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GConverter — Data conversion interface

Types and Values

Object Hierarchy

    ╰── GConverter


GConverter requires GObject.

Known Implementations

GConverter is implemented by GCharsetConverter, GZlibCompressor and GZlibDecompressor.


#include <gio/gio.h>


GConverter is implemented by objects that convert binary data in various ways. The conversion can be stateful and may fail at any place.

Some example conversions are: character set conversion, compression, decompression and regular expression replace.


g_converter_convert ()

g_converter_convert (GConverter *converter,
                     const void *inbuf,
                     gsize inbuf_size,
                     void *outbuf,
                     gsize outbuf_size,
                     GConverterFlags flags,
                     gsize *bytes_read,
                     gsize *bytes_written,
                     GError **error);

This is the main operation used when converting data. It is to be called multiple times in a loop, and each time it will do some work, i.e. producing some output (in outbuf ) or consuming some input (from inbuf ) or both. If its not possible to do any work an error is returned.

Note that a single call may not consume all input (or any input at all). Also a call may produce output even if given no input, due to state stored in the converter producing output.

If any data was either produced or consumed, and then an error happens, then only the successful conversion is reported and the error is returned on the next call.

A full conversion loop involves calling this method repeatedly, each time giving it new input and space output space. When there is no more input data after the data in inbuf , the flag G_CONVERTER_INPUT_AT_END must be set. The loop will be (unless some error happens) returning G_CONVERTER_CONVERTED each time until all data is consumed and all output is produced, then G_CONVERTER_FINISHED is returned instead. Note, that G_CONVERTER_FINISHED may be returned even if G_CONVERTER_INPUT_AT_END is not set, for instance in a decompression converter where the end of data is detectable from the data (and there might even be other data after the end of the compressed data).

When some data has successfully been converted bytes_read and is set to the number of bytes read from inbuf , and bytes_written is set to indicate how many bytes was written to outbuf . If there are more data to output or consume (i.e. unless the G_CONVERTER_INPUT_AT_END is specified) then G_CONVERTER_CONVERTED is returned, and if no more data is to be output then G_CONVERTER_FINISHED is returned.

On error G_CONVERTER_ERROR is returned and error is set accordingly. Some errors need special handling:

G_IO_ERROR_NO_SPACE is returned if there is not enough space to write the resulting converted data, the application should call the function again with a larger outbuf to continue.

G_IO_ERROR_PARTIAL_INPUT is returned if there is not enough input to fully determine what the conversion should produce, and the G_CONVERTER_INPUT_AT_END flag is not set. This happens for example with an incomplete multibyte sequence when converting text, or when a regexp matches up to the end of the input (and may match further input). It may also happen when inbuf_size is zero and there is no more data to produce.

When this happens the application should read more input and then call the function again. If further input shows that there is no more data call the function again with the same data but with the G_CONVERTER_INPUT_AT_END flag set. This may cause the conversion to finish as e.g. in the regexp match case (or, to fail again with G_IO_ERROR_PARTIAL_INPUT in e.g. a charset conversion where the input is actually partial).

After g_converter_convert() has returned G_CONVERTER_FINISHED the converter object is in an invalid state where its not allowed to call g_converter_convert() anymore. At this time you can only free the object or call g_converter_reset() to reset it to the initial state.

If the flag G_CONVERTER_FLUSH is set then conversion is modified to try to write out all internal state to the output. The application has to call the function multiple times with the flag set, and when the available input has been consumed and all internal state has been produced then G_CONVERTER_FLUSHED (or G_CONVERTER_FINISHED if really at the end) is returned instead of G_CONVERTER_CONVERTED. This is somewhat similar to what happens at the end of the input stream, but done in the middle of the data.

This has different meanings for different conversions. For instance in a compression converter it would mean that we flush all the compression state into output such that if you uncompress the compressed data you get back all the input data. Doing this may make the final file larger due to padding though. Another example is a regexp conversion, where if you at the end of the flushed data have a match, but there is also a potential longer match. In the non-flushed case we would ask for more input, but when flushing we treat this as the end of input and do the match.

Flushing is not always possible (like if a charset converter flushes at a partial multibyte sequence). Converters are supposed to try to produce as much output as possible and then return an error (typically G_IO_ERROR_PARTIAL_INPUT).



a GConverter.



the buffer containing the data to convert.

[array length=inbuf_size][element-type guint8]


the number of bytes in inbuf



a buffer to write converted data in.

[element-type guint8][array length=outbuf_size]


the number of bytes in outbuf , must be at least one



a GConverterFlags controlling the conversion details



will be set to the number of bytes read from inbuf on success.



will be set to the number of bytes written to outbuf on success.



location to store the error occurring, or NULL to ignore



a GConverterResult, G_CONVERTER_ERROR on error.

Since: 2.24

g_converter_reset ()

g_converter_reset (GConverter *converter);

Resets all internal state in the converter, making it behave as if it was just created. If the converter has any internal state that would produce output then that output is lost.



a GConverter.


Since: 2.24

Types and Values


typedef struct _GConverter GConverter;

Seek object for streaming operations.

Since: 2.24

struct GConverterIface

struct GConverterIface {
  GTypeInterface g_iface;

  /* Virtual Table */

  GConverterResult (* convert) (GConverter *converter,
				const void *inbuf,
				gsize       inbuf_size,
				void       *outbuf,
				gsize       outbuf_size,
				GConverterFlags flags,
				gsize      *bytes_read,
				gsize      *bytes_written,
				GError    **error);
  void  (* reset)   (GConverter *converter);

Provides an interface for converting data from one type to another type. The conversion can be stateful and may fail at any place.


convert ()

Converts data.


reset ()

Reverts the internal state of the converter to its initial state.


Since: 2.24

enum GConverterResult

Results returned from g_converter_convert().



There was an error during conversion.



Some data was consumed or produced



The conversion is finished



Flushing is finished


Since: 2.24

enum GConverterFlags

Flags used when calling a g_converter_convert().



No flags.



At end of input data



Flush data


Since: 2.24

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