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<H1><a name="Ruby">35 SWIG and Ruby</a></H1>
<!-- INDEX -->
<div class="sectiontoc">
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn2">Preliminaries</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn3">Running SWIG</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn4">Getting the right header files</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn5">Compiling a dynamic module</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn6">Using your module</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn7">Static linking</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn8">Compilation of C++ extensions</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn9">Building Ruby Extensions under Windows 95/NT</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn10">Running SWIG from Developer Studio</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn11">The Ruby-to-C/C++ Mapping</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn12">Modules</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn13">Functions</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn14">Variable Linking</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn15">Constants</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn16">Pointers</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn17">Structures</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn18">C++ classes</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn19">C++ Inheritance</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn20">C++ Overloaded Functions</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn21">C++ Operators</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn22">C++ namespaces</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn23">C++ templates</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn23_1">C++ Standard Template Library (STL)</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_C_STL_Functors">C++ STL Functors</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_C_Iterators">C++ STL Iterators</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn24">C++ Smart Pointers</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_smart_pointers_shared_ptr">The shared_ptr Smart Pointer</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_smart_pointers_generic">Generic Smart Pointers</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn25">Cross-Language Polymorphism</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn26">Exception Unrolling</a>
</ul>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn27">Naming</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn28">Defining Aliases</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn29">Predicate Methods</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn30">Bang Methods</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn31">Getters and Setters</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn32">Input and output parameters</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn33">Exception handling </a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn34">Using the %exception directive </a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn34_2">Handling Ruby Blocks </a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn35">Raising exceptions </a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn36">Exception classes </a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn37">Typemaps</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn38">What is a typemap?</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_Typemap_scope">Typemap scope</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_Copying_a_typemap">Copying a typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_Deleting_a_typemap">Deleting a typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_Placement_of_typemaps">Placement of typemaps</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn39">Ruby typemaps</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_in_typemap">"in" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_typecheck_typemap">"typecheck" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_out_typemap">"out" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_arginit_typemap">"arginit" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_default_typemap">"default" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_check_typemap">"check" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_argout_typemap_">"argout" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_freearg_typemap_">"freearg" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_newfree_typemap">"newfree" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_memberin_typemap">"memberin" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_varin_typemap">"varin" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_varout_typemap_">"varout" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_throws_typemap">"throws" typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_directorin_typemap">directorin typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_directorout_typemap">directorout typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_directorargout_typemap">directorargout typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_ret_typemap">ret typemap</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_globalin_typemap">globalin typemap</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn40">Typemap variables</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn41">Useful Functions</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn42">C Datatypes to Ruby Objects</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn43">Ruby Objects to C Datatypes</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn44">Macros for VALUE</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn45">Exceptions</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn46">Iterators</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn47">Typemap Examples</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn48">Converting a Ruby array to a char **</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn49">Collecting arguments in a hash</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn50">Pointer handling</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn51">Ruby Datatype Wrapping</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn52">Example: STL Vector to Ruby Array</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn65">Docstring Features</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn66">Module docstring</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn67">%feature("autodoc")</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn68">%feature("autodoc", "0")</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_autodoc1">%feature("autodoc", "1")</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_autodoc2">%feature("autodoc", "2")</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_feature_autodoc3">%feature("autodoc", "3")</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn70">%feature("autodoc", "docstring")</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn71">%feature("docstring")</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn53">Advanced Topics</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_operator_overloading">Operator overloading</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn55">Creating Multi-Module Packages</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn56">Specifying Mixin Modules</a>
</ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn57">Memory Management</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn58">Mark and Sweep Garbage Collector </a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn59">Object Ownership</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn60">Object Tracking</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn61">Mark Functions</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn62">Free Functions</a>
<li><a href="#Ruby_nn63">Embedded Ruby and the C++ Stack</a>
</ul>
</ul>
</div>
<!-- INDEX -->
<p>This chapter describes SWIG's support of Ruby.</p>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn2">35.1 Preliminaries</a></H2>
<p> SWIG 4.0 is known to work with Ruby versions 1.9 and later.
Given the choice, you should use the latest stable version of Ruby. You
should also determine if your system supports shared libraries and
dynamic loading. SWIG will work with or without dynamic loading, but
the compilation process will vary. </p>
<p>This chapter covers most SWIG features, but in less depth than
is found in earlier chapters. At the very least, make sure you also
read the "<a href="SWIG.html#SWIG">SWIG Basics</a>"
chapter. It is also assumed that the reader has a basic understanding
of Ruby. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn3">35.1.1 Running SWIG</a></H3>
<p> To build a Ruby module, run SWIG using the <tt>-ruby</tt>
option:</p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>$ swig -ruby example.i
</pre>
</div>
<p> If building a C++ extension, add the <tt>-c++</tt>
option: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>$ swig -c++ -ruby example.i
</pre>
</div>
<p> This creates a file <tt>example_wrap.c</tt> (<tt>example_wrap.cxx</tt>
if compiling a C++ extension) that contains all of the code needed to
build a Ruby extension module. To finish building the module, you need
to compile this file and link it with the rest of your program. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn4">35.1.2 Getting the right header files</a></H3>
<p> In order to compile the wrapper code, the compiler needs the <tt>ruby.h</tt>
header file and its dependencies, notably <tt>ruby/config.h</tt> which is
found in a different, architecture-dependent, directory. The best way to find
the compiler options needed to compile the code is to ask Ruby itself:</p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>$ ruby -rrbconfig -e 'puts "-I#{RbConfig::CONFIG[%q{rubyhdrdir}]} -I#{RbConfig::CONFIG[%q{rubyarchhdrdir}]}"'
-I/usr/include/ruby-2.1.0 -I/usr/include/x86_64-linux-gnu/ruby-2.1.0
</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn5">35.1.3 Compiling a dynamic module</a></H3>
<p> Ruby extension modules are typically compiled into shared
libraries that the interpreter loads dynamically at runtime. Since the
exact commands for doing this vary from platform to platform, your best
bet is to follow the steps described in the <tt>README.EXT</tt>
file from the Ruby distribution: </p>
<ol>
<li>
<p>Create a file called <tt>extconf.rb</tt> that
looks like the following:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>require 'mkmf'
create_makefile('example')</pre>
</div>
</li>
<li>
<p>Type the following to build the extension:</p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
$ ruby extconf.rb
$ make
$ make install
</pre>
</div>
</li>
</ol>
<p> Of course, there is the problem that mkmf does not work
correctly on all platforms, e.g, HPUX. If you need to add your own make
rules to the file that <tt>extconf.rb</tt> produces, you
can add this: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>open("Makefile", "a") { |mf|
puts &lt;&lt;EOM
# Your make rules go here
EOM
}
</pre>
</div>
<p> to the end of the <tt>extconf.rb</tt> file. If
for some reason you don't want to use the standard approach, you'll
need to determine the correct compiler and linker flags for your build
platform. For example, assuming you have code you need to link to in a file
called <tt>example.c</tt>, a typical sequence of commands for the Linux
operating system would look something like this: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>$ swig -ruby example.i
$ gcc -O2 -fPIC -c example.c
$ gcc -O2 -fPIC -c example_wrap.c -I/usr/include/ruby-2.1.0
$ gcc -shared example.o example_wrap.o -o example.so
</pre>
</div>
<p>
The -fPIC option tells GCC to generate position-independent code (PIC)
which is required for most architectures (it's not vital on x86, but
still a good idea as it allows code pages from the library to be shared between
processes). Other compilers may need a different option specified instead of
-fPIC.
</p>
<p>
If in doubt, consult the
manual pages for your compiler and linker to determine the correct set
of options. You might also check the <a href="https://github.com/swig/swig/wiki">SWIG Wiki</a>
for additional information. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn6">35.1.4 Using your module</a></H3>
<p> Ruby <i>module</i> names must be capitalized,
but the convention for Ruby <i>feature</i> names is to use
lowercase names. So, for example, the <b>Etc</b> extension
module is imported by requiring the <b>etc</b> feature: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre># The feature name begins with a lowercase letter...
require 'etc'
# ... but the module name begins with an uppercase letter
puts "Your login name: #{Etc.getlogin}"
</pre>
</div>
<p> To stay consistent with this practice, you should always
specify a <b>lowercase</b> module name with SWIG's <tt>%module</tt>
directive. SWIG will automatically correct the resulting Ruby module
name for your extension. So for example, a SWIG interface file that
begins with: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example</pre>
</div>
<p> will result in an extension module using the feature name
"example" and Ruby module name "Example". </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn7">35.1.5 Static linking</a></H3>
<p> An alternative approach to dynamic linking is to rebuild the
Ruby interpreter with your extension module added to it. In the past,
this approach was sometimes necessary due to limitations in dynamic
loading support on certain machines. However, the situation has
improved greatly over the last few years and you should not consider
this approach unless there is really no other option. </p>
<p>The usual procedure for adding a new module to Ruby involves
finding the Ruby source, adding an entry to the <tt>ext/Setup</tt>
file, adding your directory to the list of extensions in the file, and
finally rebuilding Ruby. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn8">35.1.6 Compilation of C++ extensions</a></H3>
<p> On most machines, C++ extension modules should be linked
using the C++ compiler. For example: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
$ swig -c++ -ruby example.i
$ g++ -fPIC -c example.cxx
$ g++ -fPIC -c example_wrap.cxx -I/usr/include/ruby-2.1.0
$ g++ -shared example.o example_wrap.o -o example.so
</pre>
</div>
<p> If you've written an <tt>extconf.rb</tt> script
to automatically generate a <tt>Makefile</tt> for your C++
extension module, keep in mind that (as of this writing) Ruby still
uses <tt>gcc</tt> and not <tt>g++</tt> as its
linker. As a result, the required C++ runtime library support will not
be automatically linked into your extension module and it may fail to
load on some platforms. A workaround for this problem is use the <tt>mkmf</tt>
module's <tt>append_library()</tt> method to add one of
the C++ runtime libraries to the list of libraries linked into your
extension, e.g. </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>require 'mkmf'
$libs = append_library($libs, "supc++")
create_makefile('example')</pre>
</div>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn9">35.2 Building Ruby Extensions under Windows 95/NT</a></H2>
<p> Building a SWIG extension to Ruby under Windows 95/NT is
roughly similar to the process used with Unix. Normally, you will want
to produce a DLL that can be loaded into the Ruby interpreter. For all
recent versions of Ruby, the procedure described above (i.e. using an <tt>extconf.rb</tt>
script) will work with Windows as well; you should be able to build
your code into a DLL by typing: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
C:\swigtest&gt; ruby extconf.rb
C:\swigtest&gt; nmake
C:\swigtest&gt; nmake install
</pre>
</div>
<p> The remainder of this section covers the process of compiling
SWIG-generated Ruby extensions with Microsoft Visual C++ 6 (i.e. within
the Developer Studio IDE, instead of using the command line tools). In
order to build extensions, you may need to download the source
distribution to the Ruby package, as you will need the Ruby header
files. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn10">35.2.1 Running SWIG from Developer Studio</a></H3>
<p> If you are developing your application within Microsoft
developer studio, SWIG can be invoked as a custom build option. The
process roughly follows these steps : </p>
<ul>
<li> Open up a new workspace and use the AppWizard to select a
DLL project. </li>
<li> Add both the SWIG interface file (the .i file), any
supporting C files, and the name of the wrapper file that will be
created by SWIG (i.e. <tt>example_wrap.c</tt>). Note : If
using C++, choose a different suffix for the wrapper file such as <tt>example_wrap.cxx</tt>.
Don't worry if the wrapper file doesn't exist yet--Developer Studio
will keep a reference to it around. </li>
<li> Select the SWIG interface file and go to the settings
menu. Under settings, select the "Custom Build" option. </li>
<li> Enter "SWIG" in the description field. </li>
<li> Enter "<tt>swig -ruby -o
$(ProjDir)\$(InputName)_wrap.c $(InputPath)</tt>" in the "Build
command(s) field". You may have to include the path to swig.exe. </li>
<li> Enter "<tt>$(ProjDir)\$(InputName)_wrap.c</tt>"
in the "Output files(s) field". </li>
<li> Next, select the settings for the entire project and go to
the C/C++ tab and select the Preprocessor category. Add NT=1 to the
Preprocessor definitions. This must be set else you will get
compilation errors. Also add IMPORT to the preprocessor definitions,
else you may get runtime errors. Also add the include directories for
your Ruby installation under "Additional include directories". </li>
<li> Next, select the settings for the entire project and go to
the Link tab and select the General category. Set the name of the
output file to match the name of your Ruby module (i.e.. example.dll).
Next add the Ruby library file to your link libraries under
Object/Library modules. For example "mswin32-ruby16.lib. You also need
to add the path to the library under the Input tab - Additional library
path. </li>
<li> Build your project. </li>
</ul>
<p> Now, assuming all went well, SWIG will be automatically
invoked when you build your project. Any changes made to the interface
file will result in SWIG being automatically invoked to produce a new
version of the wrapper file. To run your new Ruby extension, simply run
Ruby and use the <tt>require</tt> command as normal. For
example if you have this ruby file run.rb:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre># file: run.rb
require 'Example'
# Call a c function
print "Foo = ", Example.Foo, "\n"</pre>
</div>
<p> Ensure the dll just built is in your path or current
directory, then run the Ruby script from the DOS/Command prompt: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
C:\swigtest&gt; ruby run.rb
Foo = 3.0
</pre>
</div>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn11">35.3 The Ruby-to-C/C++ Mapping</a></H2>
<p> This section describes the basics of how SWIG maps C or C++
declarations in your SWIG interface files to Ruby constructs. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn12">35.3.1 Modules</a></H3>
<p> The SWIG <tt>%module</tt> directive specifies
the name of the Ruby module. If you specify: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example</pre>
</div>
<p> then everything is wrapped into a Ruby module named <tt>Example</tt>
that is nested directly under the global module. You can specify a more
deeply nested module by specifying the fully-qualified module name in
quotes, e.g. </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module "foo::bar::spam"</pre>
</div>
<p> An alternate method of specifying a nested module name is to
use the <tt>-prefix</tt>
option on the SWIG command line. The prefix that you specify with this
option will be prepended to the module name specified with the <tt>%module</tt>
directive in your SWIG interface file. So for example, this declaration
at the top of your SWIG interface file:
</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module "foo::bar::spam"</pre>
</div>
<p> will result in a nested module name of <tt>Foo::Bar::Spam</tt>,
but you can achieve the <span style="font-style: italic;">same</span>
effect by specifying:
</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module spam</pre>
</div>
<p> and then running SWIG with the <tt>-prefix</tt> command
line option:
</p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
$ swig -ruby -prefix "foo::bar::" example.i
</pre>
</div>
<p> Starting with SWIG 1.3.20, you can also choose to wrap
everything into the global module by specifying the <tt>-globalmodule</tt>
option on the SWIG command line, i.e. </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
$ swig -ruby -globalmodule example.i
</pre>
</div>
<p> Note that this does not relieve you of the requirement of
specifying the SWIG module name with the <tt>%module</tt>
directive (or the <tt>-module</tt> command-line option) as
described earlier. </p>
<p>When choosing a module name, do not use the same name as a
built-in Ruby command or standard module name, as the results may be
unpredictable. Similarly, if you're using the <tt>-globalmodule</tt>
option to wrap everything into the global module, take care that the
names of your constants, classes and methods don't conflict with any of
Ruby's built-in names. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn13">35.3.2 Functions</a></H3>
<p> Global functions are wrapped as Ruby module methods. For
example, given the SWIG interface file <tt>example.i</tt>:
</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
int fact(int n);</pre>
</div>
<p> and C source file <tt>example.c</tt>: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>int fact(int n) {
if (n == 0)
return 1;
return (n * fact(n-1));
}</pre>
</div>
<p> SWIG will generate a method <i>fact</i> in the <i>Example</i>
module that can be used like so: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>$ <b>irb</b>
irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>Example.fact(4)</b>
24</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn14">35.3.3 Variable Linking</a></H3>
<p> C/C++ global variables are wrapped as a pair of singleton
methods for the module: one to get the value of the global variable and
one to set it. For example, the following SWIG interface file declares
two global variables: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>// SWIG interface file with global variables
%module example
...
%inline %{
extern int variable1;
extern double Variable2;
%}
...</pre>
</div>
<p> Now look at the Ruby interface:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>$ <b>irb</b>
irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'Example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>Example.variable1 = 2</b>
2
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>Example.Variable2 = 4 * 10.3</b>
41.2
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>Example.Variable2</b>
41.2</pre>
</div>
<p> If you make an error in variable assignment, you will receive
an error message. For example: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):005:0&gt; <b>Example.Variable2 = "hello"</b>
TypeError: no implicit conversion to float from string
from (irb):5:in `Variable2='
from (irb):5</pre>
</div>
<p> If a variable is declared as <tt>const</tt>, it
is wrapped as a read-only variable. Attempts to modify its value will
result in an error. </p>
<p>To make ordinary variables read-only, you can also use the <tt>%immutable</tt>
directive. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%immutable;
%inline %{
extern char *path;
%}
%mutable;</pre>
</div>
<p> The <tt>%immutable</tt> directive stays in
effect until it is explicitly disabled using <tt>%mutable</tt>.
</p>
<p>Note: When SWIG is invoked with the <tt>-globalmodule</tt> option in
effect, the C/C++ global variables will be translated into Ruby global
variables. Type-checking and the optional read-only characteristic are
available in the same way as described above. However the example would
then have to be modified and executed in the following way:
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>$ <b>irb</b>
irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'Example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>$variable1 = 2</b>
2
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>$Variable2 = 4 * 10.3</b>
41.2
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>$Variable2</b>
41.2</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn15">35.3.4 Constants</a></H3>
<p> C/C++ constants are wrapped as module constants initialized
to the appropriate value. To create a constant, use <tt>#define</tt>
or the <tt>%constant</tt> directive. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>#define PI 3.14159
#define VERSION "1.0"
%constant int FOO = 42;
%constant const char *path = "/usr/local";
const int BAR = 32;</pre>
</div>
<p> Remember to use the :: operator in Ruby to get at these
constant values, e.g. </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>$ <b>irb</b>
irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'Example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>Example::PI</b>
3.14159</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn16">35.3.5 Pointers</a></H3>
<p> "Opaque" pointers to arbitrary C/C++ types (i.e. types that
aren't explicitly declared in your SWIG interface file) are wrapped as
data objects. So, for example, consider a SWIG interface file
containing only the declarations: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>Foo *get_foo();
void set_foo(Foo *foo);</pre>
</div>
<p> For this case, the <i>get_foo()</i> method
returns an instance of an internally generated Ruby class: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>foo = Example::get_foo()</b>
#&lt;SWIG::TYPE_p_Foo:0x402b1654&gt;</pre>
</div>
<p> A <tt>NULL</tt> pointer is always represented by
the Ruby <tt>nil</tt> object. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn17">35.3.6 Structures</a></H3>
<p> C/C++ structs are wrapped as Ruby classes, with accessor
methods (i.e. "getters" and "setters") for all of the struct members.
For example, this struct declaration: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>struct Vector {
double x, y;
};</pre>
</div>
<p> gets wrapped as a <tt>Vector</tt> class, with
Ruby instance methods <tt>x</tt>, <tt>x=</tt>,
<tt>y</tt> and <tt>y=</tt>. These methods can
be used to access structure data from Ruby as follows: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>$ <b>irb</b>
irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'Example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>f = Example::Vector.new</b>
#&lt;Example::Vector:0x4020b268&gt;
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>f.x = 10</b>
nil
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>f.x</b>
10.0</pre>
</div>
<p> Similar access is provided for unions and the public data
members of C++ classes.</p>
<p><tt>const</tt> members of a structure are
read-only. Data members can also be forced to be read-only using the <tt>%immutable</tt>
directive (in C++, <tt>private</tt> may also be used). For
example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>struct Foo {
...
%immutable;
int x; /* Read-only members */
char *name;
%mutable;
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p> When <tt>char *</tt> members of a structure are
wrapped, the contents are assumed to be dynamically allocated using <tt>malloc</tt>
or <tt>new</tt> (depending on whether or not SWIG is run
with the <tt>-c++</tt> option). When the structure member
is set, the old contents will be released and a new value created. If
this is not the behavior you want, you will have to use a typemap
(described shortly). </p>
<p>Array members are normally wrapped as read-only. For example,
this code: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>struct Foo {
int x[50];
};</pre>
</div>
<p> produces a single accessor function like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>int *Foo_x_get(Foo *self) {
return self-&gt;x;
};</pre>
</div>
<p> If you want to set an array member, you will need to supply a
"memberin" typemap described in the <a href="#Ruby_memberin_typemap">section on typemaps</a>.
As a special case, SWIG does generate code to set array members of type
<tt>char</tt> (allowing you to store a Ruby string in the
structure). </p>
<p>When structure members are wrapped, they are handled as
pointers. For example, </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>struct Foo {
...
};
struct Bar {
Foo f;
};</pre>
</div>
<p> generates accessor functions such as this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>Foo *Bar_f_get(Bar *b) {
return &amp;b-&gt;f;
}
void Bar_f_set(Bar *b, Foo *val) {
b-&gt;f = *val;
}</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn18">35.3.7 C++ classes</a></H3>
<p> Like structs, C++ classes are wrapped by creating a new Ruby
class of the same name with accessor methods for the public class
member data. Additionally, public member functions for the class are
wrapped as Ruby instance methods, and public static member functions
are wrapped as Ruby singleton methods. So, given the C++ class
declaration: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class List {
public:
List();
~List();
int search(char *item);
void insert(char *item);
void remove(char *item);
char *get(int n);
int length;
static void print(List *l);
};</pre>
</div>
<p> SWIG would create a <tt>List</tt> class with: </p>
<ul>
<li> instance methods <i>search</i>, <i>insert</i>,
<i>remove</i>, and <i>get</i>; </li>
<li> instance methods <i>length</i> and <i>length=</i>
(to get and set the value of the <i>length</i> data
member); and, </li>
<li> a <i>print</i> singleton method for the
class. </li>
</ul>
<p> In Ruby, these functions are used as follows: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>require 'Example'
l = Example::List.new
l.insert("Ale")
l.insert("Stout")
l.insert("Lager")
Example.print(l)
l.length()
----- produces the following output
Lager
Stout
Ale
3</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn19">35.3.8 C++ Inheritance</a></H3>
<p> The SWIG type-checker is fully aware of C++ inheritance.
Therefore, if you have classes like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Parent {
...
};
class Child : public Parent {
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p> those classes are wrapped into a hierarchy of Ruby classes
that reflect the same inheritance structure. All of the usual Ruby
utility methods work normally: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>c = Child.new</b>
#&lt;Bar:0x4016efd4&gt;
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>c.instance_of? Child</b>
true
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>b.instance_of? Parent</b>
false
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>b.is_a? Child</b>
true
irb(main):005:0&gt; <b>b.is_a? Parent</b>
true
irb(main):006:0&gt; <b>Child &lt; Parent</b>
true
irb(main):007:0&gt; <b>Child &gt; Parent</b>
false</pre>
</div>
<p> Furthermore, if you have a function like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>void spam(Parent *f);</pre>
</div>
<p> then the function <tt>spam()</tt> accepts <tt>Parent</tt>*
or a pointer to any class derived from <tt>Parent</tt>. </p>
<p>Until recently, the Ruby module for SWIG didn't support
multiple inheritance, and this is still the default behavior. This
doesn't mean that you can't wrap C++ classes which inherit from
multiple base classes; it simply means that only the <b>first</b>
base class listed in the class declaration is considered, and any
additional base classes are ignored. As an example, consider a SWIG
interface file with a declaration like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Derived : public Base1, public Base2
{
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p> For this case, the resulting Ruby class (<tt>Derived</tt>)
will only consider <tt>Base1</tt> as its superclass. It
won't inherit any of <tt>Base2</tt>'s member functions or
data and it won't recognize <tt>Base2</tt> as an
"ancestor" of <tt>Derived</tt> (i.e. the <em>is_a?</em>
relationship would fail). When SWIG processes this interface file,
you'll see a warning message like: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>example.i:5: Warning 802: Warning for Derived: Base Base2 ignored.
Multiple inheritance is not supported in Ruby.</pre>
</div>
<p> Starting with SWIG 1.3.20, the Ruby module for SWIG provides
limited support for multiple inheritance. Because the approach for
dealing with multiple inheritance introduces some limitations, this is
an optional feature that you can activate with the <tt>-minherit</tt>
command-line option: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
$ swig -c++ -ruby -minherit example.i
</pre>
</div>
<p> Using our previous example, if your SWIG interface file
contains a declaration like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Derived : public Base1, public Base2
{
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p> and you run SWIG with the <tt>-minherit</tt>
command-line option, then you will end up with a Ruby class <tt>Derived</tt>
that appears to "inherit" the member data and functions from both <tt>Base1</tt>
and <tt>Base2</tt>. What actually happens is that three
different top-level classes are created, with Ruby's <tt>Object</tt>
class as their superclass. Each of these classes defines a nested
module named <tt>Impl</tt>, and it's in these nested <tt>Impl</tt>
modules that the actual instance methods for the classes are defined,
i.e. </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>class Base1
module Impl
# Define Base1 methods here
end
include Impl
end
class Base2
module Impl
# Define Base2 methods here
end
include Impl
end
class Derived
module Impl
include Base1::Impl
include Base2::Impl
# Define Derived methods here
end
include Impl
end</pre>
</div>
<p> Observe that after the nested <tt>Impl</tt>
module for a class is defined, it is mixed-in to the class itself. Also
observe that the <tt>Derived::Impl</tt> module first
mixes-in its base classes' <tt>Impl</tt> modules, thus
"inheriting" all of their behavior. </p>
<p>The primary drawback is that, unlike the default mode of
operation, neither <tt>Base1</tt> nor <tt>Base2</tt>
is a true superclass of <tt>Derived</tt> anymore: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>obj = Derived.new
obj.is_a? Base1 # this will return false...
obj.is_a? Base2 # ... and so will this</pre>
</div>
<p> In most cases, this is not a serious problem since objects of
type <tt>Derived</tt> will otherwise behave as though they
inherit from both <tt>Base1</tt> and <tt>Base2</tt>
(i.e. they exhibit <a href="http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?DuckTyping">"Duck
Typing"</a>). </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn20">35.3.9 C++ Overloaded Functions</a></H3>
<p> C++ overloaded functions, methods, and constructors are
mostly supported by SWIG. For example, if you have two functions like
this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>void foo(int);
void foo(char *c);</pre>
</div>
<p> You can use them in Ruby in a straightforward manner: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>foo(3)</b> # foo(int)
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>foo("Hello")</b> # foo(char *c)</pre>
</div>
<p>Similarly, if you have a class like this, </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Foo {
public:
Foo();
Foo(const Foo &amp;);
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p>you can write Ruby code like this:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>f = Foo.new</b> # Create a Foo
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>g = Foo.new(f)</b> # Copy f</pre>
</div>
<p> Overloading support is not quite as flexible as in C++.
Sometimes there are methods that SWIG can't disambiguate. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>void spam(int);
void spam(short);</pre>
</div>
<p>or</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>void foo(Bar *b);
void foo(Bar &amp;b);</pre>
</div>
<p> If declarations such as these appear, you will get a warning
message like this: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
example.i:12: Warning 509: Overloaded method spam(short) effectively ignored,
example.i:11: Warning 509: as it is shadowed by spam(int).
</pre>
</div>
<p> To fix this, you either need to ignore or rename one of the
methods. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%rename(spam_short) spam(short);
...
void spam(int);
void spam(short); // Accessed as spam_short</pre>
</div>
<p>or</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%ignore spam(short);
...
void spam(int);
void spam(short); // Ignored</pre>
</div>
<p> SWIG resolves overloaded functions and methods using a
disambiguation scheme that ranks and sorts declarations according to a
set of type-precedence rules. The order in which declarations appear in
the input does not matter except in situations where ambiguity
arises--in this case, the first declaration takes precedence. </p>
<p>Please refer to the <a href="SWIGPlus.html#SWIGPlus">"SWIG
and C++"</a> chapter for more information about overloading. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn21">35.3.10 C++ Operators</a></H3>
<p> For the most part, overloaded operators are handled
automatically by SWIG and do not require any special treatment on your
part. So if your class declares an overloaded addition operator, e.g. </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Complex {
...
Complex operator+(Complex &amp;);
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p> the resulting Ruby class will also support the addition (+)
method correctly. </p>
<p>For cases where SWIG's built-in support is not sufficient, C++
operators can be wrapped using the <tt>%rename</tt>
directive (available on SWIG 1.3.10 and later releases). All you need
to do is give the operator the name of a valid Ruby identifier. For
example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%rename(add_complex) operator+(Complex &amp;, Complex &amp;);
...
Complex operator+(Complex &amp;, Complex &amp;);</pre>
</div>
<p>Now, in Ruby, you can do this:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>a = Example::Complex.new(2, 3)
b = Example::Complex.new(4, -1)
c = Example.add_complex(a, b)</pre>
</div>
<p> More details about wrapping C++ operators into Ruby operators
is discussed in the <a href="#Ruby_operator_overloading">section
on operator overloading</a>. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn22">35.3.11 C++ namespaces</a></H3>
<p> SWIG is aware of C++ namespaces, but namespace names do not
appear in the module nor do namespaces result in a module that is
broken up into submodules or packages. For example, if you have a file
like this, </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
namespace foo {
int fact(int n);
struct Vector {
double x, y, z;
};
};</pre>
</div>
<p>it works in Ruby as follows:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>Example.fact(3)</b>
6
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>v = Example::Vector.new</b>
#&lt;Example::Vector:0x4016f4d4&gt;
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>v.x = 3.4</b>
3.4
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>v.y</b>
0.0</pre>
</div>
<p> If your program has more than one namespace, name conflicts
(if any) can be resolved using <tt>%rename</tt> For
example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%rename(Bar_spam) Bar::spam;
namespace Foo {
int spam();
}
namespace Bar {
int spam();
}</pre>
</div>
<p> If you have more than one namespace and your want to keep
their symbols separate, consider wrapping them as separate SWIG
modules. For example, make the module name the same as the namespace
and create extension modules for each namespace separately. If your
program utilizes thousands of small deeply nested namespaces each with
identical symbol names, well, then you get what you deserve. </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn23">35.3.12 C++ templates</a></H3>
<p> C++ templates don't present a huge problem for SWIG. However,
in order to create wrappers, you have to tell SWIG to create wrappers
for a particular template instantiation. To do this, you use the <tt>%template</tt>
directive. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
%{
#include "pair.h"
%}
template&lt;class T1, class T2&gt;
struct pair {
typedef T1 first_type;
typedef T2 second_type;
T1 first;
T2 second;
pair();
pair(const T1&amp;, const T2&amp;);
~pair();
};
%template(Pairii) pair&lt;int, int&gt;;</pre>
</div>
<p>In Ruby:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>require 'example'</b>
true
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>p = Example::Pairii.new(3, 4)</b>
#&lt;Example:Pairii:0x4016f4df&gt;
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>p.first</b>
3
irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>p.second</b>
4</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn23_1">35.3.13 C++ Standard Template Library (STL)</a></H3>
<p> On a related note, the standard SWIG library contains a
number of modules that provide typemaps for standard C++ library
classes (such as <tt>std::pair</tt>, <tt>std::string</tt>
and <tt>std::vector</tt>). These library modules don't
provide wrappers around the templates themselves, but they do make it
convenient for users of your extension module to pass Ruby objects
(such as arrays and strings) to wrapped C++ code that expects instances
of standard C++ templates. For example, suppose the C++ library you're
wrapping has a function that expects a vector of floats: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
float sum(const std::vector&lt;float&gt;&amp; values);</pre>
</div>
<p> Rather than go through the hassle of writing an "in" typemap
to convert an array of Ruby numbers into a
std::vector&lt;float&gt;, you can just use the <tt>std_vector.i</tt>
module from the standard SWIG library: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
%include std_vector.i
float sum(const std::vector&lt;float&gt;&amp; values);</pre>
</div>
<p>Ruby's STL wrappings provide additional methods to make them
behave more similarly to Ruby's native classes.</p>
<p>Thus, you can do, for example:</p>
<div class="targetlang">
<pre>v = IntVector.new
v &lt;&lt; 2
v &lt;&lt; 3
v &lt;&lt; 4
v.each { |x| puts x }
=&gt; 2
3
4
v.delete_if { |x| x == 3 }
=&gt; [2, 4]</pre>
</div>
<p>The SWIG Ruby module provides also the ability for all the STL
containers to carry around Ruby native objects (Fixnum, Classes, etc)
making them act almost like Ruby's own Array, Hash, etc. To
do
that, you need to define a container that contains a swig::GC_VALUE,
like:</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%module nativevector
%{
std::vector&lt; swig::GC_VALUE &gt; NativeVector;
%}
%template(NativeVector) std::vector&lt; swig::GC_VALUE &gt;;
</pre>
</div>
<p>This vector can then contain any Ruby object, making them
almost identical to Ruby's own Array class.</p>
<div class="targetlang">
<pre>require 'nativevector'
include NativeVector
v = NativeVector.new
v &lt;&lt; 1
v &lt;&lt; [1, 2]
v &lt;&lt; 'hello'
class A; end
v &lt;&lt; A.new
puts v
=&gt; [1, [1, 2], 'hello', #&lt;A:0x245325&gt;]
</pre>
</div>
<p>Obviously, there is a lot more to template wrapping than
shown in these examples. More details can be found in the <a href="SWIGPlus.html#SWIGPlus">SWIG and C++</a>
chapter.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_C_STL_Functors">35.3.14 C++ STL Functors</a></H3>
<p>Some containers in the STL allow you to modify their default
behavior by using so called functors or function objects.
Functors are often just a very simple struct with <tt>operator()</tt>
redefined or an actual C/C++ function. This allows you, for
example, to always keep the sort order of a STL container to your
liking.</p>
<p>The Ruby STL mappings allows you to modify those containers
that
support functors using Ruby procs or methods, instead.
Currently,
this includes <tt>std::set</tt>,
<tt>set::map</tt>,
<tt>std::multiset</tt>
and <tt>std::multimap</tt>.</p>
<p>The functors in swig are called <tt>swig::UnaryFunction</tt>
and <tt>swig::BinaryFunction</tt>.
For C++ predicates (ie. functors that must return bool as a result) <tt>swig::UnaryPredicate</tt>
and <tt>swig::BinaryPredicate</tt>
are provided.</p>
<p>As an example, if given this swig file:</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%module intset;
%include &lt;std_set.i&gt;
%template(IntSet) std::set&lt; int, swig::BinaryPredicate &gt;;
</pre></div>
<p>You can then use the set from Ruby with or without a proc
object as a predicate:</p>
<div class="targetlang"><pre>
require 'intset'
include Intset
# Default sorting behavior defined in C++
a = IntSet.new
a &lt;&lt; 1
a &lt;&lt; 2
a &lt;&lt; 3
a
<b>=&gt; [1, 2, 3]</b>
# Custom sorting behavior defined by a Ruby proc
b = IntSet.new( proc { |a, b| a &gt; b } )
b &lt;&lt; 1
b &lt;&lt; 2
b &lt;&lt; 3
b
<b>=&gt; [3, 2, 1]</b>
</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_C_Iterators">35.3.15 C++ STL Iterators</a></H3>
<p>The STL is well known for the use of iterators. There
are a number of iterators possible with different properties, but in
general there are two main categories: const iterators and non-const
iterators. The const iterators can access and not modify the
values they point at, while the non-const iterators can both read and
modify the values.</p>
<p>The Ruby STL wrappings support both type of iterators by using
a proxy class in-between. This proxy class is <tt>swig::Iterator</tt> or
<tt>swig::ConstIterator</tt>. Derived from them are template
classes that need to be initialized with the actual iterator for the
container you are wrapping and often times with the beginning and
ending points of the iteration range.</p>
<p>The SWIG STL library already provides typemaps to all the
standard containers to do this wrapping automatically for you, but if
you have your own STL-like iterator, you will need to write your own
typemap for them. For out typemaps, the special functions <tt>make_const_iterator</tt> and <tt>make_nonconst_iterator</tt> are provided.</p>
<p>These can be used either like:</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
make_const_iterator( iterator, rubyclass );
make_const_iterator( iterator, iterator_begin, iterator_end, rubyclass );
</pre></div>
<p>The iterators support a <tt>next()</tt> and <tt>previous()</tt> member function to
just change the iterator without returning anything. <tt>previous()</tt>
should obviously only be used for bidirectional iterators. You
can also advance the iterator multiple steps by using standard math
operations like <tt>+=</tt>.</p>
<p>The
value the iterator points at can be accessed with <tt>value()</tt> -- this is equivalent to dereferencing it with <tt>*i</tt>.
For non-const iterators, a <tt>value=()</tt> function
is also provided which allows you to change the value pointed by the
iterator. This is equivalent to the C++ construct of dereferencing and assignment, like <tt>*i = something</tt>. </p>
<p>Thus, given say a vector class of doubles defined as:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>
%module doublevector
%include std_vector.i
%template(DoubleVector) std::vector&lt;double&gt;;
</pre>
</div>
<p>Its iterator can then be used from Ruby like:</p>
<div class="targetlang">
<pre>
require 'doublevector'
include Doublevector
v = DoubleVector.new
v &lt;&lt; 1
v &lt;&lt; 2
v &lt;&lt; 3
#
# an elaborate and less efficient way of doing v.map! { |x| x+2 }
#
i = v.begin
e = v.end
while i != e
val = i.value
val += 2
i.value = val
i.next
end
i
<b>&gt;&gt; [3, 4, 5 ]</b>
</pre>
</div>
<p>If you'd rather have STL classes without any iterators, you should define <tt>-DSWIG_NO_EXPORT_ITERATOR_METHODS</tt> when running swig.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn24">35.3.16 C++ Smart Pointers</a></H3>
<H4><a name="Ruby_smart_pointers_shared_ptr">35.3.16.1 The shared_ptr Smart Pointer</a></H4>
<p>
The C++11 standard provides <tt>std::shared_ptr</tt> which was derived from the Boost
implementation, <tt>boost::shared_ptr</tt>.
Both of these are available for Ruby in the SWIG library and usage is outlined
in the <a href="Library.html#Library_std_shared_ptr">shared_ptr smart pointer</a> library section.
</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_smart_pointers_generic">35.3.16.2 Generic Smart Pointers</a></H4>
<p> In certain C++ programs, it is common to use classes that
have been wrapped by so-called "smart pointers." Generally, this
involves the use of a template class that implements <tt>operator-&gt;()</tt>
like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>template&lt;class T&gt; class SmartPtr {
...
T *operator-&gt;();
...
}</pre>
</div>
<p>Then, if you have a class like this, </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Foo {
public:
int x;
int bar();
};</pre>
</div>
<p>A smart pointer would be used in C++ as follows:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>SmartPtr&lt;Foo&gt; p = CreateFoo(); // Created somehow (not shown)
...
p-&gt;x = 3; // Foo::x
int y = p-&gt;bar(); // Foo::bar</pre>
</div>
<p> To wrap this in Ruby, simply tell SWIG about the <tt>SmartPtr</tt>
class and the low-level <tt>Foo</tt> object. Make sure you
instantiate <tt>SmartPtr</tt> using <tt>%template</tt>
if necessary. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
...
%template(SmartPtrFoo) SmartPtr&lt;Foo&gt;;
...</pre>
</div>
<p>Now, in Ruby, everything should just "work":</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>p = Example::CreateFoo()</b> # Create a smart-pointer somehow
#&lt;Example::SmartPtrFoo:0x4016f4df&gt;
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>p.x = 3</b> # Foo::x
3
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>p.bar()</b> # Foo::bar</pre>
</div>
<p> If you ever need to access the underlying pointer returned by
<tt>operator-&gt;()</tt> itself, simply use the <tt>__deref__()</tt>
method. For example: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):004:0&gt; <b>f = p.__deref__()</b> # Returns underlying Foo *</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn25">35.3.17 Cross-Language Polymorphism</a></H3>
<p> SWIG's Ruby module supports cross-language polymorphism
(a.k.a. the "directors" feature) similar to that for SWIG's Python
module. Rather than duplicate the information presented in the <a href="Python.html#Python">Python</a> chapter, this
section just notes the differences that you need to be aware of when
using this feature with Ruby. </p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_nn26">35.3.17.1 Exception Unrolling</a></H4>
<p> Whenever a C++ director class routes one of its virtual
member function calls to a Ruby instance method, there's always the
possibility that an exception will be raised in the Ruby code. By
default, those exceptions are ignored, which simply means that the
exception will be exposed to the Ruby interpreter. If you would like to
change this behavior, you can use the <tt>%feature("director:except")</tt>
directive to indicate what action should be taken when a Ruby exception
is raised. The following code should suffice in most cases: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%feature("director:except") {
throw Swig::DirectorMethodException($error);
}</pre>
</div>
<p> When this feature is activated, the call to the Ruby instance
method is "wrapped" using the <tt>rb_rescue2()</tt>
function from Ruby's C API. If any Ruby exception is raised, it will be
caught here and a C++ exception is raised in its place. </p>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn27">35.4 Naming</a></H2>
<p>Ruby has several common naming conventions. Constants are
generally
in upper case, module and class names are in camel case and methods are
in lower case with underscores. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<ul>
<li><strong>MATH::PI</strong> is a constant name</li>
<li><strong>MyClass</strong> is a class name</li>
<li><strong>my_method</strong> is a method name</li>
</ul>
</div>
<p>Prior to version 1.3.28, SWIG did not support these Ruby
conventions. The only modifications it made to names was to capitalize
the first letter of constants (which includes module and class names).</p>
<p>SWIG 1.3.28 introduces the new -autorename command line
parameter.
When this parameter is specified, SWIG will automatically change
constant, class and method names to conform with the standard Ruby
naming conventions. For example: </p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>$ swig -ruby -autorename example.i
</pre>
</div>
<p>To disable renaming use the -noautorename command line option.</p>
<p>Since this change significantly changes the wrapper code
generated
by SWIG, it is turned off by default in SWIG 1.3.28. However, it is
planned to become the default option in future releases.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn28">35.4.1 Defining Aliases</a></H3>
<p> It's a fairly common practice in the Ruby built-ins and
standard library to provide aliases for method names. For example, <em>Array#size</em>
is an alias for <em>Array#length</em>. If you would like
to provide an alias for one of your class' instance methods, one
approach is to use SWIG's <tt>%extend</tt> directive to
add a new method of the aliased name that calls the original function.
For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class MyArray {
public:
// Construct an empty array
MyArray();
// Return the size of this array
size_t length() const;
};
%extend MyArray {
// MyArray#size is an alias for MyArray#length
size_t size() const {
return $self-&gt;length();
}
}
</pre>
</div>
<p> A better solution is to use the <tt>%alias</tt>
directive (unique to SWIG's Ruby module). The previous example could
then be rewritten as: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>// MyArray#size is an alias for MyArray#length
%alias MyArray::length "size";
class MyArray {
public:
// Construct an empty array
MyArray();
// Return the size of this array
size_t length() const;
};</pre>
</div>
<p> Multiple aliases can be associated with a method by providing
a comma-separated list of aliases to the <tt>%alias</tt>
directive, e.g. </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%alias MyArray::length "amount, quantity, size";</pre>
</div>
<p> From an end-user's standpoint, there's no functional
difference between these two approaches; i.e. they should get the same
result from calling either <em>MyArray#size</em> or <em>MyArray#length</em>.
However, when the <tt>%alias</tt> directive is used, SWIG
doesn't need to generate all of the wrapper code that's usually
associated with added methods like our <em>MyArray::size()</em>
example. </p>
<p>Note that the <tt>%alias</tt> directive is
implemented using SWIG's "features" mechanism and so the same name
matching rules used for other kinds of features apply (see the chapter
on <a href="Customization.html#Customization">"Customization
Features"</a>) for more details).</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn29">35.4.2 Predicate Methods</a></H3>
<p> Ruby methods that return a boolean value and end in a
question mark
are known as predicate methods. Examples of predicate methods in
standard Ruby classes include <em>Array#empty?</em> (which
returns <tt>true</tt> for an array containing no elements)
and <em>Object#instance_of?</em> (which returns <tt>true</tt>
if the object is an instance of the specified class). For consistency
with Ruby conventions, methods that return boolean values should be
marked as predicate methods.</p>
<p>One cumbersome solution to this problem is to rename the
method (using SWIG's <tt>%rename</tt> directive) and
provide a custom typemap that converts the function's actual return
type to Ruby's <tt>true</tt> or <tt>false</tt>.
For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%rename("is_it_safe?") is_it_safe();
%typemap(out) int is_it_safe "$result = ($1 != 0) ? Qtrue : Qfalse;";
int is_it_safe();</pre>
</div>
<p> A better solution is to use the <tt>%predicate</tt>
directive (unique to SWIG's Ruby module) to designate a method as a
predicate method. For the previous example, this would look like: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%predicate is_it_safe();
int is_it_safe();</pre>
</div>
<p>This method would be invoked from Ruby code like this:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>Example::is_it_safe?</b>
true</pre>
</div>
<p> The <tt>%predicate</tt> directive is implemented
using SWIG's "features" mechanism and so the same name matching rules
used for other kinds of features apply (see the chapter on <a href="Customization.html#Customization">"Customization
Features"</a>) for more details). </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn30">35.4.3 Bang Methods</a></H3>
<p> Ruby methods that modify an object in-place and end in an
exclamation mark are known as bang methods. An example of a bang method
is <em>Array#sort!</em> which changes the ordering of
items in an array. Contrast this with <em>Array#sort</em>,
which returns a copy of the array with the items sorted instead of
modifying the original array. For consistency with Ruby conventions,
methods that modify objects in place should be marked as bang methods.</p>
<p>Bang methods can be marked using the <tt>%bang</tt>
directive which is unique to the Ruby module and was introduced in SWIG
1.3.28. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%bang sort(int arr[]);
int sort(int arr[]); </pre>
</div>
<p>This method would be invoked from Ruby code like this:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>Example::sort!(arr)</b></pre>
</div>
<p> The <tt>%bang</tt> directive is implemented
using SWIG's "features" mechanism and so the same name matching rules
used for other kinds of features apply (see the chapter on <a href="Customization.html#Customization">"Customization
Features"</a>) for more details). </p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn31">35.4.4 Getters and Setters</a></H3>
<p> Often times a C++ library will expose properties through
getter and setter methods. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Foo {
Foo() {}
int getValue() { return value_; }
void setValue(int value) { value_ = value; }
private:
int value_;
};</pre>
</div>
<p>By default, SWIG will expose these methods to Ruby as <tt>get_value</tt>
and <tt>set_value.</tt> However, it more natural for these
methods to be exposed in Ruby as <tt>value</tt> and <tt>value=.
</tt> That allows the methods to be used like this:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>irb(main):001:0&gt; <b>foo = Foo.new()</b>
irb(main):002:0&gt; <b>foo.value = 5</b>
irb(main):003:0&gt; <b>puts foo.value</b></pre>
</div>
<p> This can be done by using the %rename directive:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%rename("value") Foo::getValue();
%rename("value=") Foo::setValue(int value);</pre>
</div>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn32">35.5 Input and output parameters</a></H2>
<p> A common problem in some C programs is handling parameters
passed as simple pointers. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>void add(int x, int y, int *result) {
*result = x + y;
}</pre>
</div>
<p>
or
</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>
int sub(int *x, int *y) {
return *x-*y;
}</pre>
</div>
<p> The easiest way to handle these situations is to use the <tt>typemaps.i</tt>
file. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module Example
%include "typemaps.i"
void add(int, int, int *OUTPUT);
int sub(int *INPUT, int *INPUT);</pre>
</div>
<p>In Ruby, this allows you to pass simple values. For example:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>a = Example.add(3, 4)
puts a
7
b = Example.sub(7, 4)
puts b
3</pre>
</div>
<p> Notice how the <tt>INPUT</tt> parameters allow
integer values to be passed instead of pointers and how the <tt>OUTPUT</tt>
parameter creates a return result. </p>
<p>If you don't want to use the names <tt>INPUT</tt>
or <tt>OUTPUT</tt>, use the <tt>%apply</tt>
directive. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module Example
%include "typemaps.i"
%apply int *OUTPUT { int *result };
%apply int *INPUT { int *x, int *y};
void add(int x, int y, int *result);
int sub(int *x, int *y);</pre>
</div>
<p> If a function mutates one of its parameters like this, </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>void negate(int *x) {
*x = -(*x);
}</pre>
</div>
<p>you can use <tt>INOUT</tt> like this:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%include "typemaps.i"
...
void negate(int *INOUT);</pre>
</div>
<p>In Ruby, a mutated parameter shows up as a return value. For
example:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>a = Example.negate(3)
print a
-3</pre>
</div>
<p> The most common use of these special typemap rules is to
handle functions that return more than one value. For example,
sometimes a function returns a result as well as a special error code: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>/* send message, return number of bytes sent, success code, and error_code */
int send_message(char *text, int *success, int *error_code);</pre>
</div>
<p> To wrap such a function, simply use the <tt>OUTPUT</tt>
rule above. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
%include "typemaps.i"
...
int send_message(char *, int *OUTPUT, int *OUTPUT);</pre>
</div>
<p> When used in Ruby, the function will return an array of
multiple values. </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>bytes, success, error_code = send_message("Hello World")
if not success
print "error #{error_code} : in send_message"
else
print "Sent", bytes
end</pre>
</div>
<p> Another way to access multiple return values is to use the <tt>%apply</tt>
rule. In the following example, the parameters rows and columns are
related to SWIG as <tt>OUTPUT</tt> values through the use
of <tt>%apply</tt> </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module Example
%include "typemaps.i"
%apply int *OUTPUT { int *rows, int *columns };
...
void get_dimensions(Matrix *m, int *rows, int*columns);</pre>
</div>
<p>In Ruby:</p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>r, c = Example.get_dimensions(m)</pre>
</div>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn33">35.6 Exception handling </a></H2>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn34">35.6.1 Using the %exception directive </a></H3>
<p>The SWIG <tt>%exception</tt> directive can be
used to define a user-definable exception handler that can convert
C/C++ errors into Ruby exceptions. The chapter on <a href="Customization.html#Customization">Customization
Features</a> contains more details, but suppose you have a C++
class like the following : </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class DoubleArray {
private:
int n;
double *ptr;
public:
// Create a new array of fixed size
DoubleArray(int size) {
ptr = new double[size];
n = size;
}
// Destroy an array
~DoubleArray() {
delete ptr;
}
// Return the length of the array
int length() {
return n;
}
// Get an array item and perform bounds checking.
double getitem(int i) {
if ((i &gt;= 0) &amp;&amp; (i &lt; n))
return ptr[i];
else
throw RangeError();
}
// Set an array item and perform bounds checking.
void setitem(int i, double val) {
if ((i &gt;= 0) &amp;&amp; (i &lt; n))
ptr[i] = val;
else {
throw RangeError();
}
}
};</pre>
</div>
<p> Since several methods in this class can throw an exception
for an out-of-bounds access, you might want to catch this in the Ruby
extension by writing the following in an interface file: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%exception {
try {
$action
}
catch (const RangeError&amp;) {
static VALUE cpperror = rb_define_class("CPPError", rb_eStandardError);
rb_raise(cpperror, "Range error.");
}
}
class DoubleArray {
...
};</pre>
</div>
<p> The exception handling code is inserted directly into
generated wrapper functions. When an exception handler is defined,
errors can be caught and used to gracefully raise a Ruby exception
instead of forcing the entire program to terminate with an uncaught
error. </p>
<p>As shown, the exception handling code will be added to every
wrapper function. Because this is somewhat inefficient, you might
consider refining the exception handler to only apply to specific
methods like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%exception getitem {
try {
$action
} catch (const RangeError&amp;) {
static VALUE cpperror = rb_define_class("CPPError", rb_eStandardError);
rb_raise(cpperror, "Range error in getitem.");
}
}
%exception setitem {
try {
$action
} catch (const RangeError&amp;) {
static VALUE cpperror = rb_define_class("CPPError", rb_eStandardError);
rb_raise(cpperror, "Range error in setitem.");
}
}</pre>
</div>
<p> In this case, the exception handler is only attached to
methods and functions named <tt>getitem</tt> and <tt>setitem</tt>.
</p>
<p>Since SWIG's exception handling is user-definable, you are not
limited to C++ exception handling. See the chapter on <a href="Customization.html#Customization">Customization
Features</a> for more examples.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn34_2">35.6.2 Handling Ruby Blocks </a></H3>
<p>One of the highlights of Ruby and most of its standard library
is
the use of blocks, which allow the easy creation of continuations and
other niceties. Blocks in ruby are also often used to
simplify the passing of many arguments to a class.</p>
<p>In order to make your class constructor support blocks, you
can take advantage of the %exception directive, which will get run
after the C++ class' constructor was called. </p>
<p>For example, this yields the class over after its
construction:
</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Window
{
public:
Window(int x, int y, int w, int h);
// .... other methods here ....
};
// Add support for yielding self in the Class' constructor.
%exception Window::Window {
$action
if (rb_block_given_p()) {
rb_yield(self);
}
}</pre>
</div>
<p> Then, in ruby, it can be used like:</p>
<div class="targetlang"><pre>
Window.new(0, 0, 360, 480) { |w|
w.color = Fltk::RED
w.border = false
}
</pre>
</div>
<p>For other methods, you can usually use a dummy parameter with
a special in typemap, like:</p>
<div class="code" ><pre>
//
// original function was:
//
// void func(int x);
%typemap(in, numinputs=0) int RUBY_YIELD_SELF {
if ( !rb_block_given_p() )
rb_raise("No block given");
return rb_yield(self);
}
%extend {
void func(int x, int RUBY_YIELD_SELF );
}
</pre>
</div>
<p>For more information on typemaps, see <a href="#Ruby_nn37">Typemaps</a>.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn35">35.6.3 Raising exceptions </a></H3>
<p>There are three ways to raise exceptions from C++ code to
Ruby. </p>
<p>The first way is to use <tt>SWIG_exception(int code,
const char *msg)</tt>. The following table shows the mappings
from SWIG error codes to Ruby exceptions:</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table class="diagram" summary="Mapping between SWIG error codes and Ruby exceptions." border="1" width="80%">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_MemoryError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eNoMemError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_IOError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eIOError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_RuntimeError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eRuntimeError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_IndexError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eIndexError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_TypeError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eTypeError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_DivisionByZero</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eZeroDivError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_OverflowError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eRangeError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_SyntaxError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eSyntaxError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_ValueError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eArgError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_SystemError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eFatal</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_AttributeError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eRuntimeError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_NullReferenceError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eNullReferenceError*</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_ObjectPreviouslyDeletedError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eObjectPreviouslyDeleted*</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="diagram">
<div>SWIG_UnknownError</div>
</td>
<td>
<div>rb_eRuntimeError</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr class="diagram">
<td colspan="2">
<div>* These error classes are created by
SWIG and are not built-in Ruby exception classes </div>
</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<p>The second way to raise errors is to use <tt>SWIG_Raise(obj,
type, desc)</tt>.
Obj is a C++ instance of an exception class, type is a string
specifying the type of exception (for example, "MyError") and desc is
the SWIG description of the exception class. For example: </p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%raise(SWIG_NewPointerObj(e, SWIGTYPE_p_AssertionFailedException, 0), ":AssertionFailedException", SWIGTYPE_p_AssertionFailedException);
</pre></div>
<p>This is useful when you want to pass the current exception
object
directly to Ruby, particularly when the object is an instance of class
marked as an <tt>%exceptionclass</tt> (see the next
section for more information).</p>
<p>Last, you can raise an exception by directly calling Ruby's C
api. This is done by invoking the <tt>rb_raise()</tt>
function. The first argument passed to <tt>rb_raise()</tt>
is the exception type. You can raise a custom exception type or one of
the built-in Ruby exception types.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn36">35.6.4 Exception classes </a></H3>
<p>Starting with SWIG 1.3.28, the Ruby module supports the <tt>%exceptionclass</tt>
directive, which is used to identify C++ classes that are used as
exceptions. Classes that are marked with the <tt>%exceptionclass</tt>
directive are exposed in Ruby as child classes of <tt>rb_eRuntimeError</tt>.
This allows C++ exceptions to be directly mapped to Ruby exceptions,
providing for a more natural integration between C++ code and Ruby code.</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%exceptionclass CustomError;
%inline %{
class CustomError { };
class Foo {
public:
void test() { throw CustomError; }
};
%}</pre>
</div>
<p>From Ruby you can now call this method like this: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>foo = Foo.new
begin
foo.test()
rescue CustomError =&gt; e
puts "Caught custom error"
end </pre>
</div>
<p>For another example look at swig/Examples/ruby/exception_class.
</p>
<H2><a name="Ruby_nn37">35.7 Typemaps</a></H2>
<p> This section describes how you can modify SWIG's default
wrapping behavior for various C/C++ datatypes using the <tt>%typemap</tt>
directive. This is an advanced topic that assumes familiarity with the
Ruby C API as well as the material in the "<a href="Typemaps.html#Typemaps">Typemaps</a>"
chapter.
</p>
<p>Before proceeding, it should be stressed that typemaps are not
a required part of using SWIG---the default wrapping behavior is enough
in most cases. Typemaps are only used if you want to change some aspect
of the primitive C-Ruby interface.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn38">35.7.1 What is a typemap?</a></H3>
<p> A typemap is nothing more than a code generation rule that is
attached to a specific C datatype. The general form of this declaration
is as follows ( parts enclosed in [...] are optional
): </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>
%typemap( method [, modifiers...] ) typelist code;
</pre>
</div>
<p><em> method</em> is a simply a name that specifies
what kind of typemap is being defined. It is usually a name like <tt>"in"</tt>,
<tt>"out"</tt>, or <tt>"argout"</tt> (or its
director variations). The purpose of these methods is described later.</p>
<p><em> modifiers</em> is an optional comma separated
list of <tt>
name="value"</tt> values. These are sometimes to attach extra
information to a typemap and is often target-language dependent.</p>
<p><em> typelist</em> is a list of the C++ type
patterns that the typemap will match. The general form of this list is
as follows:</p>
<div class="diagram">
<pre>typelist : typepattern [, typepattern, typepattern, ... ] ;
typepattern : type [ (parms) ]
| type name [ (parms) ]
| ( typelist ) [ (parms) ]</pre>
</div>
<p> Each type pattern is either a simple type, a simple type and
argument name, or a list of types in the case of multi-argument
typemaps. In addition, each type pattern can be parameterized with a
list of temporary variables (parms). The purpose of these variables
will be explained shortly.</p>
<p><em>code</em> specifies the C code used in the
typemap. It can take any one of the following forms:</p>
<div class="diagram">
<pre>code : { ... }
| " ... "
| %{ ... %}</pre>
</div>
<p>For example, to convert integers
from Ruby to C, you might define a typemap like this: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
%typemap(in) int {
$1 = (int) NUM2INT($input);
printf("Received an integer : %d\n", $1);
}
%inline %{
extern int fact(int n);
%}</pre>
</div>
<p> Typemaps are always associated with some specific aspect of
code generation. In this case, the "in" method refers to the conversion
of input arguments to C/C++. The datatype <tt>int</tt> is
the datatype to which the typemap will be applied. The supplied C code
is used to convert values. In this code a number of special variables
prefaced by a <tt>$</tt> are used. The <tt>$1</tt>
variable is placeholder for a local variable of type <tt>int</tt>.
The <tt>$input</tt> variable is the input Ruby object. </p>
<p>When this example is compiled into a Ruby module, the
following sample code: </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>require 'example'
puts Example.fact(6)</pre>
</div>
<p>prints the result:</p>
<div class="code shell">
<pre>
Received an integer : 6
720
</pre>
</div>
<p> In this example, the typemap is applied to all occurrences of
the <tt>int</tt> datatype. You can refine this by
supplying an optional parameter name. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%module example
%typemap(in) int n {
$1 = (int) NUM2INT($input);
printf("n = %d\n", $1);
}
%inline %{
extern int fact(int n);
%}</pre>
</div>
<p> In this case, the typemap code is only attached to arguments
that exactly match "<tt>int n</tt>". </p>
<p>The application of a typemap to specific datatypes and
argument names involves more than simple text-matching--typemaps are
fully integrated into the SWIG type-system. When you define a typemap
for <tt>int</tt>, that typemap applies to <tt>int</tt>
and qualified variations such as <tt>const int</tt>. In
addition, the typemap system follows <tt>typedef</tt>
declarations. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) int n {
$1 = (int) NUM2INT($input);
printf("n = %d\n", $1);
}
typedef int Integer;
extern int fact(Integer n); // Above typemap is applied</pre>
</div>
<p> However, the matching of <tt>typedef</tt> only
occurs in one direction. If you defined a typemap for <tt>Integer</tt>,
it is not applied to arguments of type <tt>int</tt>. </p>
<p>Typemaps can also be defined for groups of consecutive
arguments. For example: </p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) (char *str, int len) {
$1 = StringValuePtr($input);
$2 = (int) RSTRING($input)-&gt;len;
};
int count(char c, char *str, int len);</pre>
</div>
<p> When a multi-argument typemap is defined, the arguments are
always handled as a single Ruby object. This allows the function <tt>count</tt>
to be used as follows (notice how the length parameter is omitted): </p>
<div class="code targetlang">
<pre>puts Example.count('o', 'Hello World')
2</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_Typemap_scope">35.7.2 Typemap scope</a></H3>
<p> Once defined, a typemap remains in effect for all of the
declarations that follow. A typemap may be redefined for different
sections of an input file. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>// typemap1
%typemap(in) int {
...
}
int fact(int); // typemap1
int gcd(int x, int y); // typemap1
// typemap2
%typemap(in) int {
...
}
int isprime(int); // typemap2</pre>
</div>
<p> One exception to the typemap scoping rules pertains to the <tt>
%extend</tt> declaration. <tt>%extend</tt> is used
to attach new declarations to a class or structure definition. Because
of this, all of the declarations in an <tt>%extend</tt>
block are subject to the typemap rules that are in effect at the point
where the class itself is defined. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>class Foo {
...
};
%typemap(in) int {
...
}
%extend Foo {
int blah(int x); // typemap has no effect. Declaration is attached to Foo which
// appears before the %typemap declaration.
};</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_Copying_a_typemap">35.7.3 Copying a typemap</a></H3>
<p> A typemap is copied by using assignment. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) Integer = int;</pre>
</div>
<p> or this:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) Integer, Number, int32_t = int;</pre>
</div>
<p> Types are often managed by a collection of different
typemaps. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) int { ... }
%typemap(out) int { ... }
%typemap(varin) int { ... }
%typemap(varout) int { ... }</pre>
</div>
<p> To copy all of these typemaps to a new type, use <tt>%apply</tt>.
For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%apply int { Integer }; // Copy all int typemaps to Integer
%apply int { Integer, Number }; // Copy all int typemaps to both Integer and Number</pre>
</div>
<p> The patterns for <tt>%apply</tt> follow the same
rules as for <tt>
%typemap</tt>. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%apply int *output { Integer *output }; // Typemap with name
%apply (char *buf, int len) { (char *buffer, int size) }; // Multiple arguments</pre>
</div>
<H3><a name="Ruby_Deleting_a_typemap">35.7.4 Deleting a typemap</a></H3>
<p> A typemap can be deleted by simply defining no code. For
example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) int; // Clears typemap for int
%typemap(in) int, long, short; // Clears typemap for int, long, short
%typemap(in) int *output; </pre>
</div>
<p> The <tt>%clear</tt> directive clears all
typemaps for a given type. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%clear int; // Removes all types for int
%clear int *output, long *output;</pre>
</div>
<p><b> Note:</b> Since SWIG's default behavior is
defined by typemaps, clearing a fundamental type like <tt>int</tt>
will make that type unusable unless you also define a new set of
typemaps immediately after the clear operation.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_Placement_of_typemaps">35.7.5 Placement of typemaps</a></H3>
<p> Typemap declarations can be declared in the global scope,
within a C++ namespace, and within a C++ class. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) int {
...
}
namespace std {
class string;
%typemap(in) string {
...
}
}
class Bar {
public:
typedef const int &amp; const_reference;
%typemap(out) const_reference {
...
}
};</pre>
</div>
<p> When a typemap appears inside a namespace or class, it stays
in effect until the end of the SWIG input (just like before). However,
the typemap takes the local scope into account. Therefore, this code</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>namespace std {
class string;
%typemap(in) string {
...
}
}</pre>
</div>
<p> is really defining a typemap for the type <tt>std::string</tt>.
You could have code like this:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>namespace std {
class string;
%typemap(in) string { /* std::string */
...
}
}
namespace Foo {
class string;
%typemap(in) string { /* Foo::string */
...
}
}</pre>
</div>
<p> In this case, there are two completely distinct typemaps that
apply to two completely different types (<tt>std::string</tt>
and <tt>
Foo::string</tt>).</p>
<p> It should be noted that for scoping to work, SWIG has to know
that <tt>
string</tt> is a typename defined within a particular namespace.
In this example, this is done using the class declaration <tt>class
string</tt>
.</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn39">35.7.6 Ruby typemaps</a></H3>
<p>The following list details all of the typemap methods that
can be used by the Ruby module: </p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_in_typemap">35.7.6.1 "in" typemap</a></H4>
<p>Converts Ruby objects to input
function arguments. For example:
</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(in) int {
$1 = NUM2INT($input);
}</pre>
</div>
<p> The following special variables are available:</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" width="100%" summary="Special variables - in typemap">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>$input </td>
<td> Input object
holding value to be converted.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$symname </td>
<td> Name of
function/method being wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1...n </td>
<td> Argument being
sent to the function</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_name </td>
<td> Name of the
argument (if provided)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_type </td>
<td> The actual C
datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_ltype </td>
<td> The assignable
version of the C datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<p> This is probably the most commonly redefined typemap because
it can be used to implement customized conversions.</p>
<p> In addition, the "in" typemap allows the number of converted
arguments to be specified. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>// Ignored argument.
%typemap(in, numinputs=0) int *out (int temp) {
$1 = &amp;temp;
}</pre>
</div>
<p> At this time, only zero or one arguments may be converted.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_typecheck_typemap">35.7.6.2 "typecheck" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "typecheck" typemap is used to support overloaded
functions and methods. It merely checks an argument to see whether or
not it matches a specific type. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(typecheck, precedence=SWIG_TYPECHECK_INTEGER) int {
$1 = FIXNUM_P($input) ? 1 : 0;
}</pre>
</div>
<p> For typechecking, the $1 variable is always a simple integer
that is set to 1 or 0 depending on whether or not the input argument is
the correct type.</p>
<p> If you define new "in" typemaps<em> and</em> your
program uses overloaded methods, you should also define a collection of
"typecheck" typemaps. More details about this follow in a later section
on "Typemaps and Overloading."</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_out_typemap">35.7.6.3 "out" typemap</a></H4>
<p>Converts return value of a C function
to a Ruby object.</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(out) int {
$result = INT2NUM( $1 );
}
</pre></div>
<p> The following special variables are available.</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" width="100%" summary="Special variables - out typemap">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>$result </td>
<td> Result object
returned to target language.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$symname </td>
<td> Name of
function/method being wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1...n </td>
<td> Argument being
wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_name </td>
<td> Name of the
argument (if provided)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_type </td>
<td> The actual C
datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_ltype </td>
<td> The assignable
version of the C datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<H4><a name="Ruby_arginit_typemap">35.7.6.4 "arginit" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "arginit" typemap is used to set the initial value of a
function argument--before any conversion has occurred. This is not
normally necessary, but might be useful in highly specialized
applications. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>// Set argument to NULL before any conversion occurs
%typemap(arginit) int *data {
$1 = NULL;
}</pre>
</div>
<H4><a name="Ruby_default_typemap">35.7.6.5 "default" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "default" typemap is used to turn an argument into a
default argument. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(default) int flags {
$1 = DEFAULT_FLAGS;
}
...
int foo(int x, int y, int flags);</pre>
</div>
<p> The primary use of this typemap is to either change the
wrapping of default arguments or specify a default argument in a
language where they aren't supported (like C). Target languages that do
not support optional arguments, such as Java and C#, effectively ignore
the value specified by this typemap as all arguments must be given.</p>
<p> Once a default typemap has been applied to an argument, all
arguments that follow must have default values. See the <a href="SWIG.html#SWIG_default_args">
Default/optional arguments</a> section for further information on
default argument wrapping.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_check_typemap">35.7.6.6 "check" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "check" typemap is used to supply value checking code
during argument conversion. The typemap is applied<em> after</em>
arguments have been converted. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(check) int positive {
if ($1 &lt;= 0) {
SWIG_exception(SWIG_ValueError, "Expected positive value.");
}
}</pre>
</div>
<H4><a name="Ruby_argout_typemap_">35.7.6.7 "argout" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "argout" typemap is used to return values from arguments.
This is most commonly used to write wrappers for C/C++ functions that
need to return multiple values. The "argout" typemap is almost always
combined with an "in" typemap---possibly to ignore the input value. For
example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>/* Set the input argument to point to a temporary variable */
%typemap(in, numinputs=0) int *out (int temp) {
$1 = &amp;temp;
}
%typemap(argout, fragment="output_helper") int *out {
// Append output value $1 to $result (assuming a single integer in this case)
$result = output_helper( $result, INT2NUM(*$1) );
}</pre>
</div>
<p> The following special variables are available.</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" width="100%" summary="Special variables - argout typemap">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>$result </td>
<td> Result object
returned to target language.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$input </td>
<td> The original
input object passed.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$symname </td>
<td> Name of
function/method being wrapped.</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<p> The code supplied to the "argout" typemap is always placed
after the "out" typemap. If multiple return values are used, the extra
return values are often appended to return value of the function.</p>
<p>Output helper is a fragment that usually defines a macro to
some function like SWIG_Ruby_AppendOutput.</p>
<p> See the <tt>typemaps.i</tt> library for examples.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_freearg_typemap_">35.7.6.8 "freearg" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "freearg" typemap is used to cleanup argument data. It is
only used when an argument might have allocated resources that need to
be cleaned up when the wrapper function exits. The "freearg" typemap
usually cleans up argument resources allocated by the "in" typemap. For
example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>// Get a list of integers
%typemap(in) int *items {
int nitems = Length($input);
$1 = (int *) malloc(sizeof(int)*nitems);
}
// Free the list
%typemap(freearg) int *items {
free($1);
}</pre>
</div>
<p> The "freearg" typemap inserted at the end of the wrapper
function, just before control is returned back to the target language.
This code is also placed into a special variable <tt>$cleanup</tt>
that may be used in other typemaps whenever a wrapper function needs to
abort prematurely.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_newfree_typemap">35.7.6.9 "newfree" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "newfree" typemap is used in conjunction with the <tt>%newobject</tt>
directive and is used to deallocate memory used by the return result of
a function. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(newfree) string * {
delete $1;
}
%typemap(out) string * {
$result = PyString_FromString($1-&gt;c_str());
}
...
%newobject foo;
...
string *foo();</pre>
</div>
<p> See <a href="Customization.html#Customization_ownership">Object
ownership and %newobject</a> for further details.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_memberin_typemap">35.7.6.10 "memberin" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "memberin" typemap is used to copy data from<em> an
already converted input value</em> into a structure member. It is
typically used to handle array members and other special cases. For
example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(memberin) int [4] {
memmove($1, $input, 4*sizeof(int));
}</pre>
</div>
<p> It is rarely necessary to write "memberin" typemaps---SWIG
already provides a default implementation for arrays, strings, and
other objects.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_varin_typemap">35.7.6.11 "varin" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "varin" typemap is used to convert objects in the target
language to C for the purposes of assigning to a C/C++ global variable.
This is implementation specific.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_varout_typemap_">35.7.6.12 "varout" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "varout" typemap is used to convert a C/C++ object to an
object in the target language when reading a C/C++ global variable.
This is implementation specific.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_throws_typemap">35.7.6.13 "throws" typemap</a></H4>
<p> The "throws" typemap is only used when SWIG parses a C++
method with an exception specification or has the <tt>%catches</tt>
feature attached to the method. It provides a default mechanism for
handling C++ methods that have declared the exceptions they will throw.
The purpose of this typemap is to convert a C++ exception into an error
or exception in the target language. It is slightly different to the
other typemaps as it is based around the exception type rather than the
type of a parameter or variable. For example:</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>%typemap(throws) const char * %{
rb_raise(rb_eRuntimeError, $1);
SWIG_fail;
%}
void bar() throw (const char *);</pre>
</div>
<p> As can be seen from the generated code below, SWIG generates
an exception handler with the catch block comprising the "throws"
typemap content.</p>
<div class="code">
<pre>...
try {
bar();
}
catch(char const *_e) {
rb_raise(rb_eRuntimeError, _e);
SWIG_fail;
}
...</pre>
</div>
<p> Note that if your methods do not have an exception
specification yet they do throw exceptions, SWIG cannot know how to
deal with them. For a neat way to handle these, see the <a href="Customization.html#Customization_exception">Exception
handling with %exception</a> section.</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_directorin_typemap">35.7.6.14 directorin typemap</a></H4>
<p>Converts C++ objects in director
member functions to ruby objects. It is roughly the opposite
of the "in" typemap, making its typemap rule often similar to the "out"
typemap.
</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%typemap(directorin) int {
$result = INT2NUM($1);
}
</pre></div>
<p> The following special variables are available.</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" width="100%" summary="Special variables - directorin typemap">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>$result </td>
<td> Result object
returned to target language.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$symname </td>
<td> Name of
function/method being wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1...n </td>
<td> Argument being
wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_name </td>
<td> Name of the
argument (if provided)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_type </td>
<td> The actual C
datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_ltype </td>
<td> The assignable
version of the C datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>this </td>
<td> C++ this,
referring to the class itself.</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<H4><a name="Ruby_directorout_typemap">35.7.6.15 directorout typemap</a></H4>
<p>Converts Ruby objects in director
member functions to C++ objects. It is roughly the opposite
of the "out" typemap, making its rule often similar to the "in"
typemap.
</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%typemap(directorout) int {
$result = NUM2INT($1);
}
</pre>
</div>
<p> The following special variables are available:</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" width="100%" summary="Special variables - directorout typemap">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>$input</td>
<td>Ruby object being sent to the function</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$symname </td>
<td>Name of function/method being wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1...n </td>
<td>Argument being sent to the function</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_name </td>
<td> Name of the
argument (if provided)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_type </td>
<td> The actual C
datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_ltype </td>
<td> The assignable
version of the C datatype matched by the typemap.</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>this </td>
<td> C++ this,
referring to the class itself.</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<p>Currently, the directorout nor the out typemap support the
option <tt>numoutputs</tt>,
but the Ruby module provides that functionality through a %feature
directive. Thus, a function can be made to return "nothing"
if you do:</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%feature("numoutputs", "0") MyClass::function;
</pre></div>
<p>This feature can be useful if a function returns a status
code, which you want to discard but still use the typemap to raise an
exception.
</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_directorargout_typemap">35.7.6.16 directorargout typemap</a></H4>
<p>Output argument processing in director
member functions.</p>
<div class="code"><pre>
%typemap(directorargout,
fragment="output_helper") int {
$result = output_helper( $result, NUM2INT($1) );
}
</pre></div>
<p> The following special variables are available:</p>
<div class="diagram">
<table style="text-align: left; width: 100%;" border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2" summary="Special variables - directorargout typemap">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>$result</td>
<td>Result that the director function returns</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$input</td>
<td>Ruby object being sent to the function</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$symname</td>
<td>name of the function/method being wrapped</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1...n</td>
<td>Argument being sent to the function</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_name</td>
<td>Name of the
argument (if provided)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_type</td>
<td>The actual C
datatype matched by the typemap</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>$1_ltype</td>
<td>The assignable
version of the C datatype matched by the typemap</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>this</td>
<td>C++ this,
referring to the instance of the class itself</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
<H4><a name="Ruby_ret_typemap">35.7.6.17 ret typemap</a></H4>
<p>Cleanup of function return values
</p>
<H4><a name="Ruby_globalin_typemap">35.7.6.18 globalin typemap</a></H4>
<p>Setting of C global variables
</p>
<H3><a name="Ruby_nn40">35.7.7 Typemap variables</a></H3>
<p>
Within a typemap, a number of special variables prefaced with a <tt>$</tt>
may appear. A full list of variables can be found in the "<a href="Typemaps.html#Typemaps">Typemaps</a>" chapter.
This is a list of the most common variables:
</p>
<p><tt>$1</tt> </p>
<div class="indent">A C local variable corresponding to
the actual type specified in the <tt>%typemap</tt>
directive. For input values, this is a C local variable that is
supposed to hold an argument value. For output values, this is the raw
result that is supposed to be returned to Ruby. </div>
<p><tt>$input</tt></p>
<div class="indent">A <tt>VALUE</tt> holding
a raw Ruby object with an argument or variable value. </div>
<p><tt>$result</tt></p>
<div class="indent">A <tt>VALUE</tt> that
holds the result to be returned to Ruby. </div>
<p><tt>$1_name</tt></p>
<div class="indent">The parameter name that was matched. </div>
<p><tt>$1_type</tt></p>
<div class="indent">The actual C datatype matched by the