Bigloo Libraries

Bigloo libraries are collections of global bindings (global variables and global functions). Bigloo libraries are built on the top of the host operating system (e.g. Unix) libraries. Because Bigloo uses modules, a library is not only a bundle of compiled codes and memory locations. A Bigloo library is split into several files:

Let's consider, for example, a library that implements the format Common Lisp facility. Let's suppose we name this library bformat and that the library number is 1.0. Using a Unix machine, the Bigloo library will consist of the following files:

Compiling and linking with a library

From the user standpoint, using a library can be made two ways:

When a Bigloo library lib is used, Bigloo automatically searches for a file called lib.init (the "init file"). If such a file exits, it is loaded at compile-time. For instance, the init file may be used to specify compilation flags or to define macros used by the compiler. The initialization file may affect any of the global parameters of the Bigloo compiler. For instance, a Bigloo library supporting SSL connections would likely need a native library. Setting the compiler variable *ld-post-options* has this effect. For instance, one may define an initialization file such as:

    (set! *ld-post-options* (string-append "-lssl " *ld-post-options*)))
When a Bigloo library lib is used, the Bigloo linker automatically looks at a library to be linked against the application. The name of the file containing the library depends on the operating system and the back-end used. For instance, under Unix, for a library called NAME, the Bigloo linker searches for a file called libNAME_[s|u]-VERSION.a or libNAME_[s|u]-VERSION.DYNLIB-SUFFIX in the compilation linker path when using the native back-end. It searches for a file NAME_[s|u] when the JVM back-end is used.

This default NAME can be overridden in the initialization file. The function declare-library! associates a Bigloo library name and a system name.

declare-library! ident [attributes]library procedure

All the attributes are optional.



library-translation-table-add! ident namelibrary procedure

library-translation-table-add! ident name versionlibrary procedure

library-translation-table-add! ident name version :dlopen-init initsymlibrary procedure

The function library-translation-table-add! is obsolete. It should no longer be used in new code. It is totally subsumed by declare-library!. The function library-translation-table-add! is still documented for enabling readers to understand old Bigloo source code.

This function registers a name for the library id. An optional version can be specified. The optional named argument dlopen-init gives the base name of the initialization entry point of a library.

Imagine that we would like to name our bformat library bigloobformat. This can be achieved by adding the following expression in the initialization file.

(library-translation-table-add! 'bformat "bigloobformat")
Using this translation, on a Unix platform, the library used during the linking will be named: libbigloobformat_s-<BIGLOO-VERSION>.a. In order to change the <BIGLOO-VERSION> to another suffix, such as 1.0, one may use:

(library-translation-table-add! 'bformat "bigloobformat" "1.0")
In such a case, the library searched will be named libbigloobformat_s-1.0.a.

Specifying a #f prevents the insertion of any suffix. Hence,

(library-translation-table-add! 'bformat "bigloobformat" #f)
instructs the compiler to look at a library named libbigloobformat_s.a.


Library and inline functions

It is illegal for libraries to include inline functions that make use of new foreign types. By "new foreign type", we mean foreign types that are defined inside the library. A library may contain inline functions but these inline functions must not call functions using foreign types in their prototypes. Including inline functions making use of foreign C types will make the compiler fail when compiling user code, prompting type errors. A library may contains non-inline functions that make use of new foreign types.

library and eval

The function library-load loads a library in the interpreter.

library-multithread-set!library procedure

Multi-threaded and single-threaded cannot be mixed. An application must use exclusively one kind of library. This function forces the specie of library to load dynamically. Normally this is set automatically and this function should be used only on exceptional situations.

library-exists? ident . pathlibrary procedure

Checks if the library ident exists for the current back-end.

The regular Bigloo library paths are scanned unless optional paths are sent to the function.

bigloo-library-pathlibrary procedure

bigloo-library-path-set!library procedure

These functions get and set the default path (a list of strings) for loading libraries.

library-load ident . pathlibrary procedure

Loads a library in the interpreter. In addition to dynamically loading the library, this function tries to load the _es version of the library if it is linked against the safe Bigloo library version or the _eu version if it is linked against the unsafe version of the Bigloo library.

Searches for libraries occur in the regular Bigloo library paths unless optional paths are sent to the function.

This version may be used for automatically exporting bindings to the interpreter. In general, the _es and _eu libraries are simple libraries that contain only one module, the module that is used to build the heap-file. For instance, let's consider an implementation of a library for SSL programming. This library is composed of a single implementation module __ssl_ssl. The library is build using a heap file:

(module __ssl_makelib
   (import __ssl_ssl))
Changing this file for:

(module __ssl_makelib
   (import __ssl_ssl)
   (eval   (export-all)))
enables the construction of the _es and _eu libraries.

When the system loads a dynamic library, it initializes it. For that it expects to find initialization entry points in the dynamic libraries that are named after the library's name. More precisely, for the LIB_s library, the loader seeks the entry point named "LIB_s" and for the LIB_es, it seeks "LIB_es". The name of the initialization entry of a library can be changed using the declare-library! function. If that named is changed, one module of the library must contain an option module clause that sets the variable *dlopen-init* with the name of the initialization entry point.

Since Bigloo 3.1a, the runtime system supports a better way for initializing libraries. Initialization modules can be associated with a library. When loaded, these modules are automatically initialized. This new method fits harmoniously with the Bigloo initialization process and it relieves users from any requirement to annotate the source code of the library. For instance, if a library initialization file contains the following declaration:

(declare-library! 'foo :module-init 'foo)
Then, the library must implement the foo module.

(module foo
  (import ...)
In addition if the library binds variables, functions, or classes in the interpreter then, an eval-init clause must be added to the class declaration:

(declare-library! 'foo :module-init 'foo :eval-init 'foo-eval)
Then, the module foo-eval must be implemented in the libfoo_es and libfoo_eu libraries.

(module foo-eval
  (import ...)
  (eval (export-all)))
The standard distribution contains examples of such constructions. In particular, the multi-threading libraries pthread and fthread use this facility.

library and repl

It is possible to implement a "read-eval-print-loop" that is extended with the facilities implemented inside a library. In order to make the variables, functions, and classes of a library visible from the interpreter, the eval library module clause has to be used. (see Module Declaration) For instance, here is a module that implements a "repl" with the format facility available:

(module format-repl
   (eval (library bformat))
   (library bformat))

;; a dummy reference to a facility of the format library
(let ((dummy format))

Alternatively, libraries can be explicitly loaded using the library-load function such as:

(module format-repl)

;; a dummy reference to a facility of the format library
(let ((dummy format))
   (eval '(library-load 'bformat))

Building a library

Build Bigloo libraries require several steps that are explained in this section. This section shows how to create static and dynamic (or shared) libraries. However not that creating a dynamic library highly dependent on the host operating system. Users willing to create dynamic libraries on other operating systems should use the api directory of the Bigloo source code tree as an example.

At this time, you are ready to use your library. For that, let's assume the file foo.scm:

(module foo
   (library bformat))

(bigloo-library-path-set! (cons (pwd) (bigloo-library-path)))
(print (bformat "Library path: %a" (bigloo-library-path)))

(eval '(library-load 'bformat))
It can be compiled and executed with:

bigloo foo.scm -L . -copt -L.
The Bigloo distribution contains library exemplars that should probably considered as a departure point for new libraries.

Library and modules

A Bigloo library may be composed of several Bigloo modules (even if in our example only one module was used). The modules composing the library are free to import each other. Nevertheless, someone designing a Bigloo library should be aware that Bigloo importation creates dependences between modules. A module mod1 that imports a module mod2 depends on mod2 because mod1 requires mod2 to be initialized (i.e. mod1 calls to the initialization function of mod2). The result is that using import clauses inside modules composing a library may create a lot of dependencies between the object files that are used to build the associated Unix library. Dependencies should be avoided because they make the Unix linkers unable to produce small stand-alone programs. Instead of import clauses, use clauses should be preferred. Use clauses do not create dependencies because a module mod1 that uses a second module mod2 does not require mod2 to be initialized. Of course, it may happen situations where the initialization is mandatory and thus, the import must not be replaced with a use clause. The source code of the Bigloo library makes use of import and use clauses. The Bigloo standard library should be studied as an example.

Library and macros

Bigloo libraries can export macros, expanders, and syntaxes but these must be handled carefully. Macros (these also applies to expanders and syntaxes) exported by modules are not visible by client code. Exported macros have to be placed inside the initialization file. For instance, if we change the definition of bformat.init file for:

(declare-library! 'bformat 
   :version "1.0"
   :srfi '(bformat)
   :basename "bigloobformat"
   :module-init '__bformat
   :module-eval '__make_lib
   :class-init "bigloo.bformat.__bformat"
   :class-eval "bigloo.bformat.__make_lib")

(define-expander BFORMAT
   (lambda (x e)
      (match-case x
         ((?- (? (lambda (s) (and (string? s) (not (string-index s #\%))))) . ?a
          `(string-append ,@(cdr x)))
          `(bformat ,@(map (lambda (x) (e x e)) (cdr x)))))
At compile time the macro BFORMAT will be declared. Hence, we can change the definition of foo.scm for:

(module foo
   (library bformat))

(bigloo-library-path-set! (cons (pwd) (bigloo-library-path)))
(print (BFORMAT "library path: %a" (bigloo-library-path)))

(eval '(library-load 'bformat))

A complete library example

For the means of an example let's suppose we want to design a Bigloo library for 2d points. That library is made of three implementation files: two C files, cpoint.h and cpoint.c and one Scheme file spoint.scm. Here are defined the three files:

struct point_2d {
   double x, y;
#include <stdio.h>
#include "cpoint.h"

int print_point_2d( struct point_2d *pt ) {
   printf( "<point-2d: %g, %g>", pt->x, pt->y );
(module __point
   (include "spoint.sch")
   (extern  (include "cpoint.h"))
   (export  (make-point::s-point_2d* ::double ::double)
            (print-point ::s-point_2d*)
            (point? ::obj)))

(define (make-point::s-point_2d* x::double y::double)
   (s-point_2d* x y))

(define (print-point p::s-point_2d*)
   (print_point_2d p))

(define (point? obj::obj)
   (s-point_2d*? obj)
makelib.scm: We want our library to be composed of the whole exported Scheme functions. Thus the file to build the heap library could look like:

(module __point_makelib
   (import __point)
   (eval (export-all)))

point.init:Let's suppose that the point library requires the libposix library. This means that any file linked with the point library needs to be also linked with the posix library. Furthermore, programs making use of the point library needs to include the point.sch file. That Scheme file needs in turn the C file point.h otherwise the produced C files won't compile. The need for the libposix library and for the point.h file may be specified inside the point.init file. For our current library, the point.init file could look like:

(declare-library! 'point 
                  :basename "point" 
                  :srfi '(point)
                  :eval-init '__point_makelib)

(set! *ld-options*
      (string-append "-L/usr/lib " *ld-options*))

(set! *bigloo-user-lib*
      (cons "-lm" *bigloo-user-lib*))

(set! *additional-include-foreign*
      (cons "cpoint.h" *additional-include-foreign*))
(define-macro (point x y)
   `(make-point ,x ,y))
This file updates some compilation variables (*ld-options*, *bigloo-user-lib*, *additional-include-foreign*) and defines a macro: point. Because the point.init file will be loaded each time a compilation require the point library is spawned, user code are allowed to use the point macro. Here is an example file making use of the point library:

(module example)

(let ((p (point 2.9 3.5)))
   (print "point?: " (point? p))
   (print "point?: " (point? 4))
   (print-point p)
   (print "done..."))
To conclude that example here is the Makefile used to compile the point library, heap file and one example.

# bigloo flags
BIGLOO          = bigloo
RELEASE		= `$(BIGLOO) -eval '(begin (print *bigloo-version*) (exit 0))'`
BHEAPFLAGS      = -unsafe -q -mkaddheap -mkaddlib -v2 -heap-library point
BCOMMONFLAGGS   = -mkaddlib -fsharing -q $(VERBOSE)        \
                  -copt '$(CCOMMONFLAGS)' -cc $(CC)
BSAFEFLAGS      = $(BCOMMONFLAGGS) -cg -O3 -g -cg -unsafev \
                  -eval '(set! *indent* 4)' -rm

# cigloo flags CIGLOO = cigloo


# library objects SAFE_OBJECT = olib/spoint.o olib/cpoint.o UNSAFE_OBJECT = olib_u/spoint.o olib_u/cpoint.o

all: .afile heap lib example

.afile: spoint.scm makelib.scm bglafile $^ > $@

heap: point.heap

point.heap: spoint.sch spoint.scm $(BIGLOO) $(BHEAPFLAGS) makelib.scm -addheap point.heap

lib: lib_u lib.a

lib.a: olib $(SAFE_OBJECT) ar qcv libpoint_s-$(RELEASE).a $(SAFE_OBJECT)

lib_u: olib_u $(UNSAFE_OBJECT) ar qcv libpoint_u-$(RELEASE).a $(UNSAFE_OBJECT)

olib: mkdir olib

olib_u: mkdir olib_u

olib_u/spoint.o olib/spoint.o: spoint.scm $(BIGLOO) $(BSAFEFLAGS) $(<F) -o $*.o -c

olib_u/cpoint.o olib/cpoint.o: cpoint.c $(CC) $(CSAFEFLAGS) $(<F) -o $*.o -c

spoint.sch: cpoint.h cpoint.c cigloo $^ > $@

example: heap lib $(BIGLOO) -v2 -L . -library point \ -static-bigloo example.scm -o example

clean: -/bin/rm -f point.heap -/bin/rm -f spoint.sch spoint.c -/bin/rm -fr olib olib_u -/bin/rm -f example example.c example.o -/bin/rm -f libpoint_s-$(RELEASE).a libpoint_u-$(RELEASE).a