4.5 StringIO -- Read and write strings as files

This module implements a file-like class, StringIO, that reads and writes a string buffer (also known as memory files). See the description of file objects for operations (section 3.9).

class StringIO( [buffer])
When a StringIO object is created, it can be initialized to an existing string by passing the string to the constructor. If no string is given, the StringIO will start empty. In both cases, the initial file position starts at zero.

The StringIO object can accept either Unicode or 8-bit strings, but mixing the two may take some care. If both are used, 8-bit strings that cannot be interpreted as 7-bit ASCII (that use the 8th bit) will cause a UnicodeError to be raised when getvalue() is called.

The following methods of StringIO objects require special mention:

getvalue( )
Retrieve the entire contents of the ``file'' at any time before the StringIO object's close() method is called. See the note above for information about mixing Unicode and 8-bit strings; such mixing can cause this method to raise UnicodeError.

close( )
Free the memory buffer.

Example usage:

import StringIO

output = StringIO.StringIO()
output.write('First line.\n')
print >>output, 'Second line.'

# Retrieve file contents -- this will be
# 'First line.\nSecond line.\n'
contents = output.getvalue()

# Close object and discard memory buffer -- 
# .getvalue() will now raise an exception.

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