This is a reference manual for the culibs, which is a set of libraries of basic (strings, containers) as well as more special-purpose (expressions) types and functions. A distinguishing feature is that all memory returned to the client is allocated with the Boehm-Demers-Weiser Conservative Garbage Collector.
The libraries are separated into modules, which are the basis for organising the documentation. So, a good starting point is the “Modules” section. You can completely ignore the “Data Structures” section, since all structure members are to be considered internal. Also, all identifiers which starts with
cu*P_ are internal.
These libraries are licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 3 or later.
General considerations on garbage collection for C are covered in Advantages and Disadvantages of Conservative Garbage Collection. Of particular interest here is it's application to the expression library. Expressions are big trees of small objects, and this is precisely the case where garbage collection excels. In addition it allows the use of hash-consing, which is used extensively in the expression library.
Most of these libraries is still to be considered a preview, since as they are subject to API changes. Roughly the status of various components are
|cu: Common Infrastructure
|mostly beta, somewhat unstable API
|cuos: Interface to the Operating System
|cutext: Unicode and Text Handling
|cufo: Formatted Output
|cuoo: Dynamic Objects and Operations
|cugra: A Small Graph Library
|cudyn: Dynamic Typing
|deprecated, may be removed
|cuflow: Control Flow
The author has only tested these libraries on Linux systems. The aim is to support modern POSIX systems. In addition to the OS libraries, you need
libcubase.la (cu, cucon, cuoo)
librt.so (system lib)
libcuex.la (cuex, cudyn)
More information about the external libraries:
libffi is part of GCC, but it is not installed by default. Check if your distribution has it, it will save you some work. Also, there is an older separate version which works on
x86, but not on
The libraries ship with a pkg-config specification for each module. So, if you use Autoconf, add
where modules is a list of the modules you want to use, and refer to
$(CULIBS_LIBS) in your makefiles.
If you don't use Autoconf, you can obtain the flags to pass to the compiler with the
pkg-config command, e.g.
gcc `pkg-config --cflags cu cucon cuos` -c test.c gcc `pkg-config --libs cu cucon cuos` -o test test.o
In the download directory you will find
You can also browse or check out the Git sources at http://github.com/paurkedal/culibs.
After installing the above dependencies, unpack the source tarball, and from the top-level directory, type
./configure make all install
If you only want to build the base libraries, replace the first command with
This will excuse you from installing the extra requirements of the other components.