3.3. C++ ABI and type factory infrastructure

3.3.1. Cast

When C++ interfaces with daScript, cast ABI is followed.

  • by value types are converted to and from vec4f, in specific memory layout

  • by reference types have their address converted to and from vec4f

It is expected that vec4f * can be prune to by value type by simple pointer cast, becase daScript interpreter will in certain cases access pre-cast data via v_ldu intrinsic:

template <typename TT>
TT get_data ( vec4f * dasData ) {           // default version
    return cast<TT>::to(v_ldu((float *)dasData));

int32_t get_data ( vec4f * dasData ) {      // legally optimized version
    return * (int32_t *) dasData;

ABI infrastructure is implemented via C++ cast template, which servers two primary functions

  • casting from C++ to daScript

  • casting to C++ from daScript

The from function expects daScript type as an input, and outputs vec4f.

The to function expects vec4f, and outputs daScript type.

Lets review the following example:

template <>
struct cast <int32_t> {
    static __forceinline int32_t to ( vec4f x )            { return v_extract_xi(v_cast_vec4i(x)); }
    static __forceinline vec4f from ( int32_t x )          { return v_cast_vec4f(v_splatsi(x)); }

It implements ABI for the int32_t, which packs int32_t value at the beginning of vec4f using multiplatform intrinsics.

Lets review example, which implements default packing of by reference type:

template <typename TT>
struct cast <TT &> {
    static __forceinline TT & to ( vec4f a )               { return *(TT *) v_extract_ptr(v_cast_vec4i((a))); }
    static __forceinline vec4f from ( const TT & p )       { return v_cast_vec4f(v_splats_ptr((const void *)&p)); }

Here pointer to the data is packed in vec4f using multiplatform intrinsics.

3.3.2. Type factory

When C++ types are exposed to daScript, type factory infrastructure is employed.

To expose any custom C++ type, use MAKE_TYPE_FACTORY macro, or MAKE_EXTERNAL_TYPE_FACTORY and IMPLEMENT_EXTERNAL_TYPE_FACTORY macro pair:

MAKE_TYPE_FACTORY(clock, das::Time)

Example above tells daScript that C++ type das::Time will be exposed to the daScript with the name clock.

Lets look at implementation of MAKE_TYPE_FACTORY macro:

    namespace das { \
    template <> \
    struct typeFactory<CTYPE> { \
        static TypeDeclPtr make(const ModuleLibrary & library ) { \
            return makeHandleType(library,#TYPE); \
        } \
    }; \
    template <> \
    struct typeName<CTYPE> { \
        constexpr static const char * name() { return #TYPE; } \
    }; \

What happens in the example above is that two templated policies are exposed to C++.

typeName policy has single static function name, which returns string name of the type.

typeFactory policy creates a smart pointer to daScript das::TypeDecl type, which corresponds to C++ type. It expects to find type somewhere in the provided ModuleLibrary (see Modules).

3.3.3. Type aliases

Custom type factory is preferable way to create aliases:

struct Point3 { float x, y, z; };

template <>
struct typeFactory<Point3> {
    static TypeDeclPtr make(const ModuleLibrary &) {
        auto t = make_smart<TypeDecl>(Type::tFloat3);
        t->alias = "Point3";
        t->aotAlias = true;
        return t;

template <> struct typeName<Point3>   { constexpr static const char * name() { return "Point3"; } };

In the example above C++ application already has Point3 type, which is very similar to daScript float3. Exposing C++ functions which operate on Point3 is preferable, so implementation creates an alias named Point3 which corresponds to das Type::tFloat3.

Sometimes custom implementation of typeFactory is be required to expose C++ to daScript type in a more native fashion. Lets review the following example:

  struct SampleVariant {
      int32_t _variant;
      union {
          int32_t     i_value;
          float       f_value;
          char *      s_value;

template <>
struct typeFactory<SampleVariant> {
    static TypeDeclPtr make(const ModuleLibrary & library ) {
        auto vtype = make_smart<TypeDecl>(Type::tVariant);
        vtype->alias = "SampleVariant";
        vtype->aotAlias = true;
        vtype->addVariant("i_value", typeFactory<decltype(SampleVariant::i_value)>::make(library));
        vtype->addVariant("f_value", typeFactory<decltype(SampleVariant::f_value)>::make(library));
        vtype->addVariant("s_value", typeFactory<decltype(SampleVariant::s_value)>::make(library));
        // optional validation
        DAS_ASSERT(sizeof(SampleVariant) == vtype->getSizeOf());
        DAS_ASSERT(alignof(SampleVariant) == vtype->getAlignOf());
        DAS_ASSERT(offsetof(SampleVariant, i_value) == vtype->getVariantFieldOffset(0));
        DAS_ASSERT(offsetof(SampleVariant, f_value) == vtype->getVariantFieldOffset(1));
        DAS_ASSERT(offsetof(SampleVariant, s_value) == vtype->getVariantFieldOffset(2));
        return vtype;

Here C++ type SomeVariant matches daScript variant type with its memory layout. The code above exposes C++ type alias and creates corresponding TypeDecl.