[m-dev.] documenting parts of Mercury's C runtime interface

Mark Brown mark at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Thu Jan 31 11:34:28 AEDT 2008

On 31-Jan-2008, Julien Fischer <juliensf at csse.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:
> Most Mercury bindings to C (or C++) libraries need to make some use of the
> facilities provided by the runtime, e.g. for memory allocation in C code 
> using
> the GC, making aligned string copies, or extracting an underlying C file
> stream from a Mercury one.
> Currently, none of this stuff is really documented outside of runtime
> code itself.  For most of the runtime this is desirable since we want
> the freedom to change it without respect to backwards compatability,
> but some usage of the runtime functionality has become some prevalent
> in library bindings and other code that makes heavy use of the C interface
>  that it really does need to be documented properly.
> Should this be done in the reference manual, the user's guide, or a 
> separate
> guide to the runtime?  Which would people prefer?

It should go near the foreign language interface documentation, eg a
section of the reference manual.

It would also make sense to write a "Foreign language interface manual",
which would cover the language specific details that are currently in the
reference manual, and also include a section on the runtime API.


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