File Input and Output
Being able to transfer data between applications is an essential requirement of most scientific computing software. For example, data defining the boundary of an object may be generated from an image processing application. This data may subsequently be used by many applications written by a variety of users. To allow exchange of data between applications in this manner requires us to store data in a clearly specified format. Reading and writing files to a given specification therefore plays a key role in scientific computing applications. Although C++ offers an extremely large number of commands for writing to, and reading from, file, almost all file formats can be achieved by using a very small subset of these commands. In this chapter we focus on the commands that allow file input and output to any reasonable specification for scientific computing software.