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node-gir

Node-gir is node bindings to the girepository library making it possible to make automatic and dynamic calls to any library that has GI annotations installed.

This will make it possible to script a gnome desktop system entirely from node much in the way it's done today with Seed, GJS or pygtk.

Arcitecture

The following graph shows all the parts and how they work together. The only missing part is node bindings to libgirepository. Hence this project.

BUILD TIME:

          +-----------------------------------------------------------+
          |   foo.c                                                   |
          |   foo.h                                                   |
          |                                                           |
          | Library sources, with type annotations                    |
          +-----------------------------------------------------------+
              |                                      |
             gcc                                 g-ir-scanner
              |                                      |
              |                                      V
              |                              +------------------------+
              |                              |    Foo.gir             |
              |                              |                        |
              |                              |    <GI-name>.gir       |
              |                              |                        |
              |                              | XML file               |
              |                              |                        |
              |                              | Invocation information |
              |                              | Required .gir files    |
              |                              | API docs               |
              |                              |                        |
              |                              +------------------------+
              |                                          |
              |                                     g-ir-compiler
              |                                          |
  DEPLOYMENT TIME:                                       |
              |                                          |
              V                                          V
        +-----------------------------+      +---------------------------+
        |   libfoo.so                 |      |    Foo.typelib            |
        |                             |      |                           |
        |                             |      | Binary version of the     |
        |  ELF file                   |      | invocation info and       |
        |                             |      | required .typelib files   |
        |  Machine code, plus         |      +---------------------------+
        | dynamic linkage information |                  A
        | (DWARF debug data, etc)     |                  |
        +-----------------------------+                  |
                     A                                   |
                     |                       +---------------------------+
                     |                       |  libgirepository.so       |
                +-----------+                |                           |
                | libffi.so |                |  Can read typelibs and    |
                |           |                |  present them in a        |
                +-----------+                |  libffi-based way         |
                     A                       |                           |
                     |                       +---------------------------+
                     |                                  A
                     |                                  |
                     |                          +------------+
                     +--------------------------|  node-gir  |
                                                |            |
                                     +--------->+------------+
                                     |
                           +------------------+
                           |      NodeJS      |
                           +------------------+

Why not use Seed or GJS

Because they are nice, but not what I'm looking for. Node is really popular and it would be nice to be able to use it for desktop tools and applications.

Implementation Notes

Here are some links and notes as I try to figure out how to do this.

API Ideas

Some of these ideas will go in this binding and some will go in nice wrappers that use it. I'll know more as we progress.

  • Use camelCase for methods that are bound to look JavaScripty.
  • Use .on(name, callback) to attach signals.
  • Keep the same constructor style used by Seed and GJS
  • Make the module system as node-like as possible.

Things which work

  • All classes get created
  • classes get inherited
  • A class has lists of all its properties, methods, signals, vfuncs and fields
  • You can create a class
  • functions can be called (but it does not work so well)
  • property values can be set/get
  • events can be watched
  • flags, enums etc are set

Things which dont work (correct)

  • Conversion between a v8 value and a GValue/GArgument is veeeery buggy (but everything needs it so most things are buggy)
  • The API is inconsistent (classes just have __call_method__, __get_prroperty__ etc but the namespace has all methods [ gst.main(), gst.mainQuit()]
  • No support for libev/libuv; glib is using its own stuff (gst.main())
  • There is no good way to delete an object (memory management sucks at all)
  • You can't pass construction parameters to g_object_new
  • Only the GObject and Function type is implementet yet (left are GIInterfaceInfo and GIStructInfo)
  • types/function.cc need a rewrite
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