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NSFileHandle class reference

Authors

Richard Frith-Macdonald (richard@brainstorm.co.uk)

Version: 35847

Date: 2012-12-05 10:13:10 +0000 (Wed, 05 Dec 2012)

Copyright: (C) 1997 Free Software Foundation, Inc.


Contents -

  1. Software documentation for the NSFileHandle class
  2. Software documentation for the NSPipe class
  3. Software documentation for the NSFileHandle(GNUstepExtensions) category
  4. Software documentation for the NSFileHandle(GNUstepTLS) category

Software documentation for the NSFileHandle class

NSFileHandle : NSObject

Declared in:
Foundation/NSFileHandle.h
Availability: OpenStep

NSFileHandle is a class that provides a wrapper for accessing system files and socket connections. You can open connections to a file using class methods such as +fileHandleForReadingAtPath: .

GNUstep extends the use of this class to allow you to create network connections (sockets), secure connections and also allows you to use compression with these files and connections (as long as GNUstep Base was compiled with the zlib library).

Method summary

fileHandleForReadingAtPath: 

+ (id) fileHandleForReadingAtPath: (NSString*)path;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns an NSFileHandle object set up for reading from the file listed at path. If the file does not exist or cannot be opened for some other reason, nil is returned.

fileHandleForUpdatingAtPath: 

+ (id) fileHandleForUpdatingAtPath: (NSString*)path;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns an NSFileHandle object setup for updating (reading and writing) from the file listed at path. If the file does not exist or cannot be opened for some other reason, nil is returned.

fileHandleForWritingAtPath: 

+ (id) fileHandleForWritingAtPath: (NSString*)path;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns an NSFileHandle object set up for writing to the file listed at path. If the file does not exist or cannot be opened for some other reason, nil is returned.

fileHandleWithNullDevice 

+ (id) fileHandleWithNullDevice;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns a file handle object that is connected to the null device (i.e. a device that does nothing.) It is typically used in arrays and other collections of file handle objects as a place holder (null) object, so that all objects can respond to the same messages.

fileHandleWithStandardError 

+ (id) fileHandleWithStandardError;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns an NSFileHandle object for the standard error descriptor. The returned object is a shared instance as there can only be one standard error per process.

fileHandleWithStandardInput 

+ (id) fileHandleWithStandardInput;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns an NSFileHandle object for the standard input descriptor. The returned object is a shared instance as there can only be one standard input per process.

fileHandleWithStandardOutput 

+ (id) fileHandleWithStandardOutput;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns an NSFileHandle object for the standard output descriptor. The returned object is a shared instance as there can only be one standard output per process.

acceptConnectionInBackgroundAndNotify 

- (void) acceptConnectionInBackgroundAndNotify;
Availability: OpenStep

Asynchronously accept a stream-type socket connection and act as the (server) end of the communications channel. This instance should have been created by -initWithFileDescriptor: with a stream-type socket created by the appropriate system routine. Posts a NSFileHandleConnectionAcceptedNotification when connection initiated, returning an NSFileHandle for the client side with that notification.

acceptConnectionInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: 

- (void) acceptConnectionInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: OpenStep

Asynchronously accept a stream-type socket connection and act as the (server) end of the communications channel. This instance should have been created by -initWithFileDescriptor: with a stream-type socket created by the appropriate system routine. Posts a NSFileHandleConnectionAcceptedNotification when connection initiated, returning an NSFileHandle for the client side with that notification.

The modes array specifies NSRunLoop modes that the notification can be posted in.


availableData 

- (NSData*) availableData;
Availability: OpenStep

Synchronously returns data available through this file or connection. If the handle represents a file, the entire contents from current file pointer to end are returned. If this is a network connection, reads what is available, blocking if nothing is available. Raises NSFileHandleOperationException if problem encountered.

closeFile 

- (void) closeFile;
Availability: OpenStep

Disallows further reading from read-access files or connections, and sends EOF on write-access files or connections. Descriptor is only deleted when this instance is deallocated.

fileDescriptor 

- (int) fileDescriptor;
Availability: OpenStep

Return the underlying file descriptor for this instance.

initWithFileDescriptor: 

- (id) initWithFileDescriptor: (int)desc;
Availability: OpenStep

Initialize with desc, which can point to either a regular file or socket connection.

initWithFileDescriptor: closeOnDealloc: 

- (id) initWithFileDescriptor: (int)desc closeOnDealloc: (BOOL)flag;
Availability: OpenStep

Initialize with desc, which can point to either a regular file or socket connection. Close desc when this instance is deallocated if flag is YES.

initWithNativeHandle: 

- (id) initWithNativeHandle: (void*)hdl;
Availability: OpenStep

Windows-Unix compatibility support.

initWithNativeHandle: closeOnDealloc: 

- (id) initWithNativeHandle: (void*)hdl closeOnDealloc: (BOOL)flag;
Availability: OpenStep

This is a designated initialiser for the class.
Windows-Unix compatibility support.

nativeHandle 

- (void*) nativeHandle;
Availability: OpenStep

Windows-Unix compatibility support.

offsetInFile 

- (unsigned long long) offsetInFile;
Availability: OpenStep

Return current position in file, or raises exception if instance does not represent a regular file.

readDataOfLength: 

- (NSData*) readDataOfLength: (unsigned int)len;
Availability: OpenStep

Reads up to len bytes from file or communications channel into return data.

readDataToEndOfFile 

- (NSData*) readDataToEndOfFile;
Availability: OpenStep

Reads up to maximum unsigned int bytes from file or communications channel into return data.
If the file is empty, returns an empty data item.

readInBackgroundAndNotify 

- (void) readInBackgroundAndNotify;
Availability: OpenStep


readInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: 

- (void) readInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: OpenStep

Set up an asynchronous read operation which will cause a notification to be sent when any amount of data (or end of file) is read. Note that the file handle will not continuously send notifications when data is available. If you want to continue to receive notifications, you need to send this message again after receiving a notification.

readToEndOfFileInBackgroundAndNotify 

- (void) readToEndOfFileInBackgroundAndNotify;
Availability: OpenStep


readToEndOfFileInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: 

- (void) readToEndOfFileInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: OpenStep

Set up an asynchronous read operation which will cause a notification to be sent when end of file is read.

seekToEndOfFile 

- (unsigned long long) seekToEndOfFile;
Availability: OpenStep

Position file pointer at end of file, raising exception if instance does not represent a regular file.

seekToFileOffset: 

- (void) seekToFileOffset: (unsigned long long)pos;
Availability: OpenStep

Position file pointer at pos, raising exception if instance does not represent a regular file.

synchronizeFile 

- (void) synchronizeFile;
Availability: OpenStep

Flush in-memory buffer to file or connection, then return.

truncateFileAtOffset: 

- (void) truncateFileAtOffset: (unsigned long long)pos;
Availability: OpenStep

Chops file beyond pos then sets file pointer to that point.

waitForDataInBackgroundAndNotify 

- (void) waitForDataInBackgroundAndNotify;
Availability: OpenStep


waitForDataInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: 

- (void) waitForDataInBackgroundAndNotifyForModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: OpenStep

Set up to provide a notification when data can be read from the handle.

writeData: 

- (void) writeData: (NSData*)item;
Availability: OpenStep

Synchronously writes given data item to file or connection.

Software documentation for the NSPipe class

NSPipe : NSObject

Declared in:
Foundation/NSFileHandle.h
Availability: OpenStep

The NSPipe provides an encapsulation of the UNIX concept of pipe.
With NSPipe, it is possible to redirect the standard input or standard output.

The file handles created by NSPipe are automatically closed when they are no longer in use (ie when the NSPipe instance is deallocated), so you don't need to close them explicitly.

Method summary

pipe 

+ (id) pipe;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns a newly allocated and initialized NSPipe object that has been sent an autorelease message.

fileHandleForReading 

- (NSFileHandle*) fileHandleForReading;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns the file handle for reading from the pipe.

fileHandleForWriting 

- (NSFileHandle*) fileHandleForWriting;
Availability: OpenStep

Returns the file handle for writing to the pipe.

Software documentation for the NSFileHandle(GNUstepExtensions) category

NSFileHandle(GNUstepExtensions)

Declared in:
Foundation/NSFileHandle.h
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

A set of convenience methods for utilizing the socket communications capabilities of the NSFileHandle class.
Method summary

fileHandleAsClientAtAddress: service: protocol: 

+ (id) fileHandleAsClientAtAddress: (NSString*)address service: (NSString*)service protocol: (NSString*)protocol;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Opens an outgoing network connection by initiating an asynchronous connection (see +fileHandleAsClientInBackgroundAtAddress:service:protocol:forModes: ) and waiting for it to succeed, fail, or time out.

fileHandleAsClientInBackgroundAtAddress: service: protocol: 

+ (id) fileHandleAsClientInBackgroundAtAddress: (NSString*)address service: (NSString*)service protocol: (NSString*)protocol;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Opens an outgoing network connection asynchronously using [+fileHandleAsClientInBackgroundAtAddress:service:protocol:forModes:]

fileHandleAsClientInBackgroundAtAddress: service: protocol: forModes: 

+ (id) fileHandleAsClientInBackgroundAtAddress: (NSString*)address service: (NSString*)service protocol: (NSString*)protocol forModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Opens an outgoing network connection asynchronously.

  • The address is the name (or IP dotted quad) of the machine to which the connection should be made.
  • The service is the name (or number) of the port to which the connection should be made.
  • The protocol is provided so support different network protocols, but at present only 'tcp' is supported. However, a protocol specification of the form 'socks-...' can be used to control socks5 support.
    If '...' is empty (ie the string is just 'socks-' then the connection is not made via a socks server.
    Otherwise, the text '...' must be the name of the host on which the socks5 server is running, with an optional port number separated from the host name by a colon.
    Alternatively a prefix of the form 'bind-' followed by an IP address may be used (for non-socks connections) to ensure that the connection is made from the specified address.
  • If modes is nil or empty, uses NSDefaultRunLoopMode.

This method supports connection through a firewall via socks5. The socks5 connection may be controlled via the protocol argument, but if no socks information is supplied here, the GSSOCKS user default will be used, and failing that, the SOCKS5_SERVER or SOCKS_SERVER environment variables will be used to set the socks server. If none of these mechanisms specify a socks server, the connection will be made directly rather than through socks.


fileHandleAsServerAtAddress: service: protocol: 

+ (id) fileHandleAsServerAtAddress: (NSString*)address service: (NSString*)service protocol: (NSString*)protocol;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Opens a network server socket and listens for incoming connections using the specified service and protocol.
  • The service is the name (or number) of the port to which the connection should be made.
  • The protocol may at present only be 'tcp'

readDataInBackgroundAndNotifyLength: 

- (void) readDataInBackgroundAndNotifyLength: (unsigned)len;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X


readDataInBackgroundAndNotifyLength: forModes: 

- (void) readDataInBackgroundAndNotifyLength: (unsigned)len forModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Set up an asynchronous read operation which will cause a notification to be sent when the specified amount of data (or end of file) is read.

readInProgress 

- (BOOL) readInProgress;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns a boolean to indicate whether a read operation of any kind is in progress on the handle.

socketAddress 

- (NSString*) socketAddress;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns the host address of the network connection represented by the file handle. If this handle is an incoming connection which was received by a local server handle, this is the name or address of the client machine.

socketLocalAddress 

- (NSString*) socketLocalAddress;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns the local address of the network connection or nil.

socketLocalService 

- (NSString*) socketLocalService;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns the local service/port of the network connection or nil.

socketProtocol 

- (NSString*) socketProtocol;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns the name of the protocol in use for the network connection represented by the file handle.

socketService 

- (NSString*) socketService;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns the name (or number) of the service (network port) in use for the network connection represented by the file handle.

useCompression 

- (BOOL) useCompression;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Return a flag to indicate whether compression has been turned on for the file handle... this is only available on systems where GNUstep was built with 'zlib' support for compressing/decompressing data.

On systems which support it, this method may be called after a file handle has been initialised to turn on compression or decompression of the data being written/read.

Returns YES on success, NO on failure.
Reasons for failure are -

  • Not supported/built in to GNUstep
  • File handle has been closed
  • File handle is open for both read and write
  • Failure in compression/decompression library

writeInBackgroundAndNotify: 

- (void) writeInBackgroundAndNotify: (NSData*)item;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X


writeInBackgroundAndNotify: forModes: 

- (void) writeInBackgroundAndNotify: (NSData*)item forModes: (NSArray*)modes;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Write the specified data asynchronously, and notify on completion.

writeInProgress 

- (BOOL) writeInProgress;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns a boolean to indicate whether a write operation of any kind is in progress on the handle. An outgoing network connection attempt (as a client) is considered to be a write operation.

Software documentation for the NSFileHandle(GNUstepTLS) category

NSFileHandle(GNUstepTLS)

Declared in:
Foundation/NSFileHandle.h
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Where OpenSSL is available, you can use the subclass returned by +sslClass to handle SSL connections.
The -sslAccept method is used to do SSL handshake and start an encrypted session on a channel where the connection was initiated from the far end.
The -sslConnect method is used to do SSL handshake and start an encrypted session on a channel where the connection was initiated from the near end.
The -sslDisconnect method is used to end the encrypted session. The -sslSetCertificate:privateKey:PEMpasswd: method is used to establish a client certificate before starting an encrypted session.
NB. Some of these methods may block while performing I/O on the network connection, (though they should run the current runloop while doing so) so you should structure your code to handle that. In particular, if you are writing a server application, you should initiate a background accept to allow another incoming connection before you perform an -sslAccept on a connection you have just accepted.
Method summary

sslClass 

+ (Class) sslClass;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Returns the class to handle ssl enabled connections.
returns the concrete class used to implement SSL/TLS connections.

sslAccept 

- (BOOL) sslAccept;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Repeatedly attempt an incoming handshake for up to 30 seconds or until the handshake completes.

sslConnect 

- (BOOL) sslConnect;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Repeatedly attempt an outgoing handshake for up to 30 seconds or until the handshake completes.

sslDisconnect 

- (void) sslDisconnect;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

An empty method provided for subclasses to override.
Shuts down the SSL connection to the system that the handle is talking to.

sslHandshakeEstablished: outgoing: 

- (BOOL) sslHandshakeEstablished: (BOOL*)result outgoing: (BOOL)isOutgoing;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

An empty method provided for subclasses to override.
Make a non-blocking handshake attempt. Calls to this method should be repeated until the method returns YES indicating that the handshake completed. If the method returns YES indicating completion of the handshake, the result indicates whether the handshake succeeded in establishing a connection or not.
The default implementation simply returns YES and sets result to NO.
This is implemented by an SSL handling subclass to perform real work.

sslSetCertificate: privateKey: PEMpasswd: 

- (void) sslSetCertificate: (NSString*)certFile privateKey: (NSString*)privateKey PEMpasswd: (NSString*)PEMpasswd;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

Deprecated... use -sslSetOptions: instead

sslSetOptions: 

- (NSString*) sslSetOptions: (NSDictionary*)options;
Availability: Not in OpenStep/MacOS-X

An empty method provided for subclasses to override.
Sets options to be used to configure this channel before the handshake.
Returns nil on success, or an error message if some options could not be set.
Expects key value pairs with the follwiing names/meanings:
GSTLSCAFile
A string identifying the full path to the file containing any trusted certificate authorities to be used when verifying a certificate presented by the remote end of a connection.
GSTLSCertificateFile
The path to a PEM encoded certificate used to identify this end of the connection. This option must be set for handing an incoming connection, but is optional for outgoing connections.
This must be used in conjunction with GSTLSCertificateKeyFile.
GSTLSCertificateKeyFile
The path to a PEM encoded key used to unlock the certificate file for the connection. The key in the file may or may not be encrypted, but if it is encrypted you must specify GSTLSCertificateKeyPassword.
GSTLSCertificateKeyPassword
A string to be used as the password to decrypt a key which was specified using GSTLSKeyPassword.
GSTLSDebug
A boolean specifying whether diagnostic debug is to be enabled to log information about a connection where the handshake fails.
GSTLSPriority
A GNUTLS priority string describing the ciphers etc which may be used for the connection. In addition the string may be one of SSLv3, or TLSv1 to use the appropriate general settings for negotiating a connection of the specified type.
GSTLSRemoteHosts
A comma delimited list of host names to be allowed when verifying the certificate of the host we are connecting to.
If this is not specified, all the names provided by NSHost are used.
GSTLSRevokeFile
The full path of a file containing certificate revocation information for certificates issued by our trusted authorites but no longer valid.
GSTLSVerify
A boolean specifying whether we should require the remote end to supply a valid certificate in order to establish an encrypted connection.


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