Java IO: Handling characters files efficiently

Let´s take a look a the classic IO file handling in java.
First let´s start with the “File” class.
The File class is not used to read or write data. It´s used to create or delete files and directories, for searching and working with paths.
So it´s not used for the files or directories content.

The File class constructor does not create anything on the hard drive. As you can see in the following snippet, you need to use the createNewFile method for it:

		File file = new File("/home/laura/demo.txt");
		System.out.println("Does the file exists?"+file.exists());
		boolean created = file.createNewFile();
		System.out.println("File created?"+created);
		System.out.println("Does the file exists?"+file.exists());

The createNewFile method returns “false” if the file already exists.

If the goal is handling text files, you don´t need to use any Stream class. All you need is a writer one. The basic option is to use the naked “FileReader” and “FileWriter” classes:

		FileWriter fileWriter= new FileWriter(file);
		fileWriter.write("hello world. this is a text file.");
		FileReader fileReader= new FileReader(file);
		char[] in = new char[100];		
		int size =;
		System.out.println("File size:"+size);
		for(char c: in){

The FileReader method “read” delivers the amount of character read.

Notice that after writing the text into the file, you need to call the method “flush”. It´s necessary to call it to make sure that the whole data flows into the file before closing the writer.

So far so good. But this simple way shown above is not the most elegant solution out there, because we have been using an array (that has a fixed size)!

A much better approach is wrapping it up using the classes BufferedReader and BufferedWriter:

		FileWriter fileWriter= new FileWriter(file);
		BufferedWriter bufferedWriter = new BufferedWriter(fileWriter);
		bufferedWriter.write("hello world. this is a text file.");
		bufferedWriter.write("You are using the buffered reader now!");			
		FileReader fileReader= new FileReader(file);
		BufferedReader bufferedReader = new BufferedReader(fileReader);
		String data;			

Notice that buffered reader also has a method called “readLine”, that you wouldn´t get with a simple File reader.
Once you close a writer it cannot be reopened again. You get an exception if you use it after closing it!

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