std::num_get(22.4.2 category.numeric), but are not availabe to be called directly from user code. Examples for such functions are
Futher, there are currently no functions to reliably round-trip floating-point values between binary representation (with fixed size) and decimal representation (with minimal number of digits used). Some environments such as XML Schema require this. See the following papers:
std::streambuf seems to provide the right
interface for an I/O buffer of unspecified size. However, that
interface does not seem to be adequately minimal for byte stream
processing (e.g. Base64 encoding or gzip compression).
Text processing should (optionally) be agnostic to different conventions regarding line endings. The existing iostreams offer "text mode" for that.
The equivalent of a
std::filebuf should not attempt to
perform code conversions. Instead, there should be a filtering
streambuf that performs code conversions based on the codecvt
Details for operating system errors (e.g. POSIX errno) leading to I/O failure should be exposed, not concealed.
Iostreams are templatized on the character type and the
char_traits. The latter degree of freedom is rarely
exercised, possibly allowing repurposing for an incremental extension
of the current iostreams design.
Chaining in the form of "s << a << b << c << d" is a successful interface technique, because it allows to output an arbitrary number of items in a type-safe manner. Overload resolution on operator<< tends to get expensive for larger projects with hundreds or thousands of candidates in the overload set. This seems hard to resolve, since choosing a different name for operator<< simply shifts the expense of overload resolution to a differently-named function.
With C++11, a typesafe "printf"-style interface using variadic templates is possible, also allowing reordering of arguments for output, depending on the format string.
The API of Matt Wilson's FastFormat library at
should be considered, also the various specializations of Boost's
The ability to extend the system to provide input/output primitives for user-defined types is a mandatory feature of a C++ I/O library.
There is currently no use of the money (22.4.6 category.monetary) or time (22.4.5 category.time) formatting facets from the iostreams framework.
It is possible to construct a second i/ostream object using the same
std::streambuf as an existing i/ostream object. This
way, user-defined operator<< functions can quickly obtain an
i/ostream object with a well-defined state of the flags.
std::locale) are integrated at both the
iostreamlevels. Locale acquisition requires two synchronizations per elementary output call, because locales are a global resource.
Optional internationalization is a mandatory feature of a C++ I/O library, based on the low-level facilities instead of integrated therein.
C++ locales are an incomplete solution for common internationalization requirements; see http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_57_0/libs/locale/doc/html/rationale.html#rationale_why. ICU (International Components for Unicode) offer comprehensive internationalization support, albeit with a sub-standard C++ interface. Offering a usable C++ interface based on the ICU feature set (and implementation) would benefit from decades of experience that went into ICU.
For a program, there should be one canonical internal format for
internationalized text processing (e.g. UTF-8 or UTF-32), with
conversions at the input and output boundaries of the program. An
internal representation based on
char32_t (i.e. UTF-32)
has the benefits of a fixed-length encoding, but uses more memory than
UTF-8 encoding for most texts.