ecl_streams Documentation


These are lightweight text streaming classes that connect to standardised ecl type devices.


Streams provide a standardised c++ interface for connecting to ecl input-output devices.


Finding a library with a standard/extensible interface that works across devices and implements streaming operators is like trying to find the pot at the bottom of the rainbow.


Include the following at the top of any translation unit which requires this library:

        #include <ecl/streams.hpp>

        // Templatised all purpose stream
        using ecl::TextStream;

        // Convenience stream handles
        using ecl::IConsoleStream;
        using ecl::OConsoleStream;
        using ecl::EConsoleStream;
        using ecl::OFileStream;
        using ecl::SerialStream;
        using ecl::SharedFileStream;
        using ecl::SocketClientStream;
        using ecl::SocketServerStream;
        using ecl::StringStream;

        // Special customised streams
        using ecl::LogStream;

        // Stream manipulators
        using ecl::endl;
        using ecl::clrscr;

You will also need to link to -lecl_streams.



Each stream-device pair can be instantiated via the generic TextStream object and the underlying device opened via the device() member method. For example,

                TextStream<OFile> stream;

The console device is a special case - it is automatically opened.

Convenience Classes

The preferred method of instantiation is via the constructor in the convenience classes. The convenience classes are specialised interfaces that inherit from the appropriate Textstream type (dependant on the template parameter). Examples, SerialStream, OFileStream. Rather than calling stream.device().open(...) directly, you can use their constructors to instantiate the stream. They are also more convenient than typing out template parameters continuously.

                OFileStream stream("dude.txt",New);

Output Streams

Output streams function similarly to the familiar cout stream. The primary advantage being that they can easily be attached to any standard ecl io device. They can also be used with the ecl_formatter classes.

                OFileStream ostream;
                Format<double> format; format.width(5); format.precision(2);
                double d = 1.0/3.0;
                ostream << format(d);  // This will send 0.33 to the stream.

Input Streams

There are three ways to utilise an input stream:

The first method is similar to the familiar cin, it will take a string and convert it to the requested type.

                IConsoleStream istream;
                double d;
                istream >> d;

The second method is sometimes useful when communicated with raw character devices (e.g. a serial line). In this situation, you must simply make use of the char input operator.

                SerialStream serial_stream;
                char c;
                if ( serial_stream.device().remaining() ) {
                        serial_stream >> c;

The third method has not yet been implemented.

Logging Streams

LogStreams are a convenient, fast means to logging from multiple threads with multiple customisable modes. They can also optionally automatically insert header and timestamp information.

Multiple modes are most conveniently utilsed via customised enums. For example:

                enum LogModes {

Note that this is an advantage over alot of other loggers in that it gives you the freedom to define your own error logging levels. Each mode can then be associated inside the log stream with its own customised header.

                LogStream log_stream("test.log")

This process can be repeated from multiple threads each with its own instance of the log stream attached to the single file. Using the log stream is then done via the macros LOG and FLUSH

                LOG(log_stream, Warning) << "This is a log message from main().\n";

By default this will automatically add header and timestamp information. You can manually disable these if you prefer.

Error Checking

Output streams can generate errors that are not so easily checked compared with handling devices directly. To check for failure, ecl streams use a mechanism similar to that of the standard cout stream.

        ostream << 32.1;
        if ( ) {
                std::cout << ostream.errorStatus().what() << std::endl;


ECL manipulators are defined to enable some similar functionality to c++'s cout manipulators. However they extend the concept to use class instantiations rather than functions. This provides one important advantage over the former, these manipulators can retain state. Given that they're also easy to customise, this opens up many possibilities.

The default manipulators defined in the ecl export a few global instantiations, namely

Using manipulators follows the same pattern as for standard c++ style cout manipulators.

        int main() {
                ecl::OConsoleStream ostream;
                ostream << ecl::clrscr;
                ostream << "Dude" << ecl::endl;

Creating your own Manipulators:

Any manipulator that you wish to define must inherit from this parent class in the following manner:

        include <ecl/streams/manipulators.hpp>

        class MyManipulator : public ecl::Manipulator<MyManipulator> {
                template <typename OutputStream>
                void action (OutputStream& ostream) {
                        // ...


The following results are for streaming/flushing a large number of strings/floats to various devices/streams. It was performed on a 32 bit single core intel processor running linux (kernel 2.6.31) (exact values aren't important, rather the relative differences).

        Writing Char Strings:
           OFile write       : 58806 ns
           SharedFile write  : 47562 ns
           OFile stream      : 61739 ns
           LogStream         : 73753 ns
           C++ ofstream      : 83321 ns
        Streaming Floats:
           OFileStream       : 693593 ns
           Log stream        : 711753 ns
           C++ ofstream      : 862120 ns





Author(s): Daniel Stonier
autogenerated on Thu Jun 6 2019 21:18:12