Lynx, Java, & Runtime.getRuntime().exec()

LYnx is a text based browser.  It can convert .html files to its rough equivalent in text.

I am trying to use a simple java program to call lynx.bat or lynx.exe .

Lynx.bat is located in C:\Lynx\lynx.bat

I want to use the "-dump" parameter.

Then I must put the name of the file "mydoc.htm"

Then the name of the new file "mydoctxt.txt"

So in completion it would look like this "lynx.bat -dump mydoc.htm > mydoctxt.txt"

This works completely fine from the command line, but when I try to wrap it in a simple java program, it fails.

Here is what I have so far...

package javaapplication2;
import      java.io.*;
class Main{
   
    public static void main(String argv[]) {
       
        try {
            String ls_str;
           
            //Process ls_proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("cmd.exe /E :1900 C:\\lynx\\lynx.exe -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\test6.txt");
            Process ls_proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\test5.txt");

           
            DataInputStream ls_in = new DataInputStream(
            ls_proc.getInputStream());
           
           
            try {
                while ((ls_str = ls_in.readLine()) != null) {
                    System.out.println(ls_str);

                }
            } catch (IOException e) {
                System.out.println("1st catch block");
                System.exit(0);


            }
        } catch (IOException e1) {
            System.err.println(e1);
            System.out.println("2nd catch block");
            System.exit(1);
        }
       
        System.exit(0);
       
       
    }
   
   
}

When I run that a blank text file called test5.txt is created.  It is 0kb in length.  If I run it straight from the command line in windows XP though, test5.txt is created successfully.  If I uncomment out Process ls_proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("cmd.exe /E :1900 C:\\lynx\\lynx.exe -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\test6.txt"); and comment out the other line, the program lags and nothing happens.

I know I have to be missing something simple here, because I whipped up the equivalent prog in VB, in like 3 minutes.
bullyellisAsked:
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WebstormConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi bullyellis,

You cannot redirect the output with ">" unless you use cmd.exe.
You have to redirect the outputstream from the Process class to a FileOutputStream like that :

String[] cmdarray = {"cmd.exe","/E:1900","/C","C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat","-dump","C:\\test.htm"};
//String[] cmdarray = {"C:\\lynx\\lynx.exe,"-dump","C:\\test.htm"};

// cmd.exe to invoke the batch file is necessary, but not for the .exe file

RunProcess ls_proc = new RunProcess(
         Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\test5.txt"),
          System.in,false,
          new FileOutputStream("C:\\test5.txt"),true, // stdout redirection
          System.err,false);


// And the RunProcess class is :


public class RunProcess
{
    private Process p=null;
    private static final int BUFFER_SIZE=8192;
    private Thread th_in=null,th_out=null,th_err=null;
    private int ret_code=-1;

    public RunProcess(
        final Process p,
        final InputStream p_in,   final boolean in_close,
        final OutputStream p_out, final boolean out_close,
        final OutputStream p_err, final boolean err_close)
    {
        this.p=p;

        // Process. OUT
        (th_out=new Thread(){
            byte b[]=new byte[BUFFER_SIZE];
            InputStream inp=p.getInputStream();
            public void run()
            {
                try{
                    for(;;)
                    {
                        int sz=inp.read(b);
                        if (p_out!=null) p_out.write(b,0,sz);
                    }
                }catch(Exception e){}
            }
        }).start();

        // Process. ERR
        (th_err=new Thread(){
            byte b[]=new byte[BUFFER_SIZE];
            InputStream inp=p.getErrorStream();
            public void run()
            {
                try{
                    for(;;)
                    {
                        int sz=inp.read(b);
                        if (p_err!=null) p_err.write(b,0,sz);
                    }
                }catch(Exception e){}
            }
        }).start();

        if (p_in!=null)
        // Process. IN
        (th_in=new Thread(){
            byte b[]=new byte[BUFFER_SIZE];
            OutputStream outp=p.getOutputStream();
            public void run()
            {
                try{
                    for(;;)
                    {
                        int sz=p_in.read(b);
                        outp.write(b,0,sz);
                    }
                }catch(Exception e){}
            }
        }).start();

        (new Thread(){
            public void run()
            {
                try{
                    ret_code=p.waitFor();
                }catch(Exception ex){}
                if (th_in!=null) th_in.interrupt();
                try{if (in_close&&(p_in!=null)) p_in.close();}catch(Exception ex){}
                try{if (out_close&&(p_out!=null)) p_out.close();}catch(Exception ex){}
                try{if (err_close&&(p_err!=null)) p_err.close();}catch(Exception ex){}
                if (th_out!=null) th_out.interrupt();
                if (th_err!=null) th_err.interrupt();
            }
        }).start();
    }

    public int getReturnCode()
    {
        return ret_code;
    }

    public int waitFor() throws Exception
    {
        return p.waitFor();
    }

    public void destroy()
    {
        p.destroy();
    }
}
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gdrnecCommented:
I had this problem once and I think that I solved by using Runtime.exec(String[] cmdarray) method instead of all one string.

so String[] cmdarray = {"C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat","-dump","C:\\test.htm",">","C:\\test5.txt"};
Runtime.getRuntime().exec(cmdarray);

I think I remeber this solving it. Hope I'm right.

Geoff
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zzynxSoftware engineerCommented:
Sure it isn't a matter of (back) slashes.

Did you try these already?

            Process ls_proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("cmd.exe /E :1900 C:/lynx/lynx.exe -dump C:/test.htm > C:/test6.txt");
or
            Process ls_proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:/lynx/lynx.bat -dump C:/test.htm > C:/test5.txt");
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objectsCommented:
Here an examples of handing the output from a Process that you should be able to easily adapt to your requirements.

http://www.objects.com.au/java/examples/util/ConsoleExec.do
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bullyellisAuthor Commented:
WebStorm,

Your code works kind of.

The problem I ran into was

RunProcess ls_proc = new RunProcess(
         Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\test5.txt"),
          System.in,false,
          new FileOutputStream("C:\\test5.txt"),true, // stdout redirection
          System.err,false);

The 2 instances of "test5.txt" can not be named the same thing.

I get an error that "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process."  And again I get the empty text file.

However if I change the code to

RunProcess ls_proc = new RunProcess(
         Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\testa.txt"),
          System.in,false,
          new FileOutputStream("C:\\testb.txt"),true, // stdout redirection
          System.err,false);

Then I get both testa and testb.  testa.txt works correctly and is what I want.  testb.txt however is another empty text file.

Could you explain this ?

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WebstormCommented:
bullyellis, thanks for the points

When you specify a redirection with '>', cmd.exe will redirect output to this file. So, nothing will be written to the process's stdout stream, and you get an empty file.
If you specify a FileOutputStream you don't have to specify another redirection in the command line and it's only usable with cmd.exe :

RunProcess ls_proc = new RunProcess(
         Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat -dump C:\\test.htm"),
          System.in,false,
          new FileOutputStream("C:\\testa.txt"),true, // stdout redirection
          System.err,false);

Or

RunProcess ls_proc = new RunProcess(
         Runtime.getRuntime().exec("C:\\lynx\\lynx.bat -dump C:\\test.htm > C:\\testa.txt"),
          System.in,false,
          System.out,false,
          System.err,false);

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