Runtime-Compiled C++ for Cinder
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README.md

Runtime

A runtime compiler for libcinder.

Previous implementations have moved to msvc_old and mac_cling branches.

Introduction

Runtime is a developement tool that enables fast iteration and prototyping through c++ code hot-swapping. It is lightweight, use your native compiler and is integrated with your IDE and debugger. Runtime compilation happens as seamlessly as possible using your IDE error report system and debugger tools.

One of the core principle of this library is to be able to disappear completly when you don't need it. Every pieces of Runtime are designed to become no-op when building in Release or Debug mode. There's a very light setup code to get things running and all of it disappear as soon as you switch to a non runtime target. This makes it easier to integrate Runtime in production without the fears and investments of big dependencies.

Making a class runtime-compilable.

RT_DECL / RT_IMPL

The easiest way to get a class watched by the runtime compiler is to use the following macros in both your header and implementation file:

MyClass.h

#pragma once

#include "runtime/ClassWatcher.h"

class MyClass {
public:
	MyClass();

	RT_DECL
};

MyClass.cpp

#include "MyClass.h"

MyClass::MyClass() 
{
}

RT_IMPL( MyClass );

From that point, any instance of the class MyClass allocated on the heap will be automatically reloaded when saving the header or the implementation file. Which means that you can use any flavor of smart or raw pointer (the only exception being std::make_shared... more on that later).

SomeOtherFile.cpp

#include "MyClass.h"

 std::unique_ptr<MyClass> mPtr;

 void initialize()
{
	// mPtr will point to the last compiled version of the class
	mPtr = std::make_unique<MyClass>();
}

virtual calls

Now you probably want to call MyClass member functions from outside the class and have any future iteration of the code being use instead of the old one. To be able to do this you need to make those member functions virtual and let your compiler handle the new indirection:

#pragma once

#include "runtime/ClassWatcher.h"

class MyClass {
RT_DECL
public:
	MyClass();

	virtual void draw();
};

rt_virtual

You probably don't want to deploy code with unecessary virtual calls everywhere. To avoid too much code polution rt_virtual can be used instead of virtual as it becomes a no-op when building the code in Release or Debug :

#pragma once

#include "runtime/ClassWatcher.h"
#include "runtime/Virtual.h"

class MyClass {
RT_DECL
public:
	MyClass();

	rt_virtual void draw();
};

RT_IMPL_INLINE

When working on a header only class RT_IMPL_INLINE can be used instead of the RT_DECL / RT_IMPL pair:

#pragma once

#include "runtime/ClassWatcher.h"
#include "runtime/Virtual.h"

class MyClass {
RT_IMPL_INLINE( MyClass );
public:
	MyClass() {}

	rt_virtual void draw()
	{
		// ...
	}
};

std::make_shared

Unfortunately std::make_shared works differently under the hood, making a seemless integration more difficult. At the moment the only way to make a std::shared_ptr runtime reloadable is to use the operator new or the following wrapper :

#include "runtime/make_shared.h"

rt::make_shared<MyClass>( ... );

rt::Compiler::BuildSettings

TODO

Using rt::Compiler and rt::Module directly

TODO

Adding Runtime to a new or existing project

Build Cinder as a dll

Build the x64 Debug_Shared and Release_Shared targets of Cinder.

Setup the project to use Cinder as a dll by adding the Debug_Shared and Release_Shared targets:

  1. Create new configuration for Debug_Shared and Release_Shared (use "copy setting from" in the configuration manager)
    proj_config

  2. Project Properties / C++ / Code Generation: change Runtime Library to /MDd for Debug_Shared and /MD for Release_Shared.
    runtime_library

  3. Project Properties / C++ / Preprocessor / Preprocessor Definitions: Add CINDER_SHARED for both Debug_Shared and Release_Shared.
    preprocessor

  4. Project Properties / Build Events / Post-Build Event / Command Line: Paste xcopy /y /d "PATH_TO_CINDER\lib\msw\$(PlatformTarget)\$(Configuration)\$(PlatformToolset)\cinder.dll" "$(OutDir)" and replace PATH_TO_CINDER by the relative path to Cinder (that you can find for example inside C++ / General / Additional Include Directories.
    post_build_event

Setup the project to use Runtime :

Ignore the following steps if using Tinderbox.

  1. Project Properties / C++ / General / Additional Include Directories : Add Cinder-Runtime/include path to the list of includes.
  2. Drag the content of the Cinder-Runtime/src into your Solution Explorer.
    solution_explorer