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Interfacing C,C++ and Python with Swig by Beazley D.M.

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By Beazley D.M.

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Files can only be included once and include guards are not required (unlike C header files). SWIG ignores #include • Blindly following all includes is probably not what you want. SWIG Tutorial 7th International Python Conference 41 Notes Like the C compiler, SWIG library directories can be specified using the -I option. i Two other directives, %extern and %import are also available, but not described in detail. Refer to the SWIG users manual for more information. Quick Summary You now know almost everything you need to know • C declarations are transformed into Python equivalents.

Initialize the module when imported. %init %{ eng = engOpen("matlab42"); %} SWIG Tutorial 7th International Python Conference 38 Notes Inclusion of header files and module specific initialization are two of the most common uses for the code insertion directives. Helper Functions Sometimes it is useful to write supporting functions • Creation and destruction of objects. • Providing access to arrays. • Accessing internal pieces of data structures. %module darray %inline %{ double *new_darray(int size) { return (double *) malloc(size*sizeof(double)); } double darray_get(double *a, int index) { return a[index]; } void darray_set(double *a, int index, double value) { a[index] = value; } %} %name(delete_darray) free(void *); SWIG Tutorial 7th International Python Conference 39 Notes Helper functions can be placed directly inside an interface file by enclosing them in an %{,%} block.

Write a few helper functions to aid in the process. Some things to think about • Wrapping a raw header file might result in an interface that is unusable. • It is rarely necessary to access everything in a header file from Python. • SWIG is meant to be fast, but it isn’t a substitute for proper planning • SWIG allows you to “grow” an interface. Start with raw headers and gradually refine the interface until you like it. Is this the only way? • No, SWIG provides a variety of customization options.

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