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Difference between pipes and ports

From: Zelphir Kaltstahl
Subject: Difference between pipes and ports
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2021 01:14:13 +0000

Hello Guile users,

I recently came across
<> and wrote a
commented version at

While looking at the code, I was starting to wonder, what the difference between
a pipe and a port is. The reference manual does not say much about any
definition of what a pipe is at
<> and pipe
procedure return values are also named port.

However, in the REPL, they look not the same:

scheme@(guile-user)> (import (ice-9 popen))        
scheme@(guile-user)> (open-input-pipe "ls -al")
$2 = #<input: #{read pipe}# 13>

And here for ports:

scheme@(guile-user)> (call-with-output-string
                       (λ (port)
                         (display port)))
#<output: file 7fa2a99471c0>$6 = ""

Is a pipe just a special kind of port? Does it wrap a port? Or is it perhaps
merely a different terminology used in different contexts in the reference 

Best regards,


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