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<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><!DOCTYPE book PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.4//EN" "http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/4.4/docbookx.dtd">
<book lang="en">
<reference id="uffi.strings">
<title>Strings</title>
<partintro>
<title>Overview</title>
<para>
&UFFI; has functions to two types of <varname>C</varname>-compatible
strings: <emphasis>cstring</emphasis> and <emphasis>foreign</emphasis>
strings. cstrings are used <emphasis>only</emphasis> as parameters to
and from functions. In some implementations a cstring is not a foreign
type but rather the Lisp string itself. On other platforms a cstring
is a newly allocated foreign vector for storing characters. The
following is an example of using cstrings to both send and return a
value.
</para>
<programlisting>
(uffi:def-function ("getenv" c-getenv)
((name :cstring))
:returning :cstring)
(defun my-getenv (key)
"Returns an environment variable, or NIL if it does not exist"
(check-type key string)
(uffi:with-cstring (key-native key)
(uffi:convert-from-cstring (c-getenv key-native))))
</programlisting>
<para>In contrast, foreign strings are always a foreign vector of characters
which have memory allocated. Thus, if you need to allocate memory to hold
the return value of a string, you must use a foreign string and not a
cstring. The following is an example of using a foreign string for a return
value.</para>
<programlisting>
(uffi:def-function ("gethostname" c-gethostname)
((name (* :unsigned-char))
(len :int))
:returning :int)
(defun gethostname ()
"Returns the hostname"
(let* ((name (uffi:allocate-foreign-string 256))
(result-code (c-gethostname name 256))
(hostname (when (zerop result-code)
(uffi:convert-from-foreign-string name))))
;; UFFI does not yet provide a universal way to free
;; memory allocated by C's malloc. At this point, a program
;; needs to call C's free function to free such memory.
(unless (zerop result-code)
(error "gethostname() failed."))))</programlisting>
<para>Foreign functions that return pointers to freshly allocated strings
should in general not return cstrings, but foreign strings. (There is no
portable way to release such cstrings from Lisp.) The following is an
example of handling such a function.</para>
<programlisting>
(uffi:def-function ("readline" c-readline)
((prompt :cstring))
:returning (* :char))
(defun readline (prompt)
"Reads a string from console with line-editing."
(with-cstring (c-prompt prompt)
(let* ((c-str (c-readline c-prompt))
(str (convert-from-foreign-string c-str)))
(uffi:free-foreign-object c-str)
str)))
</programlisting>
</partintro>
<refentry id="uffi.convert-from-cstring">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>convert-from-cstring</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Converts a cstring to a Lisp string.</refpurpose>
<refclass>Macro</refclass>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Syntax</title>
<synopsis>
<function>convert-from-cstring</function>
<replaceable>cstring</replaceable>
=>
<returnvalue>string</returnvalue>
</synopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Arguments and Values</title>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>cstring</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A cstring.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><returnvalue>string</returnvalue></term>
<listitem>
<para>A Lisp string.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Converts a Lisp string to a <constant>cstring</constant>. This is
most often used when processing the results of a foreign function
that returns a cstring.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
<refentry id="uffi.convert-to-cstring">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>convert-to-cstring</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Converts a Lisp string to a cstring.</refpurpose>
<refclass>Macro</refclass>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Syntax</title>
<synopsis>
<function>convert-to-cstring</function>
<replaceable>string</replaceable>
=>
<returnvalue>cstring</returnvalue>
</synopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Arguments and Values</title>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>string</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A Lisp string.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><returnvalue>cstring</returnvalue></term>
<listitem>
<para>A cstring.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Converts a Lisp string to a <varname>cstring</varname>. The
<varname>cstring</varname> should be freed with
<function>free-cstring</function>.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>On some implementations, this function allocates memory.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
<refentry id="uffi.free-cstring">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>free-cstring</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Free memory used by cstring.
</refpurpose>
<refclass>Macro</refclass>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Syntax</title>
<synopsis>
<function>free-cstring</function> <replaceable>cstring</replaceable>
</synopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Arguments and Values</title>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>cstring</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A cstring.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Frees any memory possibly allocated by
<function>convert-to-cstring</function>. On some implementions, a cstring is just the Lisp string itself.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
<refentry id="uffi.with-cstring">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>with-cstring</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Binds a newly created cstring.</refpurpose>
<refclass>Macro</refclass>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Syntax</title>
<synopsis>
<function>with-cstring</function>
<replaceable>(cstring string) {body}</replaceable>
</synopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Arguments and Values</title>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>cstring</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A symbol naming the cstring to be created.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>string</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A Lisp string that will be translated to a cstring.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>body</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>The body of where the cstring will be bound.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Binds a symbol to a cstring created from conversion of a
string. Automatically frees the <varname>cstring</varname>.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Examples</title>
<para>
<programlisting>
(def-function ("getenv" c-getenv)
((name :cstring))
:returning :cstring)
(defun getenv (key)
"Returns an environment variable, or NIL if it does not exist"
(check-type key string)
(with-cstring (key-cstring key)
(convert-from-cstring (c-getenv key-cstring))))</programlisting>
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
<refentry id="uffi.convert-from-foreign-string">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>convert-from-foreign-string</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Converts a foreign string into a Lisp string.</refpurpose>
<refclass>Macro</refclass>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Syntax</title>
<synopsis>
<function>convert-from-foreign-string</function>
<replaceable>foreign-string &amp;key length null-terminated-p</replaceable>
=>
<returnvalue>string</returnvalue>
</synopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Arguments and Values</title>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>foreign-string</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A foreign string.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>length</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>The length of the foreign string to convert. The
default is the length of the string until a &NULL;
character is reached.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>null-terminated-p</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A boolean flag with a default value of &t; When true,
the string is converted until the first &NULL; character is reached.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><returnvalue>string</returnvalue></term>
<listitem>
<para>A Lisp string.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Returns a Lisp string from a foreign string.
Can translated ASCII and binary strings.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
<refentry id="uffi.convert-to-foreign-string">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>convert-to-foreign-string</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Converts a Lisp string to a foreign string.
</refpurpose>
<refclass>Macro</refclass>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Syntax</title>
<synopsis>
<function>convert-to-foreign-string</function>
<replaceable>string</replaceable> =>
<returnvalue>foreign-string</returnvalue>
</synopsis>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Arguments and Values</title>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>string</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A Lisp string.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><returnvalue>foreign-string</returnvalue></term>
<listitem>
<para>A foreign string.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Converts a Lisp string to a foreign string. Memory should be
freed with <function>free-foreign-object</function>.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
<refentry id="uffi.allocate-foreign-string">
<refnamediv>
<refname><function>allocate-foreign-string</function></refname>
<refpurpose>Allocates space for a foreign string.
</refpurpose>
</refnamediv>
<refsynopsisdiv>
<title>Macro</title>
<synopsis>
<function>allocate-foreign-string</function> <replaceable>size
&amp;key unsigned</replaceable> =>
<returnvalue>foreign-string</returnvalue>
</synopsis>
<variablelist>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>size</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>The size of the space to be allocated in bytes.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><parameter>unsigned</parameter></term>
<listitem>
<para>A boolean flag with a default value of &t;. When true,
marks the pointer as an <constant>:unsigned-char</constant>.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
<varlistentry>
<term><returnvalue>foreign-string</returnvalue></term>
<listitem>
<para>A foreign string which has undefined contents.
</para>
</listitem>
</varlistentry>
</variablelist>
</refsynopsisdiv>
<refsect1>
<title>Description</title>
<para>
Allocates space for a foreign string. Memory should
be freed with <function>free-foreign-object</function>.
</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Side Effects</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Affected by</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
<refsect1>
<title>Exceptional Situations</title>
<para>None.</para>
</refsect1>
</refentry>
</reference>
</book>
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