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Reads one binary record that has been written using an UNFORMATTED FORTRAN write.


	function fbinread (
		filepath [1] : string,           
		rec_dims [*] : integer or long,  
		rec_type [1] : string            

	return_val [rec_dims] :  rec_type



Path needed to locate binary file.


An array specifying the dimensions of the data to be read or the value -1.

As of version 6.0.0, rec_dims can be of type int or long.


A string representing the type of the data being read.

Return value

Returns a variable whose shape and type are specified via the rec_dims and rec_type arguments.


The fbinread function is a special case of the fbinrecread function. The latter can read multiple records from a file while fbinread reads only the first record.

The file must have been been created by a fortran "open" statement of the form

    open (..., form="unformatted" [,access="sequential"],...)
Note: As with any binary file, the "endian-ness" of the data on the file and that of the current system must agree. The "ReadByteOrder" option in the setfileoption procedure can be used to force the "endian" type in a file. This allows big-endian files to be read on a little-endian machine and vice versa. The isbigendian function can be used to determine the endian-ness of your current system.

By default, the record marker size at the beginning and end of Fortran sequential files is assumed to be 4 bytes. In V6.1.1 and later, you can change this to 8 bytes using the "RecordMarkerSize" option in the setfileoption procedure.

If the specified rec_dims dimensions do not define a size equal to the total file data size, an error message is generated. Note that there is no way for NCL to determine if the type of file and the rec_type parameter represent the same type. If the value of -1 is used for rec_dims then all of the values of the Fortran record are read and the output is a single dimension variable with a dimension size equal to the number of elements of the record.

See Also

setfileoption, fbinnumrec, fbinrecread, fbindirread, fbinrecwrite, fbinwrite, isbigendian


Example 1

The below is a Fortran (f77) code fragment:

     real  x(100), y(399), z(128,64)
     open  (11,file="example01",form="unformatted")
     write (11) x, y, z       ! 1st record   [rec_num=0]

Below is the NCL code to read the above. Note that the shape appears to be different for the z variable. In Fortran, the leftmost dimension varies fastest while in NCL [C], the rightmost dimension varies fastest. Thus, the data record will match the fastest varying dimensions correctly.

     fili = "example01"       ; input file    
     recl = 100 + 399 + 128*64
     xyz  = fbinread (fili, recl , "float")

     x    = xyz(0:99)
     y    = xyz(100:498)
     z    = onedtond( xyz(499:) , (/64,128/) )