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Albert Michauer > C-Include-1.40 > C::Include



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Module Version: 1.4   Source  


C::Include - Package to easy operate with binary data via describing they like C/C++ structs.


  C::Include         - Header file base parser class
  C::Include::Struct - Struct wraper class


  use C::Include;


 - skip comments;

 - valid preprocessor commands: define, ifdef, ifndef, endif, else;

 - supported bitset and enclosed structs, enums;

 - The compiled data may be cached in the external file and at repeated call not compiled
   any more, that will speed up operation.8);

 - may be defined and redefined type substitutions via #define
   (Ex: #define WORD word );

 - predefined standart types:
     unsigned char
     unsigned short
     unsigned int
     unsigned long
     long long
     unsigned long long
     short int
     long int
     long long int
     unsigned long int
     unsigned short int
     unsigned long long int
     string  (null padded)
     sstring (space padded)
     zstring (null terminated, null padded)

 - predefined standart type aliases:
     'short int'              => 'short'
     'long int'               => 'long'
     'long long int'          => 'long long'
     'unsigned'               => 'unsigned long'
     'unsigned long int'      => 'unsigned long'
     'unsigned short int'     => 'unsigned short'
     'unsigned long long int' => 'unsigned long long'
     'byte'                   => 'unsigned char'
     'word'                   => 'unsigned short'
     'dword'                  => 'unsigned long'

CLASS C::Include ^

This class is a header file parser



new ( params )

As params there should be pairs (-name, value). If the name of the param is absent - then it is accepted as 'source'.

Current version support two params types: -src and -cache.

-src param describe header file. May be \*FILEHANDLE or 'path/to/file.h'.

-cache say, that was cached the compiled header file. If the value of this parameter is absent and -src the parameter describes path to the file, the cache the file, will be created as 'Path/to/'. Pay attention that, while the value of this parameter is absent and -src the parameter is \*FILEHANDLE, the cache the file will not be created.

 Examples of usage:
    # Creating object from external header file
    my $include = new C::Include( -src, '/usr/src/include.h' );
    my $include = new C::Include( '/usr/src/include.h' );
    my $include = new C::Include( '/usr/src/include.h', -cache );
    my $include = new C::Include( '/usr/src/include.h', -cache, '/tmp/' );

    # Create object from embended header file in Perl
    # script after __DATE__ directive
    my $include = new C::Include( \*main::DATA );
    my $include = new C::Include( \*main::DATA, -cache, '/tmp/' );

    # Alternative constructor call 
    use C::Include qw(/usr/src/include.h -cache);

Return length of type in bytes.

 Examples of usage:

    my $size_of_int = $include->sizeof(int);
    my $size_of_struct = $include->sizeof(HEADER_STRUCT);
make_struct ( 'struct name' )

Returns a copy of the object C::Include::Struct - wrapper of structure.

 Examples of usage:

    # Create wraper class for struct described in $include as 'HEADER_STRUCT'.
    my $header = $include->make_struct( 'HEADER_STRUCT' );
INC( [module_name] )

Return REF to alternative constructed instance C::Include in module "module_name". If "module_name" param not defined, then - current call module name;

Note: There should be only one created instance of C::Include for each calling unit module.

 Examples of usage:

    package My::Cfg;

    # Alternative constructor call 
    use C::Include qw(/usr/src/include.h -cache);

    # Create wraper class for struct described in /usr/src/include.h
    # as 'HEADER_STRUCT'.
    my $header = INC->make_struct( 'HEADER_STRUCT' );

 in other scripts may be called instance of C::Include created in package My::Cfg as

    use C::Include;
    my $header = INC('My::Cfg')->make_struct( 'HEADER_STRUCT' );

CLASS C::Include::Struct ^

This class is a struct wrapper.



pack ( [\*FILEHANDLE] )

Pack struct fields to binary and, if need, save it to file.

As param may be REF to FILEHANDLE. If FILEHANDLE exists then packed binary data will be saved to this file.

Function return resulted binary data as scalar.

 Examples of usage:

    $header_struct->pack( \*OUT_FILE );

    my data =  $header_struct->pack();
    unpack( data )
    unpack( \*FILEHANDLE, [offset, [size]] )

To unpack the binary informations, and to fill by them in the fields.

If first param is scalar, then it is binary data to unpacking. Otherwise if first param is \*FILEHANDLE, then input binary data will be reader from this file. If 'size' param not defined then from file will be readed same counte of bytes as struct length. Param 'offset' describe count of bytes to skip before reading binary data. Default offset equal 0;

 Examples of usage:

    $header_struct->unpack( $binary_data );
    $header_struct->unpack( \*CFG );
    $header_struct->unpack( \*CFG, 10, $header_struct->size );

Return length of struct in bytes.

 Examples of usage:

    # 8)
    print 'Size of struct HEADER_STRUCT: ', $header_struct->size(), ' bytes';


    use C::Include;

    # Create instance of object and cache it to 'data/'
    # If 'data/' exists then only read compiled data from they.
    my $include = new C::Include( 'data/database.h', -cache )
        or die "Can't read include: $!";
    my $cfg = $include->make_struct('CONFIG')
        or die "Can't create instance of CONFIG: $!";

    # Open binary file 
    open CFG, 'database.cfg';

    # Read from CFG length of struct wraped by $cfg and fill self fields
    $cfg->unpack( \*CFG );

    close CFG;


  * Q: Where I may see module tested header file?
    A: Tested header file on which this package it
       tested included in distribudion as 'test.h'

  * Q: Why module work not correct?
    A: Probably in your computer the old version required(demanded)
       with an error is installed.


1. For all field definitions with type array of chars will be produced one string field:

    struct file{
      char path[__MAXPATH];   // first string field
      char name[12];          // second string field

If you want to create array of bytes for definitions as array of chars, you must change type, for example, to 'byte':

    struct array{
      char path[__MAXPATH];   // first string field
      byte flags[12];         // second field as array of unsigned chars


    #define BYTE char
    struct array{
      char path[__MAXPATH];   // first string field
      BYTE flags[12];         // second field as array of signed chars

2. All properties of C::Include::Struct object be in element with key {''}. Do not delete and do not change them!:

  delete $header_struct->{''};

3. You can describe in headers exclusive definitions like compiller sensivity


    #ifdef __WATCOM_C__
        // some definitions

    // __PERL__ is predefined in package default
    // and processed correctly
    #ifdef __PERL__  
        #define skiptype neganull

4. For optimizing memory usage and speed for pack/unpack machanizm:

  in this sample code:

    1   typedef struct HEADER{
    2       word revision;
    3       byte reserved[1024];  // in wraper object will be allocated
    4   };                        // array with 1024 elements and take CPU
                                  // to process in every pack/unpack operation
  line 3. best replace to 

    char reserved[1024];      // will be created one string element
                              // with length 1024

    #ifndef __PERL__
    #define nullbyte byte
    nullbyte reserved[1024];  // this 1024 bytes will be skiped
                              // in operations pack/unpack and
                              // not allocated in wraper object
                              // as element

5. Note, that the current version processes of the preprocessor commands only once, before parsing of the main code!

  In this code:

    #define __MAXPATH 56
    struct file{
      char path[__MAXPATH];
      char name[12];
    #define __MAXPATH 127

  Length of a field file.path will be, equal 127 bytes!

6. All defined values via '#define' and 'enum' are availablis:

    my $include = new C::Include( 'data/database.h', -cache )
        or die "Can't read include: $!";

    print $include->{__MAXPATH};

7. All copies of the predetermined structures also are availablis:

    struct FILE{
      char path[__MAXPATH];
      char name[12];
    }root, files[100];

    $\ = "\n";
    print $include->{root}{name};
    print $include->{files}[$_]{name} for 0..99;

8. For parsing progress indicating, need switch a flag 'TEST' to '1':

    use C::Include;
    $C::Include::TEST = 1;

    my $include = new C::Include( 'data/database.h', -cache )


  Albert N. MICHEEV
  fido:  2:5049/80


Copyright 2000, Albert N. MICHEEV (

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.


The latest version of this library is likely to be available from:



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