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Cross-platform C Config creation/parsing library

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README
FileName: README
Author(s): Andrew De Ponte <cyphactor@gmail.com>

Table of Contents

    1. What Is It? .....................................................
    2. Building ........................................................
    3. Producing MSVC Compatible Build .................................
    4. Using MSVC to Link to MSVC Compatible Build .....................
    5. Systems Tested On ...............................................
    6. Directory Contents ..............................................

1.  What Is It?

    lib_sxcfg is a library which provides a cross-platform API for
    dealing with config files. It provides a mechanism for parsing
    section and option/value pair based config files in a specific
    format. It also provides a mechanism for easily obtaining values of
    specific options. Beyond that the parsing algorithm accepts config
    files produced on Windows, Mac OS-X, and Unix machines as well as
    runs on Windows, Mac OS-X, and Unix machines.
    
2.  Building

    This project's build sequence is managed by the autotools. Hence,
    the following command sequence can be used to build the project in
    any of the unix varients (include Mac OS-X). Note: On Mac OS-X
    systems there is one thing which has to be done before the following
    command sequence is executed. The LIBTOOLIZE environment must be set
    to /usr/bin/glibtoolize. This can be done by using the `export
    LIBTOOLIZE=/usr/bin/glibtoolize` assuming the use of BASH as the
    shell. This is due to the fact that on Mac OS-X the standard
    libtoolize application has been renamed to glibtoolize.
    
    $ ./bootstrap.sh && ./configure && make

    One, may also build a static version of the library by using the
    --enable-static flag and --disable-shared flag when running the
    ./configure script. The following is an example of this.

    $ ./bootstrap.sh && ./configure --disable-shared --enable-static

    However, to build a version for windows system from a Debian Linux
    Etch (testing) box, one needs to first install the mingw32 package
    via the following:

    # apt-get install mingw32
    # apt-get install mingw32-binutils
    # apt-get install mingw32-runtime

    Once, the mingw32 package is installed one can trivially build
    Windows binaries of the project by using the following command
    sequence:

    $ ./bootstrap.sh && ./configure --target=i586-mingw32msvc \
        --host=i586-mingw32msvc --build=i686-pc-linux-gnu && make

    One could also build this on a Windows computer which has cygwin
    installed on it and the necessary autotools, however this is too
    large of a subject to cover in this README. One could even build it
    using Microsoft Visual Studio however this would require configuring
    and building a project appropriately to correctly build it.

    Note: The above produces a version of the library that is only
    useable by linking to it through mingw32. To produce a version of
    the library which can be linked to using MSVC, please refer to the
    'Producing MSVC Compatible Build' section.

3.  Producing MSVC Compatible Build
    
    Sadly, at this time it is not possible to produce a MSVC Compatible
    build of the library without using some Microsoft tools. Hence, you
    will need not only a Unix system but also Windows system with
    Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express installed. Other, versions of
    Microsoft Visual C++ may work although this has only been tested
    with Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Express. Note: The library could be
    built completely using Microsoft tools, it is avoided since the
    development environment of choice is Unix systems.

    The first necesarry stage is to build the DLL and DEF file. This is
    automatically done by performing the build command in the 'Building'
    section that describes building the library for Windows. After,
    running the above command successfully it will have produced a
    number of files including the DLL and DEF. The DLL is in
    src/.libs/libsxcfg-0.dll relative to the trunk and the DEF file is
    in src/.libs/libsxcfg.def relative to the trunk. The DLL should be
    renamed libsxcfg.dll.

    Once, the DLL and DEF files have been obtained it is time to move
    them over to a Windows machine at which point Visual Studio Command
    Prompt should be opened and the current working directory should be
    changed to directory which contains both the DLL and DEF files.
    Once, in the proper directory run the following command:

    lib /machine:i386 /def:libsxcfg.def

    The above command will produce both a libsxcfg.lib file and a
    libsxcfg.exp file. The libsxcfg.lib file is what is called an import
    library in Windows. It is a fake library that maps the names of the
    exported functions, etc to the addresses inside the actual DLL. This
    is necessary because Windows DLLs do NOT have a mapping from the
    exported items to the addresses already inside the DLL.

    After obtaining the DLL, .LIB, and the appropriate header files one
    has everything needed to link to the library using Microsoft Visual
    C++ 2005 Express.
    
4.  Using MSVC to Link to MSVC Compatible Build

    In order to link to a MSVC compatible build of the library using
    MSVC you must compile the client application with the
    LIBSXCFG_DLL_IMPORT macro defined. This macro states that we are
    compiling the client application which wants to import functions,
    etc which have been exported from the DLL using the DLL_EXPORT macro
    when the DLL was built. An example of this may look as follows:

    cl /DLIBSXCFG_DLL_IMPORT cliapp.cpp libsxcfg.lib /* C++ link to C/C++ lib */

    or the follwing in the case of C client application:

    cl /DLIBSXCFG_DLL_IMPORT /Tc cliapp.c libsxcfg.lib /* C link to C lib */

    Note: In the above examples there is no specification for a location
    of the header files. The use of the /I option to cl is suggested. It
    adds a directory to the list of directories that are search for
    include files. The suggested method is to copy all the header files
    (ending in the .h extension found in the src/ directory) to a
    directory tree similar to the following:

    <project src dir>/include/sxcfg/

    In which <project src dir> is the directory where the client apps
    source is located and the sxcfg directory is where all the libsxcfg
    header files are located. This would allow one to link an
    application by using a command similar to the following from the
    <project src dir>:
    
    cl /DLIBSXCFG_DLL_IMPORT /Iinclude/sxcfg/ cliapp.cpp libsxcfg.lib

    Note: The above example assumes that the libsxcfg.lib and libsxcfg.dll
    are in the <project src dir>.

5.  Systems Tested On

    The following systems are all the systems which lib_pmf has been
    successfully run on.

    - Linux Debian Etch (Testing)

6. Directory Contents

    doc - Contains general project documentation
    doc/dox - Contains all the doxygen genarted documentation when one
              runs the doxygen command from the trunk of the project.
    src - Contains all lib_sxcfg source files.
    testing - Contains applications to test the library. These
              applications can also be used as usage examples.
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