Derived From:BStatable
Mix-in Classes:None
Declared In:storage/Node.h
Class Overview

Constructor and Destructor


BNode(); BNode(const entry_ref* ref); BNode(const BEntryentry); BNode(const char* path); BNode(const BDirectorydir,
      const char* path);
BNode(const BNodenode);

Creates a new BNode object that's initialized to represent a specific file system node. To retrieve the status of the initialization, call InitCheck() immediately after constructing the object:

BNode node("/boot/lbj/FidoOnFire.gif");
if (node.InitCheck() != B_OK)
   /* The object wasn't initialized. */

A successfully initialized BNode object creates a "file descriptor" through which the object reads and writes the node's data and attributes. You can only have 256 file descriptors at a time (per application). The object's file descriptor is closed when the object is deleted, reset (through SetTo()), or unset (Unset()).

  • Default constructor. The object's status will be B_NO_INIT, and the file descriptor isn't allocated until you actually initialize the object with a call to SetTo().

  • Copy constructor. The new BNode is set to the same node as the argument. Each of the two BNode objects has its own file descriptor.

  • Other constructors. See the SetTo() functions.


virtual ~BNode();

Frees the object's file descriptor, unlocks the node (if it was locked), and destroys the object.

Member Functions


status_t GetAttrInfo(const char* attr,
                     attr_infoinfo) const;

Gets information about the attribute named by attr. The information is copied into the attr_info parameter info, which must be allocated before it's passed in.

Return CodeDescription




The node doesn't have an attribute named attr.


The object is uninitialized.

GetNextAttrName(), RewindAttrs()

status_t GetNextAttrName(char* buffer);status_t RewindAttrs();

Every BNode maintains a pointer into its list of attributes. GetNextAttrName() retrieves the name of the attribute that the pointer is currently pointing to, and then bumps the pointer to the next attribute. The name is copied into the buffer, which should be at least B_ATTR_NAME_LENGTH characters long. The copied name is NULL-terminated. When you've asked for every name in the list, GetNextAttrName() returns an error.


GetNextAttrName() does not clear its argument if it returns an error. This will be corrected in a subsequent release.

RewindAttrs() resets the BNode's attribute pointer to the first elementin the list.

To visit every attribute name, you would do something like this:

/* Print every attribute name. */

while (node.GetNextAttrName(buf) == B_OK) {
   printf("> Attr name: %sn", buf);

The attribute list is not static; when you ask for the next attribute name, you're asking for the next name in the list as it exists right now.

Furthermore, the ordinal position of an attribute within the list is indeterminate. "Newer" attributes are not necessarily added to the end of the list: If you alter the list while you're walking through it, you may get curious results—you may not see the attribute that you just now added (for example).

In general, it's best to avoid altering the list while you're iterating over it.

Return CodeDescription




You've hit the end of the list.


The object is uninitialized.


status_t InitCheck() const;

Returns the status of the most recent initialization.

Return CodeDescription


The object was successfully initialized.


The object is uninitialized.

Other return values

See the SetTo() function.

Lock(), Unlock()

status_t Lock();status_t Unlock();

Locks and unlocks the BNode's node. While the node is locked, no other object can access the node's data or attributes. More precisely, no other agent can create a file descriptor to the node. If a file descriptor already exists to this node, the Lock() function fails.

See "Node Locking" for details.

Return CodeDescription


The node was successfully locked or unlocked.


(Lock()) The node can't be locked.


(Unlock()) The node isn't locked.


The object is uninitialized.

ReadAttr(), WriteAttr(), RemoveAttr()

ssize_t ReadAttr(const char* name,
                 type_code type,
                 off_t offset,
                 void* buffer,
                 size_t length);
ssize_t WriteAttr(const char* name,
                  type_code type,
                  off_t offset,
                  const void* buffer,
                  size_t length);
status_t RemoveAttr(const char* attr);

These functions read, write, and remove the node's attributes. Attributes are name/data pairs, where names must be unique (within a given node) and the data can be of arbitrary length.

ReadAttr() reads the data in the attribute named name, and copies it in buffer. The length of the buffer (the maximum number of bytes to copy) is given by length. Currently, the type and offset arguments are unused (or unreliable). The function returns the number of bytes that were actually read.

WriteAttr() erases the data currently held by name (if such an attribute exists) and replaces it with a copy of the first length bytes of data in buffer. The type argument is remembered—you can retrieve an attribute's type through GetAttrInfo(), for example—and you need to specify the correct type when you're forming a query (see BQuery and the note below). But, as mentioned above, you don't need to match types when you're reading the attribute. The offset argument is currently unreliable and shouldn't be used. The functions returns the number of bytes that were written.


If you want to use the attribute in a query, its type must be either string, int32, uint32, int64, uint64, double, or float. (In other words, type must be B_STRING_TYPE, or B_INT32_TYPE, or B_UINT32_TYPE, and so on.)


The value of an indexed attribute must be no more than 255 bytes long.

RemoveAttr() deletes the attribute given by name.

ReadAttr() and WriteAttr(), if successful, return the number of bytes read or written.

Return CodeDescription


(RemoveAttr()) The attribute was successfully removed.


(ReadAttr() and RemoveAttr()) The attribute doesn't exist.


The object is uninitialized.


(WriteAttr() and RemoveAttr()) This object is a read-only BFile.


(WriteAttr() and RemoveAttr()) The node is on a read-only volume.


(WriteAttr()) Out of disk space.


(WriteAttr()) Not enough memory to complete the operation.


status_t RenameAttr(const char* name,
                    const char* new_name);

Moves the attribute given by name to new_name. If new_name exists, it's clobbered.

Return CodeDescription


The attribute was successfully renamed.


The name attribute doesn't exist.


The object is uninitialized.


This object is a read-only BFile.


The node is on a read-only volume.

SetTo(), Unset()

status_t SetTo(const entry_ref* ref); status_t SetTo(const BEntryentry); status_t SetTo(const char* path); status_t SetTo(const BDirectorydir,
               const char* path);
void Unset();

Closes the BNode's current file descriptor and opens it on the node (of the entry) that's designated by the arguments.

  • In the path version, path can be absolute or relative, and can contain "." and ".." elements. If path is relative, it's reckoned off of the current working directory.

  • In the dir/path version, path must be relative. It's reckoned off of the directory given by dir.

BNode instances never traverse symbolic links. If the designated entry is a symbolic link, the BNode will open the link's node. (Conversely, BFile instances always traverse symbolic links.)

Unset() closes the BNode's file descriptor and sets InitCheck() to B_NO_INIT.

Return CodeDescription


All is well.


The designated entry doesn't exist.


Uninitialized or malformed argument.


The node is locked.


status_t Sync();

Immediately performs any pending disk transactions for the file, returning B_OK on success and an appropriate error message otherwise.


= (assignment)

BNode& operator=(const BNode& node);

In the expression

BNode a = b;

BNode a is initialized to refer to the same node as b. To gauge the success of the assignment, you should call InitCheck() immediately afterwards. It's safe to assign a BNode to itself.

== , != (comparison)

bool operator==(const BNode& node) const;bool operator!=(const BNode& node) const;

Two BNode objects are said to be equal if they're set to the same node, or if they're both B_NO_INIT.

Defined Types


Declared in: storage/Node.h

struct node_ref {
              node_ref(const node_ref& ref);

    bool      operator==(const node_ref& ref) const;
    bool      operator!=(const node_ref& ref) const;
    node_ref& operator=(const node_ref& ref);

    dev_t     device;
    ino_t     node;

The node_ref structure describes a node in a file system.

  • device contains the device number on which the node is located.

  • node contains the inode of the node.

node_ref();node_ref(const node_ref& ref);

The constructor for the node_ref structure. The first of these creates an empty node_ref, and the second duplicates an existing node_ref.


The destructor for node_ref.

operator ==

Lets you perform comparisons of node_ref structures to see if they refer to the same node.

operator !=

Lets you test to see if two node_ref structures refer to different nodes.

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