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This is a bindings generator for Lua & LuaJIT2. It can be used to generator both standard Lua C API & LuaJIT2 FFI based bindings for C libraries. Both standard & FFI based bindings are packaged in a single shared library (.so or .dll) file. When the module is loaded in LuaJIT2 (please use git HEAD version of LuaJIT2 for now) it will try to load the FFI-based bindings in-place of the standard Lua API bindings.

This bindings generator is design to create Object based bindings, instead of simple procedural bindings. So if you have a C structure (your object) and a set of C functions (your object's methods) that work on that structure, then you can turn them into a nice Lua object.

It is still possible to generator procedural bindings for C functions that don't belong to an object (use a package record instead of an object record).

Lua bindings using this generator

Template project for starting new bindings

There is a template for creating a new bindings project. This is a lua script for automatically creating a new project from the template.

To start a new bindings project run:

$ cd LuaNativeObjects/project_template/
$ lua RUN_THIS_FIRST.lua

Then answer the questions and it will setup the new project.

Example bindings

This example bindings code is take from the 'examples' folder.

-- define the 'gd' module
c_module "gd" {
	-- when set to true all objects will be registered as a global for easy access.
	use_globals = true,
	-- enable FFI bindings support.
	luajit_ffi = true,
	-- load GD shared library.
	-- include library's header file
	include "gd.h",

	object "gdImage" {
		-- Use `ffi_cdef` records to pass extra C type info to FFI.
		typedef struct gdImageStruct gdImage;
		-- The first constructor can be called as: gd.gdImage(x,y) or,y)
		-- The default name for a constructor is 'new'
	  constructor {
	    c_call "gdImage *" "gdImageCreate" { "int", "sx", "int", "sy" }
		-- Other constructors can be called by there name: gd.gdImage.newTrueColor(x,y)
	  constructor "newTrueColor" {
	    c_call "gdImage *" "gdImageCreateTrueColor" { "int", "sx", "int", "sy" }
		-- A named destructor allows freeing of the object before it gets GC'ed.
	  destructor "close" {
	    c_method_call "void" "gdImageDestroy" {}
	  method "color_allocate" {
			-- bindings for simple methods/functions can be generated with `c_method_call` or `c_call`
			-- records, which will generate both Lua API & FFI based bindings for the function.
	    c_method_call "int" "gdImageColorAllocate"
	      { "int", "r", "int", "g", "int", "b" }
	  method "line" {
	    c_method_call "void" "gdImageLine"
	      { "int", "x1", "int", "y1", "int", "x2", "int", "y2", "int", "colour" }
		-- The next method need extra FFI types & function information.
		/* dummy typedef for "FILE" */
		typedef struct FILE FILE;
		FILE *fopen(const char *path, const char *mode);
		int fclose(FILE *fp);
		void gdImagePng(gdImage *im, FILE *out);
		-- This method is more complex and can't be generated with a simple `c_method_call` record.
	  method "toPNG" {
			-- Use `var_in`/`var_out` records to define parameters & return values.
	    var_in { "const char *", "name" },
			-- Use `c_source` records to provide the C code for this method.
	    c_source [[
	  FILE *pngout = fopen( ${name}, "wb");
	  gdImagePng(${this}, pngout);
			-- if you want this method to have FFI-based bindings you will need to use a `ffi_source` record
	    ffi_source [[
	  local pngout = ffi.C.fopen(${name}, "wb")
	  C.gdImagePng(${this}, pngout)

Marking input & output variables

The c_call & c_method_call records have support for annotating the return type and function parameters to control how the generated bindings work.

c_call "int>1" "func_name"
  { "ObjectType1", "&need_pointer_to_pointer_is_out_var_idx2>2", "ClassObject", "this<1" }

<idx, mark as an input parameter from Lua. The idx value controls the order of input parameters.

>idx, mark as an output that will be returned from the function back to Lua. The idx value controls the order of output values as returned to Lua.

!, mark will cause owner-ship of an object to transfer between C & Lua. For output variables Lua will take owner-ship the object instance and free it when the object's __gc is called. For input variables Lua will give-up owner-ship of the object and only keep a reference to the object.

#var, reference the length of the named variable var. This is used for 'string' type input parameters.

?, mark the input parameter as optional.

&, this will wrap the variable access with &(var) to pass a pointer to the value. This is needed for some C functions that have output parameters.

*, this will wrap the variable access with *(var) to de-reference a pointer and pass it by-value.