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20.1.2 File Operations on Open and Closed Streams

Many functions that perform file operations accept either open or closed streams as arguments; see Section 21.1.3 (Stream Arguments to Standardized Functions).

Of these, the functions in the next figure treat open and closed streams differently.

delete-file  file-author      probe-file  
directory    file-write-date  truename    

Figure 20-2. File Functions that Treat Open and Closed Streams Differently

Since treatment of open streams by the file system may vary considerably between implementations, however, a closed stream might be the most reliable kind of argument for some of these functions---in particular, those in the next figure. For example, in some file systems, open files are written under temporary names and not renamed until closed and/or are held invisible until closed. In general, any code that is intended to be portable should use such functions carefully.

directory  probe-file  truename  

Figure 20-3. File Functions where Closed Streams Might Work Best

The following X3J13 cleanup issue, not part of the specification, applies to this section:

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