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CoreFoundation++

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C++ wrapper for CoreFoundation base classes

Table of Contents

  1. About CoreFoundation
  2. About CoreFoundation++
  3. Availability / Platforms
  4. Available / Wrapped classes
  5. Example
  6. Documentation
  7. To-Do
  8. License
  9. Repository Infos

About CoreFoundation

Core Foundation (CF) is a C API available in Mac OS X & iOS:

Core Foundation is a framework that provides fundamental software services useful to application services, application environments, and to applications themselves. Core Foundation also provides abstractions for common data types, facilitates internationalization with Unicode string storage, and offers a suite of utilities such as plug-in support, XML property lists, URL resource access, and preferences.

Source: Core Foundation Framework Reference

To learn more about CoreFoundation, please read the «Core Foundation Design Concepts» guide.

About CoreFoundation++

CoreFoundation++ (CFPP) is a C++ wrapper for Apple's CoreFoundation API.

CoreFoundation is a powerful C API which allows object-oriented style coding and reference counting memory management in C and provides a lot of useful classes.
CoreFoundation is intensively used in Apple's low-level frameworks, and is also used as a base for some classes of the Foundation (Objective-C) framework.

That being said, programming with CoreFoundation can sometimes be a real pain.
Even the simplest things takes several lines of code, which leads to obvious maintainability issues.
This is especially true when mixing CoreFoundation with C++, because you'll need to cast almost everything.

CoreFoundation++ uses the good parts of the C++ language to wrap the most used CoreFoundation classes, and to makes them easy to use, for instance by using operator overloading.

Availability / Platforms

CoreFoundation++ is available for MacOS X, iOS and Windows (Windows builds assume the CoreFoundation DLLs are available), and can be compiled for 32 bits or 64 bits systems.

A complete Xcode project is available, providing the following targets:

- A Mac OS X static library
- A Mac OS X dynamic library
- A Mac OS X framework
- An iOS static library

On Windows, a VisualStudio solution is provided with the following configurations:

- DLL - VC120_XP
- DLL - VC140_XP
- Static library - VC120_XP
- Static library - VC140_XP

Available / Wrapped classes

- CFType              => CF::Type (abstract)
- CFBoolean           => CF::Boolean
- CFNumber            => CF::Number
- CFString            => CF::String
- CFDate              => CF::Date
- CFData              => CF::Data
- CFMutableData       => CF::Data
- CFURL               => CF::URL
- CFArray             => CF::Array
- CFMutableArray      => CF::Array
- CFDictionary        => CF::Dictionary
- CFMutableDictionary => CF::Dictionary
- CFUUIDRef           => CF::UUID
- CFErrorRef          => CF::Error
- CFReadStream        => CF::ReadStream
- CFWriteStream       => CF::WriteStream

Example

Let's say you want to create a CFDictionary containing two keys, both CFString objects, the second one created from an external char pointer.
The value for the first key is a CFData object, created from an external data buffer, while the value for the second key is a CFArray object containing two values, a CFNumber object and a CFURL object, created from an external char pointer.

So let's assume the following:

extern const char * externalKey;
extern const char * externalByteBuffer;
extern size_t       externalByteBufferLength;
extern const char * externalURL;

Example with CoreFoundation++:

People used to the CoreFoundation API knows that creating dictionaries and arrays can be extremely painful.
But with CoreFoundation++, it's extremely easy:

{
    CF::Number number = 42;
    CF::URL    url    = externalURL;
    CF::Array  array;
    
    /* Adds number and URL to the array */
    array << number << url;
    
    CF::Data data
    (
        ( CF::Data::Byte * )externalByteBuffer,
        ( CFIndex )externalByteBufferLength
    );
    
    CF::Dictionary dictionary;
    
    /* Adds the two key/value pairs in the dictionary */
    dictionary << CF::Pair( "key-1",     data );
    dictionary << CF::Pair( externalKey, data );
    
    /* Prints the dictionary */
    std::cout << dictionary << std::endl;
    
    /* Nothing more, memory is automatically managed... */
}

Example with CoreFoundation:

For comparison, with the CoreFoundation C API, you will have write the following code:

{
    /* First of all, we need a C array to store our dictionary keys */
    CFStringRef keys[ 2 ];
    
    /*
     * Let's create the dictionary keys. First key is straightforward because
     * of the CFSTR macro, while the second one is less...
     */
    keys[ 0 ] = CFSTR( "key-1" );
    keys[ 1 ] = CFStringCreateWithCString
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        externalKey,
        kCFStringEncodingUTF8
    );
    
    /* Let's create the data object from the external byte buffer */
    CFDataRef data = CFDataCreate
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        ( const UInt8 * )externalByteBuffer,
        ( CFIndex )externalByteBufferLength
    );
    
    /*
     * Now, let's create some number object. Note that we need a temporary
     * variable, as we need to pass an address of a primitive type...
     */
    int tempInt        = 42;
    CFNumberRef number = CFNumberCreate
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        kCFNumberSInt32Type,
        &tempInt
    );
    
    /*
     * Now, create an URL object. Note that we need to create a temporary
     * CFString object
     */
    CFStringRef tempStringURL = CFStringCreateWithCString
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        externalURL,
        kCFStringEncodingUTF8
    );
    CFURLRef url = CFURLCreateWithString
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        tempStringURL,
        NULL
    );
    
    /* Before creating the array, we need a C array to store the values */
    CFTypeRef arrayValues[ 2 ];
    
    arrayValues[ 0 ] = number;
    arrayValues[ 1 ] = url;
    
    /* Now we can create the array... */
    CFArrayRef array = CFArrayCreate
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        ( const void ** )arrayValues,
        2,
        &kCFTypeArrayCallBacks
    );
    
    /* Now, of course, we need a C array to store the dictionary values */
    CFTypeRef values[ 2 ];
    
    values[ 0 ] = data;
    values[ 1 ] = array;
    
    /* Finally, we can create our dictionary... */
    CFDictionaryRef dictionary = CFDictionaryCreate
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        ( const void ** )keys,
        ( const void ** )values,
        2,
        &kCFTypeDictionaryKeyCallBacks,
        &kCFTypeDictionaryValueCallBacks
    );
    
    /* And of course, as we allocated objects, we need to release them... */
    CFRelease( keys[ 1 ] );
    CFRelease( data );
    CFRelease( number );
    CFRelease( tempStringURL );
    CFRelease( url );
    CFRelease( array );
    
    /* That's it, prints the dictionary and release it */
    CFShow( dictionary );
    CFRelease( dictionary );
}

Documentation

Memory management

CoreFoundation uses a reference counting memory management scheme.
All allocated, copied or retained objects must be explicitly released, when the ownership is no longer needed.

It's the same as in Objective-C (with MRC), with the difference that there's no autorelease mechanism.

CoreFoundation++ manages the memory for you, meaning you no longer have to call CFRelease explicitly.
All CF++ wrappers act as a shared pointer (std::shared_ptr).

They will automatically retain ownership of a CoreFoundation object, and several CF++ wrappers may own the same object.
The CoreFoundation object is destroyed and its memory deallocated when either of the following happens:

  • The last remaining CF++ wrapper owning the object is destroyed
  • The last remaining CF++ wrapper owning the object is assigned another CoreFoundation object via operator =.

For instance:

{
    int x                = 42
    CFNumberRef cfNumber = CFNumberCreate
    (
        ( CFAllocatorRef )NULL,
        kCFNumberSInt32Type,
        &x
    );
    
    CF::Number num1 = cfNumber;
    
    /*
     * CF::Number will retain the CFNumber object, so the one
     * we allocated explicitly can be released safely
     */
    CFRelease( cfNumber );
    
    {
        CF::Number num2
        
        /* num1 and num2 owns the same CoreFoundation object */
        num2 = num1:
    }
    
    /*
     * End of scope - num2 is destroyed and will release
     * the CFNumber object, which is still retained by num1
     */
}
    
/*
 * End of scope - num1 is destroyed and will release
 * the CFNumber object, which will be deallocated.
 */

CF::Type

CF::Type is the base abstract class for all CF++ wrappers.

Equality:

Every CF++ wrapper can be compared using the == operator.
It will evaluate to false is the two operands are not of the same type. Otherwise, it will internally use CFCompare to test for equality:

CF::Number  x;
CF::Boolean y;

if( x == y ) { /* ... */ }

Casting:

CF++ wrappers can be used transparently as CoreFoundation objects, thanks to the C++ cast operator.
It means you can use a CF++ wrapper object as argument to a CoreFoundation function:

CF::String s = "hello, world";

CFShow( s );

Besides, all CF++ wrappers can be created with CoreFoundation objects:

CFStringRef cfS = CFSTR( "hello, world" );
CF::String  s( cfS );
/* Or also: */
CF::String s = cfS;

Debug output:

CF++ wrappers can be used with C++ ostream objects (like std::cout).
It will print the same output as a call to CFShow:

CF::Number x;

/* Both will produce the same output */
CFShow( x );
std::cout << x << std::endl;

CF::Boolean

CF::Boolean is a wrapper for CFBooleanRef.

Creation:

CF::Boolean can be instantiated using another CF::Boolean, a CFBooleanRef or a bool:

CF::Boolean b1 = kCFBooleanTrue;
CF::Boolean b2 = b1;
CF::Boolean b3 = false;

Mutation:

CF::Boolean value can be set through the = operator:

CF::Boolean b1 = false;
b1             = true;

Equality:

CF::Boolean can be compared to another CF::Boolean, a CFBooleanRef or a bool:

CF::Boolean b1 = false;
CF::Boolean b2 = true;

if( b1 == b2 )             { /* ... */ }
if( b1 == kCFBooleanTrue ) { /* ... */ }
if( b1 == true )           { /* ... */ }

Casting:

CF::Boolean can be safely casted to a bool or CFBooleanRef:

CF::Boolean  b1     = true;
CFBooleanRef cfBool = b1;
bool         b      = b1;

CF::Number

CF::Number is a wrapper for CFNumberRef.

Creation:

CF::Number can be instantiated using another CF::Number, a CFNumberRef or an integral or floating point type:

CF::Number n1 = someCFNumberRefObject;
CF::Number n2 = n1;
CF::Number n3 = 42;
CF::Number n4 = 42.0f;

Mutation:

CF::Number value can be set/transformed through every operator:

CF::Number n1 = 42;
CF::Number n2 = 10;

n1--;
n2++;

n1 += n2;
n1 ^= n2
n2 += 10;
n1 &= 0xFF00;
n2 /= n1;
n1  = n1 | n2;
n1  = n1 >> 8;

/* etc... */

Note that you can determine is a CF::Number objects contains a floating point value using the IsFloatType method.

Equality:

CF::Number can be compared to another CF::Number, a CFNumberRef or a an integral or floating point type.
All comparison operators are available:

CF::Number n1 = 42;
CF::Number n2 = 10;

if( ( n1 != someCFNumberRefObject || n1 != n2 ) && n1 == 10 ) { /* ... */ }
if( n1 != 10.0f || n1 >= 20 || n2 < 40.0f )                   { /* ... */ }
if( n1 || n2 )                                                { /* ... */ }

Casting:

CF::Number can be safely casted to a CFNumberRef or a an integral or floating point type:

CF::Number  n1     = 42;
CFNumberRef cfNum  = n1;
int         i      = n1;
long        l      = n1;
double      d      = n1;
int64_t     i64    = n1;

CF::String

CF::String is a wrapper for CFStringRef.

Creation:

CF::String can be instantiated using another CF::String, a CFStringRef, a std::string or an char pointer:

CF::String s1 = someCFStringRefObject;
CF::String s2 = s1;
CF::String s3 = std::string( "hello, world" );
CF::String s4 = "hello, world";

Mutation:

CF::String value can be set/transformed through the operator = and += operator:

CF::String s = "hello"
s           += ", world"
s			 = "hello, universe";

Equality:

CF::String can be compared to another CF::String, a CFStringRef, a std::string or a char pointer:

CF::String s1 = "hello, world";
CF::String s2 = "hello, universe";

if( s1 == someCFStringRefObject )            { /* ... */ }
if( s1 != s2 )                               { /* ... */ }
if( s1 == std::string( "hello, universe" ) ) { /* ... */ }
if( s1 != "hello, universe" )                { /* ... */ }

Casting:

CF::String can be safely casted to a CFStringRef, a std::string or a char pointer:

CF::String  s1  = "hello, world";
CFStringRef cfS = s1;
std::string s   = s1;
char      * cp  = s1;

Character access:

Individual characters can be accessed through the []operator:

CF::String s1 = "hello, world";
char       c1 = s1[  1 ] /* 'e' */;
char       c2 = s1[ -1 ] /* 'd' */;

CF::Array

CF::Array is a wrapper for CFArrayRef.

Creation:

CF::Array can be instantiated using another CF::Array, or a CFArrayRef.
All CF::Array objects are created as mutable, and an initial capacity can be passed to the constructor:

CF::Array a1 = someCFArrayRefObject;
CF::Array a2 = a1;
CF::Array a3( 100 );

Mutation:

CFTypeRef or CF:Type objects can be added to an array using the << operator:

CF::Array  a;
CF::Number n = 42;
CF::String s = "hello, world";

a << someCFTypeRefObject;
a << n;
a << s;

/* Or simply: */
a << someCFTypeRefObject << n << s;

An other CF:Array can be appended using the += operator:

CF::Array  a1;
CF::Array  a2;
CF::Number n = 42;
CF::String s = "hello, world";

a1 << n;
a2 << s;
a1 += a2;

Element access:

Values can be retrieved using the [] operator:

CF::Array  a;
CF::Number n1 = 42;
CF::String s1 = "hello, world";

a << someCFTypeRefObject << n1 << s1;

CFTypeRef  cfObject = a[ 0 ];
CF::Number n2       = a[ 1 ];
CF::String s2       = a[ 2 ];

Casting:

CF::Array can be safely casted to a CFArrayRef:

CF::Array  a( 100 );
CFArrayRef cfA = a;

Other methods:

Other CFArrayRef methods are available, like GetCount, RemoveValueAtIndex, ExchangeValuesAtIndices, etc.

CF::Dictionary

CF::Dictionary is a wrapper for CFDictionaryRef.

Creation:

CF::Dictionary can be instantiated using another CF::Dictionary, or a CFDictionaryRef.
All CF::Dictionary objects are created as mutable, and an initial capacity can be passed to the constructor:

CF::Dictionary d1 = someCFDictionaryRefObject;
CF::Dictionary d2 = d1;
CF::Dictionary d3( 100 );

Mutation:

A key/value pair can be added to a dictionary using the += operator.
To create a key/value pair, use the CF::Pair object, which can be constructed with CFTypeRef or CF:Type objects.
Note that std::string or char pointers can be safely used as keys:

CF::Dictionary d;
CF::String     s = "key";
CF::Number     n = 42;

d += CF::Pair( someCFTypeRefObject, someOtherCFTypeRefObject );
d += CF::Pair( s, n );
d += CF::Pair( std::string( "key" ), n );
d += CF::Pair( "key", n );

A key can be replaced using the << operator:

CF::Dictionary d;
CF::Number     n1 = 42;
CF::Number     n2 = 43;

d += CF::Pair( s, n1 );
d << CF::Pair( s, n2 );

Casting:

CF::Dictionary can be safely casted to a CFDictionaryRef:

CF::Dictionary  d( 100 );
CFDictionaryRef cfD = d;

Other methods:

Other CFDictionaryRef methods are available, like GetCount, ContainsKey, RemoveValue, etc.

CF::Date

CF::Date is a wrapper for CFDateRef.

Creation:

CF::Date can be instantiated using another CF::Date, a CFDateRef or a CFAbsoluteTime.
When a CF::Date object is created without argument, it defaults to the current date:

CF::Date d1;
CF::Date d2 = someCFDateRefObject;
CF::Date d3 = d1;
CF::Date d4 = 100;

Mutation:

CF::Date value can be set/transformed through many operators:

CF::Date d1;
CF::Date d2;

d1++;
d2--;

d1 += d2;
d2  = d1 + d2;

Equality:

CF::Date can be compared to another CF::Date, a CFDateRef or a CFAbsoluteTime. Almost all comparison operators are available:

CF::Date d1;
CF::Date d2;

if( d1 == someCFDateRefObject ) { /* ... */ }
if( d1 != d2 )                  { /* ... */ }
if( d1 >  100 )                 { /* ... */ }
if( d1 <= d2 )                  { /* ... */ }

Casting:

CF::Date can be safely casted to a CFDateRef or CFAbsoluteTime:

CF::Date       d;
CFDateRef      cfD = d;
CFAbsoluteTime t   = d;

CF::Data

CF::Data is a wrapper for CFDataRef.

Creation:

CF::Data can be instantiated using another CF::Data, a CFDataRef, a CFStringRef, a std::string or a CF::Data::Byte pointer:

const char * cp = "hello, world";
CF::Data     d1 = someCFDataRefObject;
CF::Data     d2 = someCFStringRefObject;
CF::Data     d3 = d1;
CF::Data     d4 = std::string( "hello, world" );
CF::Data     d5( ( CF::Data::Byte * )cp, 12 );

Mutation:

Data can be appended using the += operator.
The following types can be appended: CF::Data::Byte, CFStringRef, CFDataRefand std::string:

CF::Date d;

d += 42;
d += someCFtringRefObject;
d += someCFDataRefObject;
d += std::string( "hello, world" );

To append a CF::Data::Byte pointer, une the AppendBytes method.

Element access:

Single bytes can be retrieved as CF::Data::Byte using the [] operator:

CF::Date       d( std::string( "hello, world" ) );
CF::Date::byte b = d[ 2 ];

Casting:

CF::Data can be safely casted to a CFDataRef, std::string and CF::Data::Byte pointer:

CF::Data         d;
CFDateRef        cfD = d;
std::string      s   = d;
CF::Data::Byte * bp  = d;

Other methods:

Other CFDataRef methods are available, like GetLength, GetMutableBytePtr, ReplaceBytes, etc.

CF::URL

CF::URL is a wrapper for CFURLRef.

Creation:

CF::URL can be instantiated using another CF::URL, a CFURLRef, a CFStringRef, or a std::string:

CF::URL url1 = someCFURLRefObject;
CF::URL url2 = someCFStringRefObject;
CF::URL url3 = url1;
CF::URL url4 = std::string( "http://www.example.org/" );

Equality:

CF::URL can be compared to another CF::URL, a CFURLRef, a CFStringRef, or a std::string:

CF::URL url1( "http://www.example.org/" );
CF::URL url2( "http://www.xs-labs.com/" );

if( url1 == url2 )                                     { /* ... */ }
if( url1 != someCFURLRefObject )                       { /* ... */ }
if( url1 == someCFStringRefObject )                    { /* ... */ }
if( url1 != std::string( "http://www.xs-labs.com/" ) ) { /* ... */ }

Mutation:

Path components can be appended to a CF::URL using the /= operator:

CF::URL url1( "http://www.example.org/" );

url /= "path";
url /= "to";
url /= "some";
url /= "page";

Parts access:

Individual URL parts can be accessed as std::string using the [] operator, specifying a CF::URL::Part, or through regular methods:

CF::URL url( "http://www.example.org/" );

std::string scheme = url[ CF::URL::PartScheme ];
std::string host   = url.GetHostName();

Casting:

CF::URL can be safely casted to a CFURLRef, CFStringRef, or std::string:

CF::URL     url( "http://www.example.org/" );
CFURLRef    cfUrl = url;
CFStringRef cfS   = url;
std::string s     = url;

To-Do

The following classes will be implemented soon:

- CFBundle
- CFDateFormatter
- CFNotificationCenter
- CFNull
- CFNumberFormatter
- CFRunLoop
- CFRunLoopSource
- CFRunLoopTimer
- CFSocket
- CFSet
- CFMutableSet

License

CoreFoundation++ is released under the terms of the BOOST License.

Repository Infos

Owner:			Jean-David Gadina - XS-Labs
Web:			www.xs-labs.com
Blog:			www.noxeos.com
Twitter:		@macmade
GitHub:			github.com/macmade
LinkedIn:		ch.linkedin.com/in/macmade/
StackOverflow:	stackoverflow.com/users/182676/macmade
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