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The Common Foreign Function Interface
Common Lisp C Other
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CFFI, the Common Foreign Function Interface, purports to be a portable foreign function interface, similar in spirit to UFFI. Unlike UFFI, CFFI requires only a small set of low-level functionality from the Lisp implementation, such as calling a foreign function by name, allocating foreign memory, and dereferencing pointers. More complex tasks like accessing foreign structures can be done in portable "user space" code, making use of the low-level memory access operations defined by the implementation-specific bits. CFFI also aims to be more efficient than UFFI when possible. In particular, UFFI's use of aliens in CMUCL and SBCL can be tricky to get right. CFFI avoids this by using system area pointers directly instead of alien objects. All foreign function definitions and uses should compile without alien-value compiler notes in CMUCL/SBCL. Please consult the manual for further details, including installation instructions.