first time use of swig, python and c++ .. it's a mess ... please advice

Bronner, Gregory gregory.bronner at
Wed Feb 27 21:44:31 CET 2008

The operator= stuff is usually innocuous.
The compiler died because it couldn't find 'vector', which is reasonable, since it thought it was compiling a C file.

Probably because you swigged the file without the magic "-c++" option -- I'm not sure how distutils passes arguments to swig, but if you do it from the command line, you'll do something like swig -c++ -python -I<path to python> <file> and it will generate a .cpp  file and a .py file, which will (hopefully) compile.

I'd focus on doing it manually, then getting distutils to work properly.


-----Original Message-----
From: Hyuga [mailto:hyugaricdeau at] 
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:01 AM
To: python-list at
Subject: Re: first time use of swig, python and c++ .. it's a mess ... please advice

On Feb 26, 3:38 pm, Eric von Horst <z80vsvi... at> wrote:
> Hi,
> we have a third-party product that has a C++ api on HP-UX.
> I would like be able to use the API in Python (as I remember Python is 
> good at doing this).
> I have no experience with this so I Googled and tried to find some 
> info on what I had to do.
> So, I installed Python 2.4.4 and Swig 1.3.33
> The header file to the library is '/opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h'.
> I created a SWIG file with the following content:
> "
> %module opcsvcapi
>  %{
>  /* Includes the header in the wrapper code */
>  #include "/opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h"
>  %}
>  /* Parse the header file to generate wrappers */
>  %include "/opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h"
> "
> Then I ran the cmd:
> # swig -c++ -python opcsvcapi.i
> with output:
> "
> /opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h:41: Warning(362): operator= ignored
> /opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h:46: Warning(503): Can't wrap 'operator 
> Type' unless renamed to a valid identifier.
> "
> The result are two files:
> opcsvcapi_wrap.cxx
> I created a '' file with the following content:
> "
> import distutils
> from distutils.core import setup, Extension
> setup(name = "opcsvcapi",
>       version = "1.0",
>       ext_modules = [Extension("_opcsvcapi",
> ["opcsvcapi.i","opcsvcapi.cxx"])])
> "
> Then I run: python build
> This results in an extra file:
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c and a 'build' directory
> and the following errors:
> "
> running build
> running build_ext
> building '_opcsvcapi' extension
> swigging opcsvcapi.i to opcsvcapi_wrap.c swig -python -o 
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c opcsvcapi.i creating build creating 
> build/temp.hp-ux-B.11.11-9000-800-2.4
> gcc -pthread -fno-strict-aliasing -DNDEBUG -g -O3 -Wall -Wstrict- 
> prototypes -fPIC -I/usr/local/include/python2.4 -c opcsvcapi_wrap.c -o 
> build/temp.hp-ux-B.11.11-9000-800-2.4/opcsvcapi_wrap.o
> In file included from /usr/local/include/python2.4/Python.h:8,
>                  from opcsvcapi_wrap.c:118:
> /usr/local/include/python2.4/pyconfig.h:851:1: warning:
> "_POSIX_C_SOURCE" redefined
> <command line>:1:1: warning: this is the location of the previous 
> definition In file included from opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2490:
> /opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h:12:18: error: vector: No such file or 
> directory In file included from opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2490:
> /opt/OV/include/opcsvcapi.h:15: error: expected '=', ',', ';', 'asm'
> or '__attribute__' before 'SvcAPI'
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c: In function 'Swig_var_SvcAPI_set':
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2505: error: 'SvcAPI' undeclared (first use in this
> function)
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2505: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported 
> only once
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2505: error: for each function it appears in.)
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2505: error: 'namespace' undeclared (first use in 
> this function)
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c:2505: error: expected expression before ')' token
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c: In function 'init_opcsvcapi':
> opcsvcapi_wrap.c:3064: error: 'Swig_var_SvcAPI_get' undeclared (first 
> use in this function)
> error: command 'gcc' failed with exit status 1 "
> and that's it.
> Any idea what I am doing wrong?
> Any help much appreciated
> Kris

Well, the errors you got from the compiler are just confusing to me, but I suspect it goes back to the warning you got from SWIG.  Some class in there is overriding the = operator, but since that can't be done in Python, you need to give it some special instructions on how to handle that.

For example, if you have Foo::operator=, in your SWIG header include a line like:
%rename(assign) Foo::operator=

Then in the Python module, the Foo class will have an assign method.


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