legends2k legends2k - 11 months ago 72
C++ Question

Why doesn't the istreambuf_iterator advance work

I was reading Constructing a vector with istream_iterators which is about reading a complete file contents into a vector of chars. While I want a portion of a file to be loaded in to a vector of chars.

#include <iostream>
#include <fstream>
#include <iterator>
#include <vector>
#include <algorithm>

using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
std::ifstream ifs(argv[1], std::ios::binary);
std::istreambuf_iterator<char> beginItr(ifs);
std::istreambuf_iterator<char> endItr(beginItr);
advance(endItr, 4);
std::vector<char> data(beginItr, endItr);
for_each(data.cbegin(), data.cend(), [](char ch)
cout << ch << endl;

This doesn't work, since advance doesn't work, while the aforementioned questions accepted answer works. Why doesn't the advance work on


cout << distance(beginItr, endItr) << endl;

returns a 0. Please somebody explain what is going on!

Answer Source

Why doesn't the advance work on istreambuf_iterator?

It works. It advances the iterator. The problem is that an istreambuf_iterator is an input iterator but not a forward iterator, meaning it is a single pass iterator: once you advance it, you can never access the previous state again. To do what you want you can simply use an old-fashioned for loop that counts to 4.