Reading terms from a file.

Thomas Arts <>
Thu Nov 22 09:53:58 CET 2001

The suggestion to read Erlang terms with file:consult
is useful, but does not work consistent.

Erlang (BEAM) emulator version 5.1 [threads:0]

Eshell V5.1  (abort with ^G)

3> {ok,D} = file:open("myterms",[write]).                
4> file:write(D,io_lib:format("~w.~n",[{myproc,self()}])).
5> file:write(D,io_lib:format("~w.~n",[[1,2,3]])).
6> file:close(D).
7> file:consult("myterms").
{error,{1,erl_parse,["syntax error before: ",["'<'"]]}}

The problem is that the scanner does not recognize process
identifiers as such.

I am looking myself for a solution to write terms to file in
the internal term format, like io:write(Device,Term), but than
not in ascii format. I want to write several terms, though.

Erlang (BEAM) emulator version 5.1 [threads:0]

Eshell V5.1  (abort with ^G)
1> {ok,D} = file:open("myterms",[write]).  
2> io:write(D,{myproc,self()}).
3> io:write(D,[1,2,3]).        
4> file:close(D).

The problem is reading the file. The command io:read is
not implemented as the inverse of io:write, which I think
is pity.

5> f(D).
6> {ok,D} = file:open("myterms",[read]).
7> io:read(D,"").



"Martin J. Logan" wrote:
> Hello,
>     Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to read erlang
> terms from a file. I am using io_lib:fread and parsing the data I get.
> This rather simple meathod has worked well for me in the past because I
> was only doing simple things with files.  I would like to read in
> complex erlang terms such as those found in the .app and .rel files.
> The way I do things right now is short but too simple.
> %% read/2: Reads the commands file
> %% Arg1: The list of services.
> %% Arg2: IoDevice - The io device process
> read([eof|Service], IoDevice) ->
>     Service;
> read(Service, IoDevice) ->
>     String = io:get_line(IoDevice, ""),
>     Line = normalize(io_lib:fread("~s ~a ~a ~d", String)),
>     read([Line|Service], IoDevice).
> normalize({ok, Line, LeftOver}) ->
>     ArgList = string:tokens(chop(LeftOver, "\n"), " "),
>     list_to_tuple(lists:append(Line, [ArgList]));
> normalize({ok, Line}) ->
>     list_to_tuple(lists:append(chop(Line, "\n"), [[]]));
> normalize(eof) ->
>     eof.
> This allows me to read the static elements that I have in the beginning
> of each line and then an abitrary number of leftover elements are put
> into a list and added to the list of static elements. so I am left with
> a ["string", atom, atom, digit, [any number of elements]]. This is fine
> but if I could efficiantly grab erlang terms from the file I could
> imrove the logic of my application without making it ugly.
>             Thanks,
>              Martin Logan.

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