Julian macros for wrapping ccall
Author ninjaaron
14 Stars
Updated Last
6 Months Ago
Started In
January 2019

Macros related to ccall

@ccall macro

@ccall allows you to use more natural Julia syntax for calling C, leaving the semantics of ccall unaltered.

julia> fmt = "Hello Julia %.1f!\n"
julia> version = 1.1
julia> @ccall printf(fmt::Cstring, version::Cdouble)::Cint
Hello Julia 1.1!

What's it do?

julia> println(@macroexpand @ccall printf(fmt::Cstring, version::Cdouble)::Cint)
ccall(:printf, Cint, (Cstring, Cdouble), fmt, version)

Nothing revolutionary, just some syntactic sugar to improve readability.

To work with libraries besides libc, you should declare the name of the library elsewhere in the source as a constant:

julia > const glib = "libglib-2.0"

julia> uri = " a nice day"

julia> unsafe_string(@ccall glib.g_uri_escape_string(
           uri::Cstring, ":/"::Cstring, true::Cint


This is simply translated into:

julia> println(@macroexpand @ccall glib.g_uri_escape_string(
           uri::Cstring, ":/"::Cstring, true::Cint
ccall((:g_uri_escape_string, glib), Cstring, (Cstring, Cstring, Cint), uri, ":/", true)

It is technically also possible to write @ccall "libglib-2.0".g_uri_escape_string( ... ), but that's just nasty.

@cdef macro

There has been some talk that @ccall should be in the Base module. (this repository is mostly just for polishing it up.) @cdef has not been discussed in the community at all. It was just something I wanted and it happens to share a lot of code with @ccall, so it's in this repo, but I'm not necessarily saying it should be in Base. It has the same syntax as ccall, but it makes a very minimal wrapper function over the called code, so it can be used again later without type annotations. It's still a work-in progress, but at the moment, it works like this:

julia> @cdef puts(str::Cstring)::Cint
puts (generic function with 1 method)

julia> puts("foo")

and again with the generated code:

julia> println(@macroexpand @cdef puts(str::Cstring)::Cint)
puts(str) = ccall(:puts, Cint, (Cstring,), str)

In the case of a third-party library, only the function name becomes the wrapper name.

julia> println(@macroexpand @cdef
foo(bar) = ccall((:foo, glib), Cvoid, (Baz,), bar)

This is to reduce the amount of repetitive typing when wrapping a library. It is probably helpful to define additional dispatches with additional wrapping in most cases.

@disable_sigint macro

Disables SIGINT while expr is being executed. Mostly useful for calling C functions that call back into Julia in a concurrent context because memory corruption can occur and crash the whole program. I'm frankly not entirely sure how necessary this is as a separate macro, but some other people thought it was a good idea, and it was easy to implement.

@disable_sigint ccall( ... )

# same as:
disable_sigint() do
    ccall( ... )


Throws a system error for a non-zero exit.

julia> touch("foo")

julia> @check_syserr @ccall mkfifo("foo"::Cstring, 0o666::Cuint)::Cint
ERROR: SystemError: @ccall mkfifo("foo"::Cstring, 0x01b6::Cuint)::Cint: File exists

julia> println(@macroexpand @check_syserr @ccall mkfifo("foo"::Cstring, 0o666::Cuint)::Cint)
# LineNumberNodes have been removed for your viewing pleasure.
    err = ccall(:mkfifo, Cint, (Cstring, Cuint), "foo", 0x01b6)
    systemerror("@ccall mkfifo(\"foo\"::Cstring, 0x01b6::Cuint)::Cint", err != 0)

Kinda iffy on this one, too, but I guess can see the appeal.