I am performing a calculation in Mathematica which relies on calls to an external program that acts as a black box for calculating a function $f$, and I would like to know if it is possible for Mathematica to interact with a command-line interface that asks for user input.
At the moment I am writing the arguments to my function $f$ in some external file
inputFile.txt, and then running the external executable using one of the Run-related syntaxes:
inputstream=OpenRead["! ./external-program.x < inputFile.txt"] ReadList[inputstream]
For the record, I'm running Mathematica 9 on Ubuntu 12.04.
While this is a perfectly OK way to do things, it does mean I need to write to a file, have
external-program read it, and then delete the file. For a long calculation with many such calls, it is overhead that I'd like to avoid.
My external program does allow for command-line interaction, at least with a human user on a terminal, and this does not require piping in an already-written file. In practice, you run
on a command line, and you are then required to input the multiple arguments and press Enter after them.
Is it possible to automate this sort of behaviour from within Mathematica?