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I'm designing and application that spawns another processes to handle some specialized work. The application and the process it spawns will communicate through standard input and standard output (and standard error too).

I've been given this same task again and again and I never know how to handle it. The question is simple:

What are some good conventions or standards for writing some protocol using stdin and stdout?

To be a little more specific:

  • What protocol design will result in the least errors and be somewhat efficient?
  • Are there any common (and familiar) protocols already specifically for stdin and stdout?
  • Is there any chance that the executable of the child process will get used on its own from the command line? – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jun 13 '16 at 7:34
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What protocol design will result in the least errors and be somewhat efficient?

A protocol that implements an ACL

Are there any common (and familiar) protocols already specifically for stdin and stdout?

Expect is the most well-known solution to test and automate interactive programs that communicate through stdin and stdout

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