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Java I/O by Elliotte Rusty Harold

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Chapter 2. Output Streams

The OutputStream Class

The java.io.OutputStream class declares the three basic methods you need to write bytes of data onto a stream. It also has methods for closing and flushing streams.

public abstract void write(int b) throws IOException
public void write(byte[] data) throws IOException
public void write(byte[] data, int offset, int length) throws IOException
public void flush() throws IOException
public void close() throws IOException

OutputStream is an abstract class. Subclasses provide implementations of the abstract write(int b) method. They may also override the four nonabstract methods. For example, the FileOutputStream class overrides all five methods with native methods that know how to write bytes into files on the host platform. Although OutputStream is abstract, often you only need to know that the object you have is an OutputStream ; the more specific subclass of OutputStream is hidden from you. For example, the getOutputStream() method of java.net.URLConnection has the signature:

public OutputStream getOutputStream() throws IOException

Depending on the type of URL associated with this URLConnection object, the actual class of the output stream that’s returned may be a sun.net.TelnetOutputStream , a sun.net.smtp.SmtpPrintStream , a sun.net.www.http.KeepAliveStream , or something else completely. All you know as a programmer, and all you need to know, is that the object returned is in fact some instance of OutputStream. That’s why the detailed ...

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