, and it will break up the input accordingly, returning the line ending at the end of each line of data. That's why you see the ``\n'' characters in the output of the previous example. In the next example, we'll use ``e'' as the line separator.

aFile.each_line("e") do |line|
  puts "Got #{ line.dump }"
end
produces:
Got "This is line"
Got " one"
Got "\nThis is line"
Got " two\nThis is line"
Got " thre"
Got "e"
Got "\nAnd so on...\n"

If you combine the idea of an iterator with the auto-closing block feature, you get IO.foreach . This method takes the name of an I/O source, opens it for reading, calls the iterator once for every line in the file, and then closes the file automatically.

IO.foreach("testfile") { |line| puts line }
produces:
This is line one
This is line two
This is line three
And so on...

Or, if you prefer, you can retrieve an entire file into an array of lines:

arr = IO.readlines("testfile")
arr.length 4
arr[0] "This is line one\n"

Don't forget that I/O is never certain in an uncertain world---exceptions will be raised on most errors, and you should be ready to catch them and take appropriate action.
Ruby Programming
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