Module java.base

Package java.nio


package java.nio
Defines buffers, which are containers for data, and provides an overview of the other NIO packages.

The central abstractions of the NIO APIs are:

  • Buffers, which are containers for data;

  • Charsets and their associated decoders and encoders,
    which translate between bytes and Unicode characters;

  • Channels of various types, which represent connections
    to entities capable of performing I/O operations; and

  • Selectors and selection keys, which together with
    selectable channels define a multiplexed, non-blocking
    I/O
    facility.

The java.nio package defines the buffer classes, which are used throughout the NIO APIs. The charset API is defined in the java.nio.charset package, and the channel and selector APIs are defined in the java.nio.channels package. Each of these subpackages has its own service-provider (SPI) subpackage, the contents of which can be used to extend the platform's default implementations or to construct alternative implementations.

Description of the various buffers
Buffers Description
Buffer Position, limit, and capacity; clear, flip, rewind, and mark/reset
ByteBuffer Get/put, compact, views; allocate, wrap
MappedByteBuffer A byte buffer mapped to a file
CharBuffer Get/put, compact; allocate, wrap
DoubleBuffer Get/put, compact; allocate, wrap
FloatBuffer Get/put, compact; allocate, wrap
IntBuffer Get/put, compact; allocate, wrap
LongBuffer Get/put, compact; allocate, wrap
ShortBuffer Get/put, compact; allocate, wrap
ByteOrder Typesafe enumeration for byte orders

A buffer is a container for a fixed amount of data of a specific primitive type. In addition to its content a buffer has a position, which is the index of the next element to be read or written, and a limit, which is the index of the first element that should not be read or written. The base Buffer class defines these properties as well as methods for clearing, flipping, and rewinding, for marking the current position, and for resetting the position to the previous mark.

There is a buffer class for each non-boolean primitive type. Each class defines a family of get and put methods for moving data out of and in to a buffer, methods for compacting, duplicating, and slicing a buffer, and static methods for allocating a new buffer as well as for wrapping an existing array into a buffer.

Byte buffers are distinguished in that they can be used as the sources and targets of I/O operations. They also support several features not found in the other buffer classes:

  • A byte buffer can be allocated as a direct buffer, in which case the Java virtual machine will make a best effort to perform native I/O operations directly upon it.

  • A byte buffer can be created by mapping a region of a file directly into memory, in which case a few additional file-related operations defined in the MappedByteBuffer class are available.

  • A byte buffer provides access to its content as either a heterogeneous or homogeneous sequence of binary data of any non-boolean primitive type, in either big-endian or little-endian byte order.

Unless otherwise noted, passing a null argument to a constructor or method in any class or interface in this package will cause a NullPointerException to be thrown.

Since:
1.4