JavaTM 2 Platform
Standard Ed. 5.0

java.nio
Class Buffer

java.lang.Object
  extended by java.nio.Buffer
Direct Known Subclasses:
ByteBuffer, CharBuffer, DoubleBuffer, FloatBuffer, IntBuffer, LongBuffer, ShortBuffer

public abstract class Buffer
extends Object

A container for data of a specific primitive type.

A buffer is a linear, finite sequence of elements of a specific primitive type. Aside from its content, the essential properties of a buffer are its capacity, limit, and position:

A buffer's capacity is the number of elements it contains. The capacity of a buffer is never negative and never changes.

A buffer's limit is the index of the first element that should not be read or written. A buffer's limit is never negative and is never greater than its capacity.

A buffer's position is the index of the next element to be read or written. A buffer's position is never negative and is never greater than its limit.

There is one subclass of this class for each non-boolean primitive type.

Transferring data

Each subclass of this class defines two categories of get and put operations:

Relative operations read or write one or more elements starting at the current position and then increment the position by the number of elements transferred. If the requested transfer exceeds the limit then a relative get operation throws a BufferUnderflowException and a relative put operation throws a BufferOverflowException; in either case, no data is transferred.

Absolute operations take an explicit element index and do not affect the position. Absolute get and put operations throw an IndexOutOfBoundsException if the index argument exceeds the limit.

Data may also, of course, be transferred in to or out of a buffer by the I/O operations of an appropriate channel, which are always relative to the current position.

Marking and resetting

A buffer's mark is the index to which its position will be reset when the reset method is invoked. The mark is not always defined, but when it is defined it is never negative and is never greater than the position. If the mark is defined then it is discarded when the position or the limit is adjusted to a value smaller than the mark. If the mark is not defined then invoking the reset method causes an InvalidMarkException to be thrown.

Invariants

The following invariant holds for the mark, position, limit, and capacity values:

0 <= mark <= position <= limit <= capacity

A newly-created buffer always has a position of zero and a mark that is undefined. The initial limit may be zero, or it may be some other value that depends upon the type of the buffer and the manner in which it is constructed. The initial content of a buffer is, in general, undefined.

Clearing, flipping, and rewinding

In addition to methods for accessing the position, limit, and capacity values and for marking and resetting, this class also defines the following operations upon buffers:

Read-only buffers

Every buffer is readable, but not every buffer is writable. The mutation methods of each buffer class are specified as optional operations that will throw a ReadOnlyBufferException when invoked upon a read-only buffer. A read-only buffer does not allow its content to be changed, but its mark, position, and limit values are mutable. Whether or not a buffer is read-only may be determined by invoking its isReadOnly method.

Thread safety

Buffers are not safe for use by multiple concurrent threads. If a buffer is to be used by more than one thread then access to the buffer should be controlled by appropriate synchronization.

Invocation chaining

Methods in this class that do not otherwise have a value to return are specified to return the buffer upon which they are invoked. This allows method invocations to be chained; for example, the sequence of statements

 b.flip();
 b.position(23);
 b.limit(42);
can be replaced by the single, more compact statement
 b.flip().position(23).limit(42);

Since:
1.4

Method Summary
 int capacity()
          Returns this buffer's capacity.
 Buffer clear()
          Clears this buffer.
 Buffer flip()
          Flips this buffer.
 boolean hasRemaining()
          Tells whether there are any elements between the current position and the limit.
abstract  boolean isReadOnly()
          Tells whether or not this buffer is read-only.
 int limit()
          Returns this buffer's limit.
 Buffer limit(int newLimit)
          Sets this buffer's limit.
 Buffer mark()
          Sets this buffer's mark at its position.
 int position()
          Returns this buffer's position.
 Buffer position(int newPosition)
          Sets this buffer's position.
 int remaining()
          Returns the number of elements between the current position and the limit.
 Buffer reset()
          Resets this buffer's position to the previously-marked position.
 Buffer rewind()
          Rewinds this buffer.
 
Methods inherited from class java.lang.Object
clone, equals, finalize, getClass, hashCode, notify, notifyAll, toString, wait, wait, wait
 

Method Detail

capacity

public final int capacity()
Returns this buffer's capacity.

Returns:
The capacity of this buffer

position

public final int position()
Returns this buffer's position.

Returns:
The position of this buffer

position

public final Buffer position(int newPosition)
Sets this buffer's position. If the mark is defined and larger than the new position then it is discarded.

Parameters:
newPosition - The new position value; must be non-negative and no larger than the current limit
Returns:
This buffer
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - If the preconditions on newPosition do not hold

limit

public final int limit()
Returns this buffer's limit.

Returns:
The limit of this buffer

limit

public final Buffer limit(int newLimit)
Sets this buffer's limit. If the position is larger than the new limit then it is set to the new limit. If the mark is defined and larger than the new limit then it is discarded.

Parameters:
newLimit - The new limit value; must be non-negative and no larger than this buffer's capacity
Returns:
This buffer
Throws:
IllegalArgumentException - If the preconditions on newLimit do not hold

mark

public final Buffer mark()
Sets this buffer's mark at its position.

Returns:
This buffer

reset

public final Buffer reset()
Resets this buffer's position to the previously-marked position.

Invoking this method neither changes nor discards the mark's value.

Returns:
This buffer
Throws:
InvalidMarkException - If the mark has not been set

clear

public final Buffer clear()
Clears this buffer. The position is set to zero, the limit is set to the capacity, and the mark is discarded.

Invoke this method before using a sequence of channel-read or put operations to fill this buffer. For example:

 buf.clear();     // Prepare buffer for reading
 in.read(buf);    // Read data

This method does not actually erase the data in the buffer, but it is named as if it did because it will most often be used in situations in which that might as well be the case.

Returns:
This buffer

flip

public final Buffer flip()
Flips this buffer. The limit is set to the current position and then the position is set to zero. If the mark is defined then it is discarded.

After a sequence of channel-read or put operations, invoke this method to prepare for a sequence of channel-write or relative get operations. For example:

 buf.put(magic);    // Prepend header
 in.read(buf);      // Read data into rest of buffer
 buf.flip();        // Flip buffer
 out.write(buf);    // Write header + data to channel

This method is often used in conjunction with the compact method when transferring data from one place to another.

Returns:
This buffer

rewind

public final Buffer rewind()
Rewinds this buffer. The position is set to zero and the mark is discarded.

Invoke this method before a sequence of channel-write or get operations, assuming that the limit has already been set appropriately. For example:

 out.write(buf);    // Write remaining data
 buf.rewind();      // Rewind buffer
 buf.get(array);    // Copy data into array

Returns:
This buffer

remaining

public final int remaining()
Returns the number of elements between the current position and the limit.

Returns:
The number of elements remaining in this buffer

hasRemaining

public final boolean hasRemaining()
Tells whether there are any elements between the current position and the limit.

Returns:
true if, and only if, there is at least one element remaining in this buffer

isReadOnly

public abstract boolean isReadOnly()
Tells whether or not this buffer is read-only.

Returns:
true if, and only if, this buffer is read-only

JavaTM 2 Platform
Standard Ed. 5.0

Submit a bug or feature
For further API reference and developer documentation, see Java 2 SDK SE Developer Documentation. That documentation contains more detailed, developer-targeted descriptions, with conceptual overviews, definitions of terms, workarounds, and working code examples.

Copyright 2004 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. Use is subject to license terms. Also see the documentation redistribution policy.


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