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4.2  Compiling and loading

It is strongly recommended to copy the makefile "Makefile.external" provided in your installation directory under lib/$ARCH and adapt it for your purposes. If the makefile is not used, the command to compile a C source with ECLiPSe library calls looks something like this:
    % cc -G -I/usr/local/eclipse/include/sparc_sunos5
                -o eg_externals.so eg_externals.c
or
    % cc -shared -I/usr/local/eclipse/include/i386_linux
                -o eg_externals.so eg_externals.c
If the external is to be used in a standalone ECLiPSe, it is possible to dynamically load it using the load/1 predicate:
    load("eg_externals.so")
On older UNIX platforms without dynamic loading, the following method may work. Compile the source using
    % cc -c -I/usr/local/eclipse/include/sparc_sunos5 eg_externals.c
and load it with a command like
    load("eg_externals.o -lg -lm")
The details may vary depending on what compiler and operating system you use. Refer to the Makefile.external for details.

Once the object file containing the C function has been loaded into ECLiPSe, the link between the function and a predicate name is made with external/2
    external(sumlist/2, p_sumlist)
The new predicate can now be called like other predicates. Note that the external/2 declaration must precede any call to the declared predicate, otherwise the ECLiPSe compiler will issue an inconsistent redefinition error. Alternatively, the external/1 forward declaration can be used to prevent this.

If the external is needed in the context of an ECLiPSe which is itself embedded in a C/C++ host program, then the external code can be compiled/linked together with the host program, and the link between function and predicate name can alternatively be made by calling the C function ec_external(), e.g.
    ec_external(ec_did("sumlist",2), p_sumlist, ec_did("eclipse"))
This must be done after the embedded ECLiPSe has been initialised (and after the module that is supposed to contain the external predicate has already been created).


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