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When reading portions of this codebase, there’s a couple of things you should be aware of:

  1. We really like using macros to modify how code is passed around. A thorough scan of the EXTERNALIZE and DECLARATIONS/IMPLEMENTATION systems will make reading Paws.c source code a lot easier, and a lot more fun. It’s worth your time.
  2. Our ISO C is not your CS teacher’s ISO C, or for that matter, anybody else’s ISO C. It follows a very specific series of style guidelines that dictates everything from the alignment of an indirection asterisk to the number of space characters between return types and functions’ names. While our code is not the C you’ve become previously familiar with, it’s very clean, beautiful, and readable by comparison. It’s more of a bastard child of Ruby and D, than plain ol’ butt-ugly C.

That said, without further ado...

The Sightseer’s Guide to Paws.c

The Paws.c codebase tends towards oddity; there’s quite a few interesting nooks and crannies you might discover as you explore. This document will attempt to document your way towards the more unusual or interesting of these.

  • Understanding the small CPP macros utilized absolutely pervasively throughout this codebase is essential to being able to understand the codebase itself. I suggest you start with the thorough documentation of the ‘externalization’ system in Source/Core.h.
  • Our thing annotated-pointer type is very central to the implementation of our object system; you can read more about it in Source/Types/Types.h
  • The API bootstrapping spans almost every file in the codebase. You’ll want to start with the construct() function in Source/Paws.c and work your way through the various register_* functions defined in each individual file.
  • Our “tests” are written using a neat little test-running tool named Cest.; it’s very self-contained and easy to understand. See the source-code in Vendor/Cest.c.
  • Most of our object system depends on the fork nuketype (as you probably know if you’re reading this), and the fork type depends heavily on our unusual linked-list implementation. See Source/Types/fork/LL.c.
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