lua-users home
lua-l archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

This sounds amazing!

We've been mucking around with bindings to LLVM/clang to achieve runtime codegen of structs, functions and FFI into existing libraries from within Lua scripts, but of course the JITted code lives in a different universe to LuaJIT, preventing optimizations through them (just like any other C functions). I can imagine that being able to do it all directly in LuaJIT would be a huge advantage (including readability).

I guess a next step would be an automatic C to Lua (or C to LuaJIT bytecode) translator...

On Dec 31, 2009, at 11:01 AM, Mike Pall wrote:

Mark Hamburg wrote:
Side note to Mike Pall on that subject: You mentioned the
possibility of teaching LuaJIT about a matrix userdata type so
that it could optimize it. How hard is it to teach LuaJIT about
specific userdata types?

This is dependent on the last work item on the status page: access
to structured binary data plus the FFI. Once this is in place, it
should be quite easy. You can just cut'n'paste your C struct
definitions and allocate userdata objects holding such a struct
(or a union, an array or a nested mix of them).

I haven't given much thought to the API yet, but it might look
something like this:

   struct foo {
     uint16_t bar, baz;
     int i;
     double d;
   struct foo *foo_in(void);
   void foo_out(struct foo *);
 local lib = ffi.bindlib("myfoolib")

 local a = lib.foo_in()
 local b ="struct foo")
 b.i = a.i + 10 = bit.bxor(, a.baz)
 b.baz = 0x1234
 b.d = a.d - 1.5

 -- Nice side-effect: efficient, mutable buffers for Lua.
 local buf ="uint8_t[?]", n)
 for i=0,n-1 do
   buf[i] = i
 io.write(buf) -- Extended to understand binary data.

As you can see, this allows one to access C structs just like Lua
tables. Obviously these structs can be exchanged with the C side
via the FFI. All operations on these structures can be reduced by
the JIT compiler to essentially the same machine code a C compiler
would produce.

Objects allocated on the Lua side are special userdatas and
garbage collected as usual. Data passed in from the C side gets a
tiny userdata wrapper (which may be optimized away by the JIT
compiler). The userdata wrapper is GCed, but the data itself is
owned by the C side and needs manual lifetime management. You can
associate a __gc metamethod to signal the C side.

These special userdatas have no metatable by default, but redirect
index/newindex to internal accessor functions. You can augment
them with your own index/newindex or other metamethods to get
OO-like behavior.

This is just the basic infrastructure. Automatic C library wrappers
or higher-level bindings can be implemented on top of it in pure
Lua. This could even be extended to create (mostly) automatic and
highly-efficient C++ bindings, but this is notoriously difficult.

At least that's the plan ...