Monday, April 30, 2007

Explain StreamTokenizer?

The StreamTokenizer class takes an input stream and parses it into "tokens", allowing the tokens to be read one at a time. The parsing process is controlled by a table and a number of flags that can be set to various states. The stream tokenizer can recognize identifiers, numbers, quoted strings, and various comment styles.

Each byte read from the input stream is regarded as a character in the range '\u0000' through '\u00FF'. The character value is used to look up five possible attributes of the character: white space, alphabetic, numeric, string quote, and comment character. Each character can have zero or more of these attributes.

In addition, an instance has four flags. These flags indicate:

Whether line terminators are to be returned as tokens or treated as white space that merely separates tokens.
Whether C-style comments are to be recognized and skipped.
Whether C++-style comments are to be recognized and skipped.
Whether the characters of identifiers are converted to lowercase.
A typical application first constructs an instance of this class, sets up the syntax tables, and then repeatedly loops calling the nextToken method in each iteration of the loop until it returns the value TT_EOF.

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