How can I use a C++ library from node.js?


Question

How can I use a C++ library from node.js?

1
124
2/21/2017 9:48:34 AM

Accepted Answer

Look at node-ffi.

node-ffi is a Node.js addon for loading and calling dynamic libraries using pure JavaScript. It can be used to create bindings to native libraries without writing any C++ code.

61
3/9/2012 9:29:05 AM

There is a fresh answer to that question now. SWIG, as of version 3.0 seems to provide javascript interface generators for Node.js, Webkit and v8.

I've been using SWIG extensively for Java and Python for a while, and once you understand how SWIG works, there is almost no effort(compared to ffi or the equivalent in the target language) needed for interfacing C++ code to the languages that SWIG supports.

As a small example, say you have a library with the header myclass.h:

#include<iostream>

class MyClass {
        int myNumber;
public:
        MyClass(int number): myNumber(number){}
        void sayHello() {
                std::cout << "Hello, my number is:" 
                << myNumber <<std::endl;
        }
};

In order to use this class in node, you simply write the following SWIG interface file (mylib.i):

%module "mylib"
%{
#include "myclass.h"
%}
%include "myclass.h"

Create the binding file binding.gyp:

{
  "targets": [
    {
      "target_name": "mylib",
      "sources": [ "mylib_wrap.cxx" ]
    }
  ]
}

Run the following commands:

swig -c++ -javascript -node mylib.i
node-gyp build

Now, running node from the same folder, you can do:

> var mylib = require("./build/Release/mylib")
> var c = new mylib.MyClass(5)
> c.sayHello()
Hello, my number is:5

Even though we needed to write 2 interface files for such a small example, note how we didn't have to mention the MyClass constructor nor the sayHello method anywhere, SWIG discovers these things, and automatically generates natural interfaces.


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