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Updated users manual.

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@@ -4,281 +4,320 @@ CppSharp Users Manual
## What does it do?
-This tool allows you to generate .NET bindings that wrap C/C++ code allowing interoperability with managed languages. This can be useful if you have an existing native codebase and want to add scripting support, or want to consume an existing native library in your managed code.
+This tool allows you to generate .NET bindings that wrap C/C++ code allowing
+interoperability with managed languages. This can be useful if you have an
+existing native codebase and want to add scripting support, or want to consume
+an existing native library in your managed code.
## Why reinvent the wheel?
-There are not many automated binding tools around, the only real alternative is SWIG. So how is it different from SWIG?
+There are not many automated binding tools around, the only real alternative is
+SWIG. So how is it different from SWIG?
+ * Cleaner bindings
* No need to generate a C layer to interop with C++.
- * Based on an actual C++ parser (Clang) so very accurate.
- * Understands C++ at the ABI (application binary interface) level
* Easily extensible semantics via user passes
* Strongly-typed customization APIs
* Can be used as a library
+ * Based on an actual C++ parser (Clang) so very accurate.
+ * Understands C++ at the ABI (application binary interface) level
+ * Supports virtual method overriding (coming soon)
-# 2. C/C++ language features
+# 2. Targets
-In this section we will go through how the generator deals with each C / C++ feature.
+The backend of the generator is abstracted and it can target different .NET
+binding technologies:
-## C/C++ Types
+- C#
+- C++/CLI
-### Fundamental types
+# 3. C/C++ language features
-These are mapped to .NET types as follows:
+In this section we will go through how the generator deals C/C++ types.
-1. **Integral types**
+## Fundamental types
- char **→** System::Byte
- bool **→** System::Boolean
- short **→** System::Int16
- int, long **→** System::Int32
- long long **→** System::Int64
+### Integral types
+
+ - char **→** System::Byte
+ - bool **→** System::Boolean
+ - short **→** System::Int16
+ - int, long **→** System::Int32
+ - long long **→** System::Int64
Note: Signedness is also preserved in the conversions.
-2. **Floating-point types**
+### Floating-point types
- float **→** System::Single
- double **→** System::Double
+ - float **→** System::Single
+ - double **→** System::Double
-3. **Other types**
+### Other types
- wchar_t **→** System::Char
- void **→** System::Void
+ - wchar_t **→** System::Char
+ - void **→** System::Void
-### Derived types
+## Derived types
-1. **Arrays**
+### Arrays
These are mapped to .NET CLR arrays.
-2. **Function Pointers / Pointers to Members**
+### Pointers
+
+#### Function Pointers / Pointers to Members
- These are mapped to .NET CLR delegates.
+These are mapped to .NET CLR delegates.
-3. **Pointers**
+#### Primitive types
These are mapped to .NET CLR references unless:
- void* **→** System::IntPtr
- const char* **→** System::String
+ - void* **→** System::IntPtr
+ - const char* **→** System::String
-4. **References**
+#### References
References are mapped to .NET CLR references just like pointers.
## Typedefs
-We do not preserve type definitions since .NET and its main language C# do not have the concept of type aliases like C/C++. There is an exception in the case of a typedef'd function (pointer) declaration. In this case generate a .NET delegate with the name of the typedef.
+We do not preserve type definitions since .NET and its main language C# do not
+have the concept of type aliases like C/C++. There is an exception in the case
+of a typedef'd function (pointer) declaration. In this case generate a .NET
+delegate with the name of the typedef.
## Enums
-C/C++ enums are translated automatically to .NET enumerations.
-
-Special cases to be aware of:
+Regular C/C++ enums are translated to .NET enumerations.
-1. Anonymous enums
+### Anonymous enums
- C and C++ enums (this does not apply to the new C++11 strongly typed enums) do not introduce their own scope. This means the enumerated values will leak into an outer context, like a class or a namespace. When this is detected, the generator tries to map to an outer enclosing context and generate a new name.
+C and C++ enums do not introduce their own scope (different with C++11 strongly
+typed enums). This means the enumerated values will leak into an outer context,
+like a class or a namespace. When this is detected, the generator tries to map
+to an outer enclosing context and generate a new name.
-2. Flags / Bitfields
+### Flags / Bitfields
- Some enumerations represent bitfield patterns. The generator tries to check for this with some heuristics. If there are enough values in the enum to make a good guess, we apply the [Flags] .NET attribute to the wrapper enum.
+Some enumerations represent bitfield patterns. The generator tries to check for
+this with some heuristics. If there are enough values in the enum to make a good
+guess, we apply the [Flags] .NET attribute to the wrapper enum.
## Functions
-Since global scope functions are not supported in C# (though they are available in the CLR) they are mapped as a static function in a class, to be consumable by any CLS-compliant language.
+Since global scope functions are not supported in C# (though they are available
+in the CLR) they are mapped as a static function in a class, to be consumable by
+any CLS-compliant language.
-By default all globals functions of a translation unit are mapped to a static class with the name of of the unit prefixed by the namespace.
+By default all globals functions of a translation unit are mapped to a static
+class with the name of of the unit prefixed by the namespace.
Special cases to be aware of:
-1. Variadic arguments (TODO)
+### Variadic arguments (TODO)
- C/C++ variadic arguments need careful handling because they are not contrained to be of the same type.
+C/C++ variadic arguments need careful handling because they are not contrained
+to be of the same type. .NET provides two types of variadic arguments support:
- .NET provides two types of variadic arguments support:
+#### C# params-style
- * C# params-style
+This is the preferred and idiomatic method but can only be used when we know the
+variadic arguments will all be of the same type. Since we have no way to derive
+this fact from the information in C/C++ function signatures, you will need set
+this explicitly.
- This is the preferred and idiomatic method but can only be used when we know the variadic arguments will all be of the same type. Since we have no way to derive this fact from the information in C/C++ function signatures, you will need set this explicitly.
+#### Argslist
- * Argslist
-
- This is a lesser known method for variadic arguments in .NET and was added by Microsoft for better C++ compatibility in the runtime. As you can guess, this does support different types per variable argument but is more verbose and less idiomatic to use. By default we use this to wrap variadic functions.
+This is a lesser known method for variadic arguments in .NET and was added by
+Microsoft for better C++ compatibility in the runtime. As you can guess, this
+does support different types per variable argument but is more verbose and less
+idiomatic to use. By default we use this to wrap variadic functions.
-2. Default arguments
+### Default arguments
- We do not try to wrap arguments default values yet. This is desired but needs more research since potentially all C++ constant expressions can be used as default arguments, though it would be pretty simple to add this for the common case of null constants.
+Default arguments values are not supported yet since potentially all C++ constant
+expressions can be used as default arguments.
## Classes / Structs
-Unlike .NET, in which there is an explicit differentiation of the allocation semantics of the type in the form of classes (reference types) and structs (value types), in C++ both classes and structs are identical and can be used in both heap (malloc/new) and automatic (stack) allocations.
+In C++, both classes and structs are identical and can be used in both heap
+(malloc/new) and automatic (stack) allocations.
+
+This is unlike .NET, in which there is an explicit differentiation of the
+allocation semantics of the type in the form of classes (reference types)
+and structs (value types),
-By default, classes and structs are wrapped as .NET reference types. If your type is supposed to be a value type, then you can instruct the generator to issue a .NET value type. You should use value types if the types are cheap to construct and/or if you creating a lot of instances.
+By default, classes and structs are wrapped as .NET reference types. You can
+provide an explicit mapping to wrap any type as a value type.
-### POD (Plain Old Data)
+### POD (Plain Old Data) types
-TODO: If the native type is a POD type, that means we can safely convert it to a value type. This would make the generator do the right thing by default and is pretty easy to implement.
+TODO: If the native type is a POD type, that means we can safely convert it to
+a value type. This would make the generator do the right thing by default and is
+pretty easy to implement.
### Constructors
Constructors are mapped to .NET class constructors.
-Note: An extra constructor is generated that takes a native pointer to the class. This allows construction of managed instances from native instances.
+Note: An extra constructor is generated that takes a native pointer to the class.
+This allows construction of managed instances from native instances.
### Destructors
-TODO: Destructors need to be mapped to the Dispose() pattern of .NET.
+Destructors are mapped to the Dispose() pattern of .NET.
### Overloaded Operators
Most of the regular C++ operators can be mapped to .NET operator overloads.
-TODO: In case we get unsupported C++ operators then we should emit a warning, and introduce a new automatically named method to represent the operator. The user should then explicitly give a name to the operator to get rid of the warning.
-
-### Conversion Operators
-
-TODO: Convert C++ conversion operators to .NET conversion operators.
+In case an operator has no match in C# then its added as a named method with
+the same parameters.
### Inheritance
-C++ supports implementation inheritance of multiple types. This is incompatible with .NET which supports only single implementation inheritance (but multiple interface inheritance).
+C++ supports implementation inheritance of multiple types. This is incompatible
+with .NET which supports only single implementation inheritance (but multiple
+interface inheritance).
-1. Single inheritance
+#### Single inheritance
- This is the simplest case and we can map the inheritance directly.
+This is the simplest case and we can map the inheritance directly.
-2. Multiple inheritance
+#### Multiple inheritance
- In this case we can only map one class directly. The others can be mapped as interfaces if they only provide pure virtual methods. Otherwise the best we can do is provide some conversion operators in .NET to get access to them.
+In this case we can only map one class directly. The others can be mapped as
+interfaces if they only provide pure virtual methods. Otherwise the best we can
+do is provide some conversion operators in .NET to get access to them.
-3. Virtual inheritance
+### Virtual methods
- This is not supported for now.
+Support for overriding virtual methods is being worked on and it will provide
+a way for managed code to override virtual methods in bound classes.
-## Bitfields
-
-This feature is not supported yet.
-
-## Unions
-
-This feature is not supported yet.
+Instances of these types can be passed to native code and and whenever the
+native code calls one of those functions there will be a transition to the
+C# code.
## Templates
Template parsing is supported and you can type map them to other types.
-TODO: Also export explicit template type specializations.
-
## Preprocessor defines
-Since C preprocessor definitions can be used for very different purposes, we can only do so much when converting them to managed code.
+Since C preprocessor definitions can be used for very different purposes, we can
+only do so much when wrapping them to managed code.
- 1. Numeric defines
+### Numeric defines
- These can be translated to proper .NET enumerations.
+These can be translated to proper .NET enumerations.
- 2. String defines
+### String defines
- These can be translated to .NET static constant definitions.
+These can be translated to .NET static constant definitions.
- 3. Generalized expressions
+### Generalized expressions
- This case is not supported and probably never will.
+This case is not supported and probably never will.
- 4. Function-like macros
+### Function-like macros
- This case is not supported and probably never will.
+This case is not supported and probably never will.
## Comments
-Doxygen-style C++ comments are translated to .NET XML-style comments. This feature is experimental and limited to what Doxygen directives the upstream Clang parser supports.
+There is full support for parsing of Doxygen-style C++ comments syntax.
-### Exceptions
+They are translated to .NET XML-style comments.
-This feature is not supported yet.
+## Limitations
-## RTTI
+Support for these features is limited or only partial:
-This feature is not supported yet.
-
-# 3. Customization
-
-The generator provides various ways to customize the generation process.
-
-## Type Maps
-
-If all you need to do is customize what gets generated for a type, then you can use the type maps feature. This lets you hook into the process for a specific type pattern.
+- Exceptions
+- RTTI
+- Virtual inheritance
+- Bitfields
+- Unions
## Standard library support
-The generator provides type maps for the most common C/C++ standard library types:
+ The generator provides some built-in type maps for the most common C/C++
+standard library types:
-* String
+### Strings
- The native C++ string type, std::string, is mapped automatically to .NET strings.
+ - std::string
+ - std::wstring
+
+ These are mapped automatically to .NET strings.
-* Containers
+### Containers
-1. Vector
+- std::vector
+- std::map
+- std::set
- TODO: This is not supported yet.
+Support for wrapping these is experimental.
-2. Map
+# 4. Customization
- TODO: This is not supported yet.
+The generator provides various ways to customize the generation process.
-3. Set
+## Type Maps
- TODO: This is not supported yet.
+If all you need to do is customize what gets generated for a type, then you can
+use the type maps feature. This lets you hook into the process for a specific
+type pattern.
## Passes
-If you need more control then you can write your own pass. Passes have full access to the parsed AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) so you can modify the entire structure and declaration data of the source code. This is very powerful and should allow you to pretty much do anything you want.
+If you need more control then you can write your own pass. Passes have full
+access to the parsed AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) so you can modify the entire
+structure and declaration data of the source code. This is very powerful and
+should allow you to pretty much do anything you want.
The generator already provides many ready-to-use passes that can transform
the wrapped code to be more idiomatic:
### Renaming passes
-Use these to rename your declarations automatically so they follow .NET conventions. When setting up renaming passes, you can declare what kind of declarations they apply to. There are two different kinds of rename passes:
+Use these to rename your declarations automatically so they follow .NET
+conventions. When setting up renaming passes, you can declare what kind of
+declarations they apply to. There are two different kinds of rename passes:
-1. Case renaming pass
+#### Case renaming pass
-This is a very simple to use pass that changes the case of the name of the declarations it matches.
+This is a very simple to use pass that changes the case of the name of the
+declarations it matches.
-2. Regex renaming pass
+#### Regex renaming pass
-This pass allows you to do powerful regex-based pattern matching renaming of declaration names.
+This pass allows you to do powerful regex-based pattern matching renaming of
+declaration names.
### Function to instance method
-This pass introduces instance methods that call a C/C++ global function. This can be useful to map "object-oriented" design in C to .NET classes. If your function
+This pass introduces instance methods that call a C/C++ global function. This can
+be useful to map "object-oriented" design in C to .NET classes. If your function
takes an instance to a class type as the first argument, then you can use this
pass.
### Function to static method pass
-This pass introduces static methods that call a C/C++ global function. This can be useful to gather related global functions inside the object it belongs to semantically.
+This pass introduces static methods that call a C/C++ global function. This can
+be useful to gather related global functions inside the object it belongs to
+semantically.
### Getter/setter to property pass
-This pass introduces a property that calls the native C/C++ getter and setter function. This can make the API much more idiomatic and easier to use under .NET languages.
+This pass introduces a property that calls the native C/C++ getter and setter
+function. This can make the API much more idiomatic and easier to use under .NET
+languages.
### Internal passes
-Some internal functionalities are also implemented as passes like checking for invalid declaration names or resolving incomplete declarations. Please check the developer manual for more information about these.
-
-# 4. Targets
-
-The backend of the generator is abstracted and it can target different .NET binding technologies:
-
-## C++/CLI
-
- This is the most developed target at the moment. It generates C++/CLI source code that should be compiled with a C++/CLI compiler and linked with the original library. Since all the hard logic is in the compiler this generator is relatively simple and easy to debug.
-
-## C# (P/Invoke)
-
- This was the original backend and generates C# source code that calls back into native by using P/Invoke interop technology. It has bitrotted a bit lately but maybe it should be brought back, at least to the level of binding C and simple C++ libraries. It is much simpler to debug C# managed code than it is to debug the C++/CLI compiler. Even if C++/CLI ends up being the superior technology for C++ interop, this would be very useful for binding C libraries to .NET.
+Some internal functionalities are also implemented as passes like checking for
+invalid declaration names or resolving incomplete declarations. Please check the
+developer manual for more information about these.
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