[C++-sig] Advice sought on making a large C++ application a Python extension

Neal Becker ndbecker2 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 18:01:34 CEST 2010

Does pybindgen interoperate with numpy?  That would be required for me to 
use it.

Ben Fitzpatrick wrote:

> David,
> I'm still a newbie on this list myself, but I will tell you that for the
> larger project which we were attempting to wrap, we had excellent luck
> with Gustavo Carniero's Pybindgen project. We found it to be much simpler
> to work with than boost.python and py++, and also it compiled much faster.
> As to how to make your functionality available with a Python extension -
> I'm not sure exactly what kind of app you have, but is it possible to make
> the Python portion only an interface to the underlying C++ code? That's
> basically what we did with our application - write a wrapper layer on top
> of the ordinary C++ API that implemented a Python API. This also allowed
> us to build the C++ application, and then with an additional build step
> (in GNU make) we were able to compile the python interface layer.
> It may be that you need to make all of your classes into python
> extensions, in which case py++ and boost.python may be the better tool, I
> am not certain, but for writing just an interface layer, our experience
> was that Pybindgen was easier.
> Hope this helps!
> -Ben
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cplusplus-sig-bounces+bfitzpatrick=vtiinstruments.com at python.org
> [mailto:cplusplus-sig-bounces+bfitzpatrick=vtiinstruments.com at python.org]
> On Behalf Of David Aldrich Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 11:16 AM To:
> Development of Python/C++ integration Subject: [C++-sig] Advice sought on
> making a large C++ application a Python extension
> Hi
> We have a large C++ application that we develop in-house. It consists of a
> large number of source files, some of which are linked directly and some
> of which are first built as static libraries.
> It has been suggested that we make the application's functionality
> available as a Python extension.  Simplistically speaking, we could then
> let users replace our C++ main() by a Python script.
> I have only looked at the boost.python tutorial that demonstrates a 'Hello
> world' Python extension.  For our project we would be dealing with
> something very much bigger, with many classes, singleton classes and
> (possibly) global data.  My question is, would it be practical to make all
> of those entities Python extensions?
> We would also want to continue to support the application as a wholly C++
> application.   Currently, we use gnu make to build it.  Would I have to
> add a parallel build system using bjam to build the extensions? And then
> maintain both make's makefiles and bjam's Jamroot files?
> Can .pyd files be loaded by the C++ linker?
> Any advice would be gratefully received.
> Best regards
> David
> =================================================================
> David Aldrich, NEC Telecom MODUS, Ltd,
> Cleeve Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7SA, UK
> Direct tel. +44 (0) 1372 381857
> =================================================================
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