Input and Output

The io module can be imported using import "io" as inout, for any identifier inout of your choice. The object inout will then respond to the following requests.

IoException -> ExceptionKind   // the parent of all IO-specific exceptions
input -> FileStream        // returns stdin
output -> FileStream       // returns stdout
error -> FileStream        // returns stderr
ask (question:String) -> String
// asks `question` interactively, and returns the user's answer

// In the Grace editor, the output and error streams write to the feedback window,
// in black and in red, while reading from the input stream is equivalent to
// ask "Input".  These streams remain open even after executing their close methods.
open (path:String, mode:String) -> FileStream
    // opens path in mode, which is one of the following:
    // "r" - Open file for reading. An exception occurs if the file does not exist.
    // "w" - Open file for writing. The file is created (if it does not exist) or truncated (if it exists).
    // "rw" - Open file for reading and writing. The file is created (if it does not exist)
    //       or truncated (if it exists).
    // "a" - Open file for appending. The file is created if it does not exist.
    //       Appending means that the read–write position is at the end of the file.
system (command:String) -> Boolean
    // executes system command, returns true iff exit status is 0
exists (path:String) -> Boolean
    // returns true iff path exists in the file system

unlink (path:String) -> Done
    // removes path from the file system; raises an exception if it wasn't there

newer (path1:String, path2:String) -> Boolean
    // returns true iff the file at path1 is newer than the file at path2
realpath (path:String) -> String     // returns the absolute path 
listdir (dirPath:String) -> Sequence⟦String⟧
    // returns the names of the files in the directory at `dirPath`
changeDirectory (dirPath:String)
    // changes the current directory to `dirPath`
env -> Dictionary⟦String,String⟧
    // returns a Dictionary mapping names of environment variables to
    // their values
spawn (executable:String, args:Collection⟦String⟧) -> Process
    // creates a new Process `executable` using `args` as its arguments

The type FileStream describes the interface of an opened file. Notice that FileStream conforms to Iterator, so a FileStream can also be treated like an Iterator.

type FileStream = Object & type {
    read -> String
        // returns the whole contents of the underlying file.
        // ignores the position of the read-write pointer, and does not change it.
    size -> Number
        // returns the total number of characters in this stream.
        // This is the size of the string returned by read, not the number of characters remaining.
    hasNext -> Boolean
        // returns true if next will return a character,
        // and false if it will raise an exception.
    next -> String
        // returns the next character from the file.
        // Raises IteratorExhausted if there are are no more characters to be read.
    nextLine -> String
        // returns the next line in the file, up to and including the next
        // newline, or the end of the file.  The newline character itself 
        // is not part of the result.
        // Raises IteratorExhausted if there are no more lines to be read.
    write (s:String) -> Done
        // writes s to the file at the current position of the read-write
        // pointer. Writes will not appear on the file until the FileStream is
        // closed.  As a special case, writes to the output window in the
        // Grace editor will also appear after a newline has been written.
    close -> Done
        // closes the stream.  Output is pushed to its destination, and further
        // writes will raise an exception.  In the Grace editor, the input, 
        // output and error streams remain open even after this method is used
        // to close them.
    seek (n: Number) -> FileStream
        // moves the read position to be just after the nth character, meaning
        // that the next character to be read will be the (n+1)th.
    seekForward (n:Number) -> FileStream
        // moves the read/write position forward by n characters
    seekBackward (n:Number) -> FileStream
        // moved the read/write position backward by n characters
    iterator -> FileStream
        // returns self
    pathname -> String
        // the name of the file underlying this FileStream
    isatty -> Boolean
        // true if this fileStream is interactive
    == (other) -> Boolean
        // true if self and other are the same FileStream object.  Note that
        // it is possible to have several distinct fileStreams on the same
        // underlying file.
    clear -> FileStream
        // makes the contents of this FileStream empty. The read/write position becomes 0

The type Process defines the interface of a process.

type Process = Object & interface {
    wait -> Number
        // wait for me to terminate, and answer my exit status.
        // +ve indicates that I terminated normally.  Other
        // Unix status codes are negated.
    success -> Boolean
        // waits for me to terminate, and returns true if I
        // exited normally (status = 0)
    terminated -> Boolean
        // returns true if I've terminated.
    status -> Number
        // waits for me to terminate, if necessary.  Returns the
        // cached status.