[HARLEQUIN][Common Lisp HyperSpec (TM)] [Previous][Up][Next] Interactive Streams

An interactive stream is one on which it makes sense to perform interactive querying.

The precise meaning of an interactive stream is implementation-defined, and may depend on the underlying operating system. Some examples of the things that an implementation might choose to use as identifying characteristics of an interactive stream include:

* The stream is connected to a person (or equivalent) in such a way that the program can prompt for information and expect to receive different input depending on the prompt.

* The program is expected to prompt for input and support ``normal input editing''.

* read-char might wait for the user to type something before returning instead of immediately returning a character or end-of-file.

The general intent of having some streams be classified as interactive streams is to allow them to be distinguished from streams containing batch (or background or command-file) input. Output to batch streams is typically discarded or saved for later viewing, so interactive queries to such streams might not have the expected effect.

Terminal I/O might or might not be an interactive stream.

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