COM "out" Variant Array params and such

Michael Kelly mkelly2002NOSPAM at
Sun Dec 2 15:34:41 EST 2001

I like to roll my own COM and ActiveX components
and I've been experimenting with using them(they
are mostly written with Delphi 5 as "automation
server" or ActiveX inprocess dlls or ocxs) with
ActivePython version of Python 2.1.

I have an Ini File component that wraps the
Delphi TIniFile class that works fine for
D5, VB6 and VC++6 but in Python I get some
strange errors and also a quandry.  The
quandry is I can't figure how to make a
call that has an "out" parameter that
is not a retval and is a Variant Array. 

 When I make the call in Python as in
MyIniFile.ReadSections("Section name", VariantArrayofStrings)
whatever I put for VariantArrayofStrings never get assigned anything.
I read some stuff in the docs about coercing PyObject and Variants
but with no real pointers where to see how this is done.

The weird behavior is if I use the method WriteDate to write
a date and then ReadDate to read it back I get an exception:

type: exceptions.SystemError
value: error return without exception set

I have no idea what this means except maybe
the exception mechanism has a problem.  I
used to make a coclass that I
import to use the Ini File COM object.

At any rate neither of these seem to be an
issue in Delphi 5, VB 6 or VC++6.  I even
tried the underlying TIniFile type is a Delphi
test program to make sure it reads correctly
dates written with WriteDate method.

I seem to be able to Write dates and times
to the ini file ok.  Reading them back
causes this exception, but I can read
them in as strings I suppose and then
convert the string by some means back
to a Date or Time but that kind of kills
off the convenience of using this nifty
component(TIniFile that I wrapped up
in COM.)

Any ideas appreciated. :)



"I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member."
    -- Groucho Marx

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