The Apache Clownfish “symbiotic” object system pairs with “host” programming language environments and facilitates the development of high performance language extensions.
Clownfish consists of two parts, the Clownfish compiler “CFC” and the Clownfish runtime. CFC is a code generator that creates C header files, host language bindings, initialization code and documentation from a set of Clownfish header files. The generated code is compiled with other project code and linked with the Clownfish runtime.
Clownfish header files have a
.cfh extension and define classes used within
the Clownfish object system. The object system is implemented in C and
supports single inheritance and virtual method dispatch. CFC creates a C
header file from each Clownfish header containing the C interface to Clownfish
objects. Functions and methods of objects are implemented in normal C source
files. Beyond the C level, CFC can generate host language bindings to make
Clownfish objects accessible from other programming languages. The compiler
also creates class documentation in various formats from comments contained in
Clownfish header files and standalone Markdown files.
The Clownfish runtime provides:
Bindings for the following hosts are under development:
The target audience for the current release of Clownfish is developers. Clownfish is developed by the Apache Lucy community, where it is used to provide host language bindings for the Lucy search engine library; we expect that as Clownfish matures it will eventually spin off as an independent project. If you would like to contribute to Clownfish, please join the Lucy developers mailing list.
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