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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       h2xs - convert .h C header files to Perl extensions

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       h2xs [-ACOPXacdfkmx] [-F addflags] [-M fmask] [-n module_name] [-o
       tmask] [-p prefix] [-s subs] [-v version] [headerfile ...

       h2xs -h

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       h2xs builds a Perl extension from C header files.  The extension will
       include functions which can be used to retrieve the value of any
       #define statement which was in the C header files.

       The module_name will be used for the name of the extension.  If module_name
 is not supplied then the name of the first header file will be
       used, with the first character capitalized.

       If the extension might need extra libraries, they should be included
       here.  The extension Makefile.PL will take care of checking whether the
       libraries actually exist and how they should be loaded.	The extra
       libraries should be specified in the form -lm -lposix, etc, just as on
       the cc command line.  By default, the Makefile.PL will search through
       the library path determined by Configure.  That path can be augmented
       by including arguments of the form -L/another/library/path in the
       extra-libraries argument.

OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       -A   Omit all autoload facilities.  This is the same as -c but also
	    removes the "use AutoLoader" statement from the .pm file.

       -C   Omits creation of the Changes file, and adds a HISTORY section to
	    the POD template.

       -F addflags
	    Additional flags to specify to C preprocessor when scanning header
	    for function declarations.	Should not be used without -x.

       -M regular expression
	    selects functions/macros to process.

       -O   Allows a pre-existing extension directory to be overwritten.

       -P   Omit the autogenerated stub POD section.

       -X   Omit the XS portion.  Used to generate templates for a module
	    which is not XS-based.  "-c" and "-f" are implicitly enabled.

       -a   Generate an accessor method for each element of structs and
	    unions. The generated methods are named after the element name;
	    will return the current value of the element if called without
	    additional arguments; and will set the element to the supplied
	    value (and return the new value) if called with an additional
	    argument. Embedded structures and unions are returned as a pointer
	    rather than the complete structure, to facilitate chained calls.

	    These methods all apply to the Ptr type for the structure; additionally
 two methods are constructed for the structure type
	    itself, "_to_ptr" which returns a Ptr type pointing to the same
	    structure, and a "new" method to construct and return a new structure,
 initialised to zeroes.

       -c   Omit "constant()" from the .xs file and corresponding specialised
	    "AUTOLOAD" from the .pm file.

       -d   Turn on debugging messages.

       -f   Allows an extension to be created for a header even if that header
	    is not found in standard include directories.

       -h   Print the usage, help and version for this h2xs and exit.

       -k   For function arguments declared as "const", omit the const
	    attribute in the generated XS code.

       -m   Experimental: for each variable declared in the header file(s),
	    declare a perl variable of the same name magically tied to the C

       -n module_name
	    Specifies a name to be used for the extension, e.g., -n RPC::DCE

       -o regular expression
	    Use "opaque" data type for the C types matched by the regular
	    expression, even if these types are "typedef"-equivalent to types
	    from typemaps.  Should not be used without -x.

	    This may be useful since, say, types which are "typedef"-equivalent
 to integers may represent OS-related handles, and one may
	    want to work with these handles in OO-way, as in "$handle->do_something()".
  Use "-o ." if you want to handle all the
	    "typedef"ed types as opaque types.

	    The type-to-match is whitewashed (except for commas, which have no
	    whitespace before them, and multiple "*" which have no whitespace
	    between them).

       -p prefix
	    Specify a prefix which should be removed from the Perl function
	    names, e.g., -p sec_rgy_ This sets up the XS PREFIX keyword and
	    removes the prefix from functions that are autoloaded via the
	    "constant()" mechanism.

       -s sub1,sub2
	    Create a perl subroutine for the specified macros rather than
	    autoload with the constant() subroutine.  These macros are assumed
	    to have a return type of char *, e.g., -s sec_rgy_wildcard_name,sec_rgy_wildcard_sid.

       -v version
	    Specify a version number for this extension.  This version number
	    is added to the templates.	The default is 0.01.

       -x   Automatically generate XSUBs basing on function declarations in
	    the header file.  The package "C::Scan" should be installed. If
	    this option is specified, the name of the header file may look
	    like "NAME1,NAME2". In this case NAME1 is used instead of the
	    specified string, but XSUBs are emitted only for the declarations
	    included from file NAME2.

	    Note that some types of arguments/return-values for functions may
	    result in XSUB-declarations/typemap-entries which need hand-editing.
 Such may be objects which cannot be converted from/to a
	    pointer (like "long long"), pointers to functions, or arrays.  See
	    also the section on "LIMITATIONS of -x".

       -b version
	    Generates a .pm file which is backwards compatible with the specified
 perl version.

	    For versions < 5.6.0, the changes are.
		- no use of 'our' (uses 'use vars' instead)
		- no 'use warnings'

	    Specifying a compatibility version higher than the version of perl
	    you are using to run h2xs will have no effect.

EXAMPLES    [Toc]    [Back]

	       # Default behavior, extension is Rusers
	       h2xs rpcsvc/rusers

	       # Same, but extension is RUSERS
	       h2xs -n RUSERS rpcsvc/rusers

	       # Extension is rpcsvc::rusers. Still finds <rpcsvc/rusers.h>
	       h2xs rpcsvc::rusers

	       # Extension is ONC::RPC.  Still finds <rpcsvc/rusers.h>
	       h2xs -n ONC::RPC rpcsvc/rusers

	       # Without constant() or AUTOLOAD
	       h2xs -c rpcsvc/rusers

	       # Creates templates for an extension named RPC
	       h2xs -cfn RPC

	       # Extension is ONC::RPC.
	       h2xs -cfn ONC::RPC

	       # Makefile.PL will look for library -lrpc in
	       # additional directory /opt/net/lib
	       h2xs rpcsvc/rusers -L/opt/net/lib -lrpc

	       # Extension is DCE::rgynbase
	       # prefix "sec_rgy_" is dropped from perl function names
	       h2xs -n DCE::rgynbase -p sec_rgy_ dce/rgynbase

	       # Extension is DCE::rgynbase
	       # prefix "sec_rgy_" is dropped from perl function names
	       # subroutines are created for sec_rgy_wildcard_name and sec_rgy_wildcard_sid
	       h2xs -n DCE::rgynbase -p sec_rgy_ \
	       -s sec_rgy_wildcard_name,sec_rgy_wildcard_sid dce/rgynbase

	       # Make XS without defines in perl.h, but with function declarations
	       # visible from perl.h. Name of the extension is perl1.
	       # When scanning perl.h, define -DEXT=extern -DdEXT= -DINIT(x)=
	       # Extra backslashes below because the string is passed to shell.
	       # Note that a directory with perl header files would
	       #  be added automatically to include path.
	       h2xs -xAn perl1 -F "-DEXT=extern -DdEXT= -DINIT\(x\)=" perl.h

	       # Same with function declaration in proto.h as visible from perl.h.
	       h2xs -xAn perl2 perl.h,proto.h

	       # Same but select only functions which match /^av_/
	       h2xs -M '^av_' -xAn perl2 perl.h,proto.h

	       # Same but treat SV* etc as "opaque" types
	       h2xs -o '^[S]V \*$' -M '^av_' -xAn perl2 perl.h,proto.h

       Extension based on .h and .c files

       Suppose that you have some C files implementing some functionality, and
       the corresponding header files.	How to create an extension which makes
       this functionality accessable in Perl?  The example below assumes that
       the header files are interface_simple.h and interface_hairy.h, and you
       want the perl module be named as "Ext::Ension".	If you need some preprocessor
 directives and/or linking with external libraries, see the
       flags "-F", "-L" and "-l" in "OPTIONS".

       Find the directory name
	   Start with a dummy run of h2xs:

	     h2xs -Afn Ext::Ension

	   The only purpose of this step is to create the needed directories,
	   and let you know the names of these directories.  From the output
	   you can see that the directory for the extension is Ext/Ension.

       Copy C files
	   Copy your header files and C files to this directory Ext/Ension.

       Create the extension
	   Run h2xs, overwriting older autogenerated files:

	     h2xs -Oxan Ext::Ension interface_simple.h interface_hairy.h

	   h2xs looks for header files after changing to the extension directory,
 so it will find your header files OK.

       Archive and test
	   As usual, run

	     cd Ext/Ension
	     perl Makefile.PL
	     make dist
	     make test

	   It is important to do "make dist" as early as possible.  This way
	   you can easily merge(1) your changes to autogenerated files if you
	   decide to edit your ".h" files and rerun h2xs.

	   Do not forget to edit the documentation in the generated .pm file.

	   Consider the autogenerated files as skeletons only, you may invent
	   better interfaces than what h2xs could guess.

	   Consider this section as a guideline only, some other options of
	   h2xs may better suit your needs.

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

       No environment variables are used.

AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]

       Larry Wall and others

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       perl, perlxstut, ExtUtils::MakeMaker, and AutoLoader.

DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]

       The usual warnings if it cannot read or write the files involved.

LIMITATIONS of -x    [Toc]    [Back]

       h2xs would not distinguish whether an argument to a C function which is
       of the form, say, "int *", is an input, output, or input/output parameter.
  In particular, argument declarations of the form

	       int *n

       should be better rewritten as

	       int &n

       if "n" is an input parameter.

       Additionally, h2xs has no facilities to intuit that a function

	       char *addr
	       int   l

       takes a pair of address and length of data at this address, so it is
       better to rewrite this function as

		   SV *addr
		   STRLEN len;
		   char *s;
		   s = SvPV(sv,len);
		   RETVAL = foo(s, len);

       or alternately

	   static int
	   my_foo(SV *sv)
	       STRLEN len;
	       char *s = SvPV(sv,len);

	       return foo(s, len);

	   MODULE = foo        PACKAGE = foo   PREFIX = my_

	       SV *sv

       See perlxs and perlxstut for additional details.

3rd Berkeley Distribution	  2004-12-24			       H2XS(1)
[ Back ]
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