A Closable Filter or Device receives notifications before a stream or stream buffer which contains it is closed.


The C++ standard library does not recognize the notion of an arbitrary stream or stream buffer being open or closed. For the Iostreams library, however, the notion of opening and closing streams and stream buffers is important. Some Filters and Devices have special behavior reserved for the end of a stream — e.g., an OutputFilter might conclude each sequence of data with a newline character. Other Filters or Devices maintain state during a sequence of i/o operations which must be reset before the Filter or Device can be reused. Such Filters and Devices need to be notified before a stream is closed, and should model Closable.

Closure Notifications

The Iostreams library sends closure notifications by invoking the function close. For a Closable Filter or Device, close delegates to a member function close; for other Devices, it does nothing. The details regarding when and how close is invoked are complicated. However, defining a Filter or Device which receives closure notifications is easy:


If a Device controls a single sequence of characters, it can be made Closable simply by specifying a category tag which is convertible to closable_tag and by adding a member function close, like so:

    void close() {  /* process closure notification */  }

Filters and Devices which derive from the convenience templates and typedefs have category tags convertible to closable_tag provided automatically.

For Filters controlling a single sequence, the signature of close is:

    template<typename Device>
    void close(Device&) {  ...  }

For Filters and Devices controlling separate input and output sequences, the above signatures should be modified by adding a std::ios_base::openmode parameter at the beginning of the parameter list. The member will be called first with argument std::ios_base::in — to signal the closing of the input sequence — and later with argument std::ios_base::out — to signal the closing of the output sequence.

Refinement of

Associated Types

Character typeThe type of the characters in the associated sequence
CategoryA category tag convertible to closable_tag


C-A type which is a model of Closable
D-A type which is a model of Blocking, with the same character type as C and with mode refining the mode of C
c-Object of type C
d-Object of type D
w-Object of type std::ios_base::openmode, equal to std::ios_base::in or std::ios_base::out

Valid Expressions / Semantics

Same as Filter or Device, with the following additional requirements:

ExpressionExpression TypePreconditionSemanticsPostcondition
boost::iostreams::close(c, w)
void Category convertible to device_tag If w is std::ios_base::out, writes zero or more characters to the output sequence c is ready to begin processing a new character sequence
boost::iostreams::close(c, d, w)
void Category convertible to filter_tag

If w is std::ios_base::out, writes zero or more characters to d using boost::iostreams::put and boost::iostreams::write

c is ready to begin processing a new character sequence


Errors which occur during the execution of close are be indicated by throwing exceptions. Such exceptions are caught and ignored if they occur during the execution of stream or stream buffer destructor.


Many of the Filters and Devices provided by the Iostreams library are Closable, but this is an implementation detail.