R – the difference between file and random access file

file-accessrandom-access

what is the difference between file and random access file?

Best Solution

A random access file is a file where you can "jump" to anywhere within it without having to read sequentially until the position you are interested in.

For example, say you have a 1MB file, and you are interested in 5 bytes that start after 100k of data. A random access file will allow you to "jump" to the 100k-th position in one operation. A non-random access file will require you to read 100k bytes first, and only then read the data you're interested in.

Hope that helps.

Clarification: this description is language-agnostic and does not relate to any specific file wrapper in any specific language/framework.

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