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Byte Stream Vs Character Stream in Java

While doing I/O operations in Java , you may come across word like streams or bytes or characters or encoding. Don't be confuse with this word because they are all point to conman cause that is Data transfer form memory to disk or vice-versa.

When we talk about system/programing language, they are always talks in bits (binary data). When we group 8 bits we get bytes and when we group 16 bits we get the characters.

Before arrival of multiple language that is before internationalization, we have only ASCII Charset.Till that time, all was fine. Everything could be done by Byte Streams because every character was represented by one byte.

After internationalization , we have Unicode charset. In that character may be represented by two or mote bytes. It is not enough to represent character by reading one byte at a time. Hence we have to introduce Character stream to support unicode. It reads character y character.

If you are working with raw/binary data such as images, music files , then you are free to use byte stream.But if you are dealing with text file that nay contain unicode character encoding , then you have to use character stream.

In java, byte stream classes are descended from and and Character streams are implemented by the and classes and their subclasses.

Stream Classes

BufferedInputStream      BufferedOutputStream
ByteArrayInputStream    ByteArrayOutputStream
DataInputStream             DataOutputStream
FileInputStream              FileOutputStream
FilterInputStream           FilterOutputStream
ObjectOutputStream      PipedInputStream
PipedOutputStream        PrintStream
PushbackInputStream    SequenceInputStream

Reader & Write Classes

BufferedReader             BufferedWriter
CharArrayReader          CharArrayWriter
FileReader                     FileWriter
FilterReader                  FilterWriter
InputStreamReader       OutputStreamWriter
PipedReader                 PipedWriter
StringReader                 StringWriter


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