Elixir v1.4.2 IO

Functions handling input/output (IO).

Many functions in this module expect an IO device as an argument. An IO device must be a PID or an atom representing a process. For convenience, Elixir provides :stdio and :stderr as shortcuts to Erlang’s :standard_io and :standard_error.

The majority of the functions expect chardata, i.e. strings or lists of characters and strings. In case another type is given, functions will convert to string via the String.Chars protocol (as shown in typespecs).

The functions starting with bin expect iodata as an argument, i.e. binaries or lists of bytes and binaries.

IO devices

An IO device may be an atom or a PID. In case it is an atom, the atom must be the name of a registered process. In addition, Elixir provides two shortcuts:

  • :stdio - a shortcut for :standard_io, which maps to the current Process.group_leader/0 in Erlang

  • :stderr - a shortcut for the named process :standard_error provided in Erlang

IO devices maintain their position, that means subsequent calls to any reading or writing functions will start from the place when the device was last accessed. Position of files can be changed using the :file.position/2 function.

Summary

Functions

Reads from the IO device. The operation is Unicode unsafe

Converts the IO device into an IO.Stream. The operation is Unicode unsafe

Writes item as a binary to the given device. No Unicode conversion happens. The operation is Unicode unsafe

Converts chardata (a list of integers representing codepoints, lists and strings) into a string

Gets a number of bytes from IO device :stdio

Gets a number of bytes from the IO device

Reads a line from the IO device

Inspects and writes the given item to the device

Inspects item according to the given options using the IO device

Returns the size of an iodata

Converts iodata (a list of integers representing bytes, lists and binaries) into a binary. The operation is Unicode unsafe

Writes item to the given device, similar to write/2, but adds a newline at the end

Reads from the IO device

Converts the IO device into an IO.Stream

Writes a message to stderr, along with the current stacktrace

Writes a message to stderr, along with the given stacktrace

Writes item to the given device

Types

chardata()
chardata() :: :unicode.chardata
device()
device() :: atom | pid
nodata()
nodata() :: {:error, term} | :eof

Functions

binread(device \\ :stdio, line_or_chars)
binread(device, :all | :line | non_neg_integer) ::
  iodata |
  nodata

Reads from the IO device. The operation is Unicode unsafe.

The device is iterated by the given number of bytes or line by line if :line is given. Alternatively, if :all is given, then whole device is returned.

It returns:

  • data - the output bytes

  • :eof - end of file was encountered

  • {:error, reason} - other (rare) error condition; for instance, {:error, :estale} if reading from an NFS volume

If :all is given, :eof is never returned, but an empty string in case the device has reached EOF.

Note: do not use this function on IO devices in Unicode mode as it will return the wrong result.

binstream(device, line_or_bytes)
binstream(device, :line | pos_integer) :: Enumerable.t

Converts the IO device into an IO.Stream. The operation is Unicode unsafe.

An IO.Stream implements both Enumerable and Collectable, allowing it to be used for both read and write.

The device is iterated by the given number of bytes or line by line if :line is given. This reads from the IO device as a raw binary.

Note that an IO stream has side effects and every time you go over the stream you may get different results.

Finally, do not use this function on IO devices in Unicode mode as it will return the wrong result.

binwrite(device \\ :stdio, item)
binwrite(device, iodata) :: :ok | {:error, term}

Writes item as a binary to the given device. No Unicode conversion happens. The operation is Unicode unsafe.

Check write/2 for more information.

Note: do not use this function on IO devices in Unicode mode as it will return the wrong result.

chardata_to_string(string)
chardata_to_string(chardata) :: String.t | no_return

Converts chardata (a list of integers representing codepoints, lists and strings) into a string.

In case the conversion fails, it raises an UnicodeConversionError. If a string is given, it returns the string itself.

Examples

iex> IO.chardata_to_string([0x00E6, 0x00DF])
"æß"

iex> IO.chardata_to_string([0x0061, "bc"])
"abc"

iex> IO.chardata_to_string("string")
"string"
getn(prompt, count \\ 1)

Gets a number of bytes from IO device :stdio.

If :stdio is a Unicode device, count implies the number of Unicode codepoints to be retrieved. Otherwise, count is the number of raw bytes to be retrieved.

See IO.getn/3 for a description of return values.

getn(device, prompt, count)
getn(device, chardata | String.Chars.t, pos_integer) ::
  chardata |
  nodata

Gets a number of bytes from the IO device.

If the IO device is a Unicode device, count implies the number of Unicode codepoints to be retrieved. Otherwise, count is the number of raw bytes to be retrieved.

It returns:

  • data - the input characters

  • :eof - end of file was encountered

  • {:error, reason} - other (rare) error condition; for instance, {:error, :estale} if reading from an NFS volume
gets(device \\ :stdio, prompt)

Reads a line from the IO device.

It returns:

  • data - the characters in the line terminated by a line-feed (LF) or end of file (EOF)

  • :eof - end of file was encountered

  • {:error, reason} - other (rare) error condition; for instance, {:error, :estale} if reading from an NFS volume

Examples

To display “What is your name?” as a prompt and await user input:

IO.gets "What is your name?\n"
inspect(item, opts \\ [])
inspect(item, Keyword.t) :: item when item: var

Inspects and writes the given item to the device.

It’s important to note that it returns the given item unchanged. This makes it possible to “spy” on values by inserting an IO.inspect/2 call almost anywhere in your code, for example, in the middle of a pipeline.

It enables pretty printing by default with width of 80 characters. The width can be changed by explicitly passing the :width option.

The output can be decorated with a label, by providing the :label option to easily distinguish it from other IO.inspect/2 calls. The label will be printed before the inspected item.

See Inspect.Opts for a full list of remaining formatting options.

Examples

IO.inspect <<0, 1, 2>>, width: 40

Prints:

<<0, 1, 2>>

We can use the :label option to decorate the output:

IO.inspect 1..100, label: "a wonderful range"

Prints:

a wonderful range: 1..100

The :label option is especially useful with pipelines:

[1, 2, 3]
|> IO.inspect(label: "before")
|> Enum.map(&(&1 * 2))
|> IO.inspect(label: "after")
|> Enum.sum

Prints:

before: [1, 2, 3]
after: [2, 4, 6]
inspect(device, item, opts)
inspect(device, item, Keyword.t) :: item when item: var

Inspects item according to the given options using the IO device.

See inspect/2 for a full list of options.

iodata_length(item)
iodata_length(iodata) :: non_neg_integer

Returns the size of an iodata.

Inlined by the compiler.

Examples

iex> IO.iodata_length([1, 2 | <<3, 4>>])
4
iodata_to_binary(item)
iodata_to_binary(iodata) :: binary

Converts iodata (a list of integers representing bytes, lists and binaries) into a binary. The operation is Unicode unsafe.

Notice that this function treats lists of integers as raw bytes and does not perform any kind of encoding conversion. If you want to convert from a charlist to a string (UTF-8 encoded), please use chardata_to_string/1 instead.

If this function receives a binary, the same binary is returned.

Inlined by the compiler.

Examples

iex> bin1 = <<1, 2, 3>>
iex> bin2 = <<4, 5>>
iex> bin3 = <<6>>
iex> IO.iodata_to_binary([bin1, 1, [2, 3, bin2], 4 | bin3])
<<1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 6>>

iex> bin = <<1, 2, 3>>
iex> IO.iodata_to_binary(bin)
<<1, 2, 3>>
puts(device \\ :stdio, item)
puts(device, chardata | String.Chars.t) :: :ok

Writes item to the given device, similar to write/2, but adds a newline at the end.

read(device \\ :stdio, line_or_chars)
read(device, :all | :line | non_neg_integer) ::
  chardata |
  nodata

Reads from the IO device.

The device is iterated by the given number of characters or line by line if :line is given. Alternatively, if :all is given, then whole device is returned.

It returns:

  • data - the output characters

  • :eof - end of file was encountered

  • {:error, reason} - other (rare) error condition; for instance, {:error, :estale} if reading from an NFS volume

If :all is given, :eof is never returned, but an empty string in case the device has reached EOF.

stream(device, line_or_codepoints)
stream(device, :line | pos_integer) :: Enumerable.t

Converts the IO device into an IO.Stream.

An IO.Stream implements both Enumerable and Collectable, allowing it to be used for both read and write.

The device is iterated by the given number of characters or line by line if :line is given.

This reads from the IO as UTF-8. Check out IO.binstream/2 to handle the IO as a raw binary.

Note that an IO stream has side effects and every time you go over the stream you may get different results.

Examples

Here is an example on how we mimic an echo server from the command line:

Enum.each IO.stream(:stdio, :line), &IO.write(&1)
warn(message)
warn(chardata | String.Chars.t) :: :ok

Writes a message to stderr, along with the current stacktrace.

It returns :ok if it succeeds.

Examples

IO.warn "variable bar is unused"
#=> warning: variable bar is unused
#=>   (iex) evaluator.ex:108: IEx.Evaluator.eval/4
warn(message, stacktrace)

Writes a message to stderr, along with the given stacktrace.

This function also notifies the compiler a warning was printed (in case —warnings-as-errors was enabled). It returns :ok if it succeeds.

An empty list can be passed to avoid stacktrace printing.

Examples

stacktrace = [{MyApp, :main, 1, [file: 'my_app.ex', line: 4]}]
IO.warn "variable bar is unused", stacktrace
#=> warning: variable bar is unused
#=>   my_app.ex:4: MyApp.main/1
write(device \\ :stdio, item)
write(device, chardata | String.Chars.t) :: :ok

Writes item to the given device.

By default the device is the standard output. It returns :ok if it succeeds.

Examples

IO.write "sample"
#=> sample

IO.write :stderr, "error"
#=> error