A streambuf consists of a stream or sequence of characters and one or two pointers into that sequence. Each pointer points between two characters. (Pointers cannot actually point between characters, but it is helpful to think of them that way.) There are two kinds of streambuf pointers:
A streambuf can have one or both of these pointers.
The positions of the pointers and the contents of the sequences can be manipulated in various ways. Whether or not both pointers move when manipulated depends on the kind of streambuf used. Generally, with queue-like streambufs, the get and put pointers move independently; with file-like streambufs the get and put pointers always move together. A strstream is an example of a queue-like stream; an fstream is an example of a file-like stream.