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NeuroML API for C++

C++ API for NeuroML 2.

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Using the API

For more info on the generated C++ structure, see the XSD user manual. The sample programs in the test folder will also give you a reasonable idea of how things work.

If you have a project built with CMake that depends on the API, you can include it (and its own dependencies) very easily in your project. Once the API has been installed (see below) simply add the following line to your CMakeLists.txt:

find_package(NeuroML_API REQUIRED)

and then link against the NeuroML::neuroml library, e.g. by

add_executable(example example.cxx)
target_link_libraries(example NeuroML::neuroml)

If you installed the NeuroML_API in a non-standard location, you may need to set the CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH CMake variable to that location in order to find the package.

Building the API

The NeuroML API is built using CMake (versions >= 3.14), and the process works best with 'out of source' builds, where you build the API in a folder separate from the source tree. Having cloned the repository, we therefore suggest you create a separate 'NeuroML_API_build' folder adjacent to the source, change into it, and then run the build configuration commands:

mkdir NeuroML_API_build
cd NeuroML_API_build
cmake ../NeuroML_API

You may then run

  • make to build,
  • make doc to build the HTML documentation using Doxygen (in a docs subfolder of your build folder; only available if Doxygen installed),
  • ctest (or make test) to run tests,
  • sudo make install to install on your system, or
  • cpack to generate an installable package (see cpack documentation).

The default CMake options should be appropriate for most cases. The only essential external dependencies are Xerces C++ and CodeSynthesis XSD.

On Ubuntu based systems, you can install Xerces and xsd from the standard repositories using apt:

sudo apt-get install xsdcxx libxerces-c-dev

On Fedora and other RPM based distributions, you can install Xerces and xsd from the standard repositories using dnf or yum:

sudo dnf install xsd xerces-c-devel

If you install xsd in a non-standard location, please set the XSD_ROOT environment variable to the root folder for the software (i.e. the folder containing bin and libxsd folders).

You may wish to change the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX to specify where the API will be installed. The generated library will be placed in a lib subfolder, and all necessary headers in an include/neuroml subfolder.

If you wish to regenerate the C++ bindings (because you have changed the XML Schema or xsdcxx options) you will need to pass REGENERATE_BINDINGS=ON to the CMake command:


You can also change the path to the schema file to use by setting the variable NeuroML_SCHEMA_PATH in CMake.

Once the bindings have been regenerated, you can run make copy_wrappers to copy the new versions back into the source tree, for committing to the repository.