The Java Source

A File I/O Tutorial Featuring NIO.2

January 19, 2012 By: Janice Heiss

A tutorial on the front page of otn/java titled “A File I/O Tutorial Featuring NIO.2” explains the new file I/O mechanism introduced in the Java 7 release. The java.nio.file package and its related package, java.nio.file.attribute, provide comprehensive support for file I/O and for accessing the default file system. Though the API has many classes, developers need only focus on a few key entry points. The tutorial makes it clear that the API is intuitive and easy to use.

The tutorial begins by asking, “What is a path?” and then introduces the Path class, which is the primary entry point for the package. It explains Methods in the Path class related to syntactic operations and moves on to the other primary class in the package, the Files class, which contains methods related to file operations. It then introduces some concepts common to many file operations and explains methods for checking, deleting, copying, and moving files.

The tutorial offers a concise summary of the API with suggestions for further learning.

“The java.nio.file package provides extensive support for file and file system I/O. This is a very comprehensive API, but the key entry points are as follows:
• The Path class has methods for manipulating a path.
• The Files class has methods for file operations, such as moving, copy, deleting, and also methods for retrieving and setting file attributes.
• The FileSystem class has a variety of methods for obtaining information about the file system.”

More information on NIO.2 can be found on the OpenJDK: NIO project website on java.net. This site includes resources for features provided by NIO.2 that are beyond the scope of this tutorial, such as multicasting, asynchronous I/O, and creating your own file system implementation.


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