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“#include <iostream>”
~ C++ on Compiler
“#include <iostream.h>”
~ C on Compiler
“ERROR: iostream.h FILE NOT FOUND”
~ Compiler on C
“Told You, old man.”
~ C++ on C
“Shut up.”
~ C on C++
“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”
~ Douglas Adams on IOSTREAM
“... one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs.”
~ Robert Firth on IOSTREAM
“I love the "Input" part.”
~ Oscar Wilde on IOSTREAM
“In Soviet Russia, IOSTREAM includes YOU!!”
~ Russian Reversal on IOSTREAM

This is Io.

Southeastern rivers streams 55412 18939

This is a stream. See stream run. Run, stream run!


In C, well, if you are lucky, if the compiler you use(d)- that was before you threw the computer out of the window ...- which is not iostream attitude though , if that compiler is compliant to ISO/ANSI stuff & standards.. and if you have a nicely setup CLI (Comodor^H^HCommand Language Interface) and if the accurate CSL (Standard C Leviticus ) and if the API or|and elsif the evul Win32 API, well, THEN, all files ending with that mystic .h stand for  : C-header. Aristotle would be proud while the rest of us are confused. In layman's terms, IF you have a bunch of horse manure that works right, THEN the stuff that ends in .h means HEADER. It has taken scientists and Bill Gates Multiple eons to realize this is because it comes at the top of something. Otherwise it would be called sider or footer.

Sometimes to be taken literally : "see the friggin' header!", in the same spirit as RTFM.

*.h files are header files in C, and also in C++ if you are lucky and if the compiler and if etc++... C comes with a bunch of header files. C++ comes with even more header files and Visual C++ comes with a plethora of header files that can induce severe panic attacks accompanied by bouts of crying into your spaghetti or other pasta of choice. To quote Lovecraft, "In London there is a man who screams when the church bells ring."

Luckily, Microsoft discarded the footer file project and kept that for their modules, so there is no such thing as iostream.f. (on the other hand, there's nastiness like windows.h), or simply the more generic nastiness, Windows. Dun Dun Dun!!! (key for music)

Header files are used to make source code look more g33ky and they eventually import useful stuff that you might use one day. But even if you never use them, that's ok. Your computer doesn't hate you...yet.

Very abstract

A lot of that so called standard library of C header files in the whole C-hype looks like a jungle, plus poisonous tree frogs and angry pygmies, of course. Many keyboard heroes and nerdy cubicle gnomes won't admit it but chasing all the required header files for your C/C++ program to actually work and *do* something spectacular is close to the daily rant of pyramid building slave's at the times of the Pharaoh in ancient China or a man with no duct tape and a burning desire to wallpaper his boudoir. That's why a lot of application in C/C++ are written with Delphi in clusters of code, bombast and weary as menhirs. (Translated: It sucks). Now, memorize that line, say it 5 times fast and you can impress your colleagues and friends.

Conclusion : C header files are a jungle, sans Dr. Livingston and Bugs Bunny.

Practical usage

( über, über, über abstract )

iostream.h is old C but it remains a classic. Like the Beatles, if you're into that freaky stuff. You have to have it, yup yup yup ! If you include iostream.h in your programs, you are in business, if you don't, well.. you are in trouble or typing nonsense in a Visual C++ Gui editor. Such things happen, but are easily remedied with an application of leeches which are easily found in any jungle. Really, it works.

Your PC if you don't use iostream.h .... You've been warned.

Modern C , or C with class or C++ uses just the standard library studio.h and they go like :

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int Flush(turds*)
int wc *turds.std::woooooosh.plonk();

All that .. to use the same basic Input/Output stream. Confused ? Consolation : there is no standard usage and there are plenty of workarounds but many of them don't work for all, work at all, or they just don't like you because your mom packs you lunches with non-brand Fruit Roll-Ups and all the cool kids have Blastin' Berry Hot Colors and you are stuck with the stuff that never separates from the plastic so you cry and cry all lunch hour and you are finally so hungry you eat the damn thing, plastic and all. But you still aren't cool and no one invites you to their birthday party.

Bill Gates said it best, "I have 100 billion dollars... You realize I could spend 3 million dollars a day, every day, for the next 100 years? And that's if I don't make another dime. Tell you what-I'll buy your right arm for a million dollars. I give you a million bucks, and I get to sever your arm right here.".

So make your own header file while you are at it ! Compile it if you dare ! Experts ( even the type of experts on, you know.. ) advise : manage to include that damn header file ! tak^H^H include no prisoners!. So you might want to use that header, oh yes... Because if you don't, your computer will hate you. but afterward take plenty of prisoners.

One of the most used - but not the most wanted - workaround is using the C++ invocation to include iostream.h which is exactly :

#include <iostream>
using namespace whatevur_you_gave_the_namespace_to_include_the_iostream_into_your_PROJECT;

Which is kinda cool but it still depends on your Fruit Roll-Ups.


do not confuse with BIOS that's Basic Input Output Serenade !

As you can C, (or not-in which case, did I recommend the leeches already??), the plain text version of the iostream.h here below has two (2) TYPEDEF's calling back to a previous, alternative,[other], hierachically superior[else] header / library / file / source / system call : that would be the basic IO (Input/Output) of your workstation[ship]. Clear. So, iostream.h is a header file that asks to be included in order to get your snip^H^H code to handle InputOutput stream correctly on your platform first and eventually on someone else's platform.

That's as obvious as a monkey with a fez.

IOSTREAM does not handle FIFO ( First In/Out First Out/In ) it just digests the arguments you give it, one by one, one after the other, like building a pyramid, a Chinese wall, the Quick-Digesting Gink or the drunk uncle who, at Christmas, eats your share of the pie then laughs because if you say anything he'll tell your family about that one time, at band camp...


A BSOD option, released with Vista. You've been warned...

If you start calling it names at compile time, it still will spew its typical debugging info first and believe me, it's Yo Momma jokes are better than yours. Otherwise, old wizards would have named their child fifostream, not iostream. However, if you start calling it names at runtime, iostream will ignore you and continue that endless loop or run in background and make your Broland C++ application crash. ( it doesn't keep a grudge on you, it is merely a feature of the iostream temperament amongst others ). In this way, it resembles Windoze, as the program ignores your repeated bashings on the keyboard via a blunt object and BSOD-ilarity ensues (Now available in Magenta! Limited time offer! Act now, supplies are limited!!).

Many console Rambos feel that peculiar satisfying ecstatic thrill when they managed to code & compile something using the iostream.h because it allows them to actually see "Hello w0rld" on the screen.

Common usage

In the real world ( and in Soviet Russia ), iostream.h is used in a variety of applications, divina, fauna and flora. Documentaries of Discovery Channel cover and illustrate the usage of C headers and our iostream.h in a worldwide span of diversity like sours, rivers, ATM machines, Seychelles, true shells, stock markets, anorexia, wallets, pipelines, digestives, reality TV and even the Interneth and computars.

In Art and Literature

"istream, ustream
we all stream for iostream"


~> cat /usr/include/g++/backward/iostream.h
// Copyright (C) 1797+-1899°++, 2000 Free C-food Foundation, Inc.

#include "backyard_warming.h"
#include <iostream>

using std::iostream;
using std::ostream;
using std::you_scream;
using std::mainstream;
using std::eggcream;
using std::istream;
using std::fifostream;
using std::we_all_want*
using std::for *the fun;
using std::icecream;
using std::ios;
using std::std; /* heheeeeee, weeeeee ! */
using std::again!
using std::streambuf;

using std::cout;
using std::cin;
using std::cerr;
using std::bigErr;
using std::ftalerr; /* Win32 API recommended */
using std::clog; /* actually misspelled 'clock' , gawd!, those l77t can't tyep.*/
/* this is more a promotion stunt and it takes a while() to get the END OF FILE ( EOF ) */

note : do not try this at home !

General misconceptions

  • "iostream.h is the source file of the BIOS" ( anonym alumni atthe M.I.T.) -- there is no source file of BIOS systems ( yes this is a tautology )
  • "iostream.h doesn't work !" -- it is not supposed to work, it is supposed to be included to make something else work, nitwith !
  • "I found several different versions of iostream.h on the Net" -- Which one did successfully compile !? mail me at xglorb at Yahooo! dot com ! Thnaks !
  • "my console program uses iostream.h and it does the input but not the output !?" -- Press [ENTER]..
  • "I rename^H^H accidentally compiled iostream.h with option [-o] to `iostream.out', help !?" ( another anonym alumni at theM.I.T. --Bhwahaha, rename it iostream.NET and press [ENTER] !
  • "Internet's iostream is down !" -- take a shower while rebooting the machine.
  • Iz ît possible to be fed iostream.h with a RSS !? (caller: Igor Jorge Menda (Brazil)" -- Only if you hace a dialup connection.
  • error: iostream.h: No such file or directory -- standard response by compiler when encountering C without telling you it's a C++ compiler, and that you need to translate your C code to C++. RTFM before compiling!
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