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Portable File-Position Functions

On the GNU system, the file position is truly a character count. You can specify any character count value as an argument to fseek and get reliable results for any random access file. However, some ANSI C systems do not represent file positions in this way.

On some systems where text streams truly differ from binary streams, it is impossible to represent the file position of a text stream as a count of characters from the beginning of the file. For example, the file position on some systems must encode both a record offset within the file, and a character offset within the record.

As a consequence, if you want your programs to be portable to these systems, you must observe certain rules:

But even if you observe these rules, you may still have trouble for long files, because ftell and fseek use a long int value to represent the file position. This type may not have room to encode all the file positions in a large file.

So if you do want to support systems with peculiar encodings for the file positions, it is better to use the functions fgetpos and fsetpos instead. These functions represent the file position using the data type fpos_t, whose internal representation varies from system to system.

These symbols are declared in the header file `stdio.h'.

Data Type: fpos_t

This is the type of an object that can encode information about the file position of a stream, for use by the functions fgetpos and fsetpos.

In the GNU system, fpos_t is equivalent to off_t or long int. In other systems, it might have a different internal representation.

Function: int fgetpos (FILE *stream, fpos_t *position)

This function stores the value of the file position indicator for the stream stream in the fpos_t object pointed to by position. If successful, fgetpos returns zero; otherwise it returns a nonzero value and stores an implementation-defined positive value in errno.

Function: int fsetpos (FILE *stream, const fpos_t position)

This function sets the file position indicator for the stream stream to the position position, which must have been set by a previous call to fgetpos on the same stream. If successful, fsetpos clears the end-of-file indicator on the stream, discards any characters that were "pushed back" by the use of ungetc, and returns a value of zero. Otherwise, fsetpos returns a nonzero value and stores an implementation-defined positive value in errno.

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