+This directory contains the libffi package, which is not part of GCC but
+shipped with GCC as convenience.
+Copied without changes from CPython 2.6.
+libffi-2.00 has not been released yet! This is a development snapshot!
+libffi-1.20 was released on October 5, 1998. Check the libffi web
+page for updates: <URL:http://sources.redhat.com/libffi/>.
+Compilers for high level languages generate code that follow certain
+conventions. These conventions are necessary, in part, for separate
+compilation to work. One such convention is the "calling
+convention". The "calling convention" is essentially a set of
+assumptions made by the compiler about where function arguments will
+be found on entry to a function. A "calling convention" also specifies
+where the return value for a function is found.
+Some programs may not know at the time of compilation what arguments
+are to be passed to a function. For instance, an interpreter may be
+told at run-time about the number and types of arguments used to call
+a given function. Libffi can be used in such programs to provide a
+bridge from the interpreter program to compiled code.
+The libffi library provides a portable, high level programming
+interface to various calling conventions. This allows a programmer to
+call any function specified by a call interface description at run
+Ffi stands for Foreign Function Interface. A foreign function
+interface is the popular name for the interface that allows code
+written in one language to call code written in another language. The
+libffi library really only provides the lowest, machine dependent
+layer of a fully featured foreign function interface. A layer must
+exist above libffi that handles type conversions for values passed
+between the two languages.
+Supported Platforms and Prerequisites
+Libffi has been ported to:
+ SunOS 4.1.3 & Solaris 2.x (SPARC-V8, SPARC-V9)
+ Irix 5.3 & 6.2 (System V/o32 & n32)
+ Intel x86 - Linux (System V ABI)
+ Alpha - Linux and OSF/1
+ m68k - Linux (System V ABI)
+ PowerPC - Linux (System V ABI, Darwin, AIX)
+ ARM - Linux (System V ABI)
+Libffi has been tested with the egcs 1.0.2 gcc compiler. Chances are
+that other versions will work. Libffi has also been built and tested
+with the SGI compiler tools.
+On PowerPC, the tests failed (see the note below).
+You must use GNU make to build libffi. SGI's make will not work.
+Sun's probably won't either.
+If you port libffi to another platform, please let me know! I assume
+that some will be easy (x86 NetBSD), and others will be more difficult
+[Note: before actually performing any of these installation steps,
+ you may wish to read the "Platform Specific Notes" below.]
+First you must configure the distribution for your particular
+system. Go to the directory you wish to build libffi in and run the
+"configure" program found in the root directory of the libffi source
+You may want to tell configure where to install the libffi library and
+header files. To do that, use the --prefix configure switch. Libffi
+will install under /usr/local by default.
+If you want to enable extra run-time debugging checks use the the
+--enable-debug configure switch. This is useful when your program dies
+mysteriously while using libffi.
+Another useful configure switch is --enable-purify-safety. Using this
+will add some extra code which will suppress certain warnings when you
+are using Purify with libffi. Only use this switch when using
+Purify, as it will slow down the library.
+Configure has many other options. Use "configure --help" to see them all.
+Once configure has finished, type "make". Note that you must be using
+GNU make. SGI's make will not work. Sun's probably won't either.
+You can ftp GNU make from prep.ai.mit.edu:/pub/gnu.
+To ensure that libffi is working as advertised, type "make test".
+To install the library and header files, type "make install".
+Libffi assumes that you have a pointer to the function you wish to
+call and that you know the number and types of arguments to pass it,
+as well as the return type of the function.
+The first thing you must do is create an ffi_cif object that matches
+the signature of the function you wish to call. The cif in ffi_cif
+stands for Call InterFace. To prepare a call interface object, use the
+ffi_status ffi_prep_cif(ffi_cif *cif, ffi_abi abi,
+ ffi_type *rtype, ffi_type **atypes);
+ CIF is a pointer to the call interface object you wish
+ ABI is an enum that specifies the calling convention
+ to use for the call. FFI_DEFAULT_ABI defaults
+ to the system's native calling convention. Other
+ ABI's may be used with care. They are system
+ NARGS is the number of arguments this function accepts.
+ libffi does not yet support vararg functions.
+ RTYPE is a pointer to an ffi_type structure that represents
+ the return type of the function. Ffi_type objects
+ describe the types of values. libffi provides
+ ffi_type objects for many of the native C types:
+ signed int, unsigned int, signed char, unsigned char,
+ etc. There is also a pointer ffi_type object and
+ a void ffi_type. Use &ffi_type_void for functions that
+ ATYPES is a vector of ffi_type pointers. ARGS must be NARGS long.
+ If NARGS is 0, this is ignored.
+ffi_prep_cif will return a status code that you are responsible
+for checking. It will be one of the following:
+ FFI_BAD_TYPEDEF - One of the ffi_type objects that ffi_prep_cif
+Before making the call, the VALUES vector should be initialized
+with pointers to the appropriate argument values.
+To call the the function using the initialized ffi_cif, use the
+void ffi_call(ffi_cif *cif, void *fn, void *rvalue, void **avalues);
+ CIF is a pointer to the ffi_cif initialized specifically
+ FN is a pointer to the function you want to call.
+ RVALUE is a pointer to a chunk of memory that is to hold the
+ result of the function call. Currently, it must be
+ at least one word in size (except for the n32 version
+ under Irix 6.x, which must be a pointer to an 8 byte
+ aligned value (a long long). It must also be at least
+ word aligned (depending on the return type, and the
+ system's alignment requirements). If RTYPE is
+ &ffi_type_void, this is ignored. If RVALUE is NULL,
+ the return value is discarded.
+ AVALUES is a vector of void* that point to the memory locations
+ holding the argument values for a call.
+ If NARGS is 0, this is ignored.
+If you are expecting a return value from FN it will have been stored
+Here is a trivial example that calls puts() a few times.
+ /* Initialize the argument info vectors */
+ args = &ffi_type_uint;
+ /* Initialize the cif */
+ if (ffi_prep_cif(&cif, FFI_DEFAULT_ABI, 1,
+ &ffi_type_uint, args) == FFI_OK)
+ ffi_call(&cif, puts, &rc, values);
+ /* rc now holds the result of the call to puts */
+ /* values holds a pointer to the function's arg, so to
+ call puts() again all we need to do is change the
+ ffi_call(&cif, puts, &rc, values);
+Although libffi has no special support for unions or bit-fields, it is
+perfectly happy passing structures back and forth. You must first
+describe the structure to libffi by creating a new ffi_type object
+for it. Here is the definition of ffi_type:
+ typedef struct _ffi_type
+ struct _ffi_type **elements;
+All structures must have type set to FFI_TYPE_STRUCT. You may set
+size and alignment to 0. These will be calculated and reset to the
+appropriate values by ffi_prep_cif().
+elements is a NULL terminated array of pointers to ffi_type objects
+that describe the type of the structure elements. These may, in turn,
+The following example initializes a ffi_type object representing the
+tm struct from Linux's time.h:
+ /* Those are for future use. */
+ long int __tm_gmtoff__;
+ __const char *__tm_zone__;
+ ffi_type *tm_type_elements;
+ tm_type.size = tm_type.alignment = 0;
+ tm_type.elements = &tm_type_elements;
+ for (i = 0; i < 9; i++)
+ tm_type_elements[i] = &ffi_type_sint;
+ tm_type_elements = &ffi_type_slong;
+ tm_type_elements = &ffi_type_pointer;
+ tm_type_elements = NULL;
+ /* tm_type can now be used to represent tm argument types and
+ return types for ffi_prep_cif() */
+There are no known problems with the x86 port.
+ Sun SPARC - SunOS 4.1.3 & Solaris 2.x
+You must use GNU Make to build libffi on Sun platforms.
+Irix 6.2 and better supports three different calling conventions: o32,
+n32 and n64. Currently, libffi only supports both o32 and n32 under
+Irix 6.x, but only o32 under Irix 5.3. Libffi will automatically be
+configured for whichever calling convention it was built for.
+By default, the configure script will try to build libffi with the GNU
+development tools. To build libffi with the SGI development tools, set
+the environment variable CC to either "cc -32" or "cc -n32" before
+running configure under Irix 6.x (depending on whether you want an o32
+or n32 library), or just "cc" for Irix 5.3.
+With the n32 calling convention, when returning structures smaller
+than 16 bytes, be sure to provide an RVALUE that is 8 byte aligned.
+Here's one way of forcing this:
+ double struct_storage;
+ my_small_struct *s = (my_small_struct *) struct_storage;
+If you don't do this you are liable to get spurious bus errors.
+"long long" values are not supported yet.
+You must use GNU Make to build libffi on SGI platforms.
+The ARM port was performed on a NetWinder running ARM Linux ELF
+There are two `System V ABI's which libffi implements for PowerPC.
+They differ only in how small structures are returned from functions.
+In the FFI_SYSV version, structures that are 8 bytes or smaller are
+returned in registers. This is what GCC does when it is configured
+for solaris, and is what the System V ABI I have (dated September
+In the FFI_GCC_SYSV version, all structures are returned the same way:
+by passing a pointer as the first argument to the function. This is
+what GCC does when it is configured for linux or a generic sysv
+EGCS 1.0.1 (and probably other versions of EGCS/GCC) also has a
+inconsistency with the SysV ABI: When a procedure is called with many
+floating-point arguments, some of them get put on the stack. They are
+all supposed to be stored in double-precision format, even if they are
+only single-precision, but EGCS stores single-precision arguments as
+single-precision anyway. This causes one test to fail (the `many
+What's With The Crazy Comments?
+You might notice a number of cryptic comments in the code, delimited
+by /*@ and @*/. These are annotations read by the program LCLint, a
+tool for statically checking C programs. You can read all about it at
+ Raffaele Sena produces ARM port.
+ Fixed x86 long double and long long return support.
+ m68k bug fixes from Andreas Schwab.
+ Patch for DU assembler compatibility for the Alpha from Richard
+ Bug fixes and MIPS configuration changes.
+ Bug fixes and m68k port from Andreas Schwab. PowerPC port from
+ Geoffrey Keating. Various bug x86, Sparc and MIPS bug fixes.
+ Richard Henderson produces Alpha port.
+ Fixed an n32 ABI bug. New libtool, auto* support.
+ libtool is now used to generate shared and static libraries.
+ Fixed a minor portability problem reported by Russ McManus
+ Added --enable-purify-safety to keep Purify from complaining
+ about certain low level code.
+ Sparc fix for calling functions with < 6 args.
+ Added missing ffi_type_void, needed for supporting void return
+ types. Fixed test case for non MIPS machines. Cygnus Support
+ is now Cygnus Solutions.
+ Added notes about GNU make.
+ Added configuration fix for non GNU compilers.
+ Added --enable-debug configure switch. Clean-ups based on LCLint
+ feedback. ffi_mips.h is always installed. Many configuration
+ fixes. Fixed ffitest.c for sparc builds.
+ Fixed n32 problem. Many clean-ups.
+ Gordon Irlam rewrites v8.S again. Bug fixes.
+ Gordon Irlam improved the sparc port.
+ Interface changes based on feedback.
+ Sparc port complete (modulo struct passing bug).
+ Passing struct args, and returning struct values works for
+ all architectures/calling conventions. Expanded tests.
+ Added SGI n32 support. Fixed bugs in both o32 and Linux support.
+ Fixed float passing bug in mips version. Restructured some
+ of the code. Builds cleanly with SGI tools.
+ First release. No public announcement.
+libffi was written by Anthony Green <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
+Portions of libffi were derived from Gianni Mariani's free gencall
+library for Silicon Graphics machines.
+The closure mechanism was designed and implemented by Kresten Krab
+The Sparc port was derived from code contributed by the fine folks at
+Visible Decisions Inc <http://www.vdi.com>. Further enhancements were
+made by Gordon Irlam at Cygnus Solutions <http://www.cygnus.com>.
+The Alpha port was written by Richard Henderson at Cygnus Solutions.
+Andreas Schwab ported libffi to m68k Linux and provided a number of
+Geoffrey Keating ported libffi to the PowerPC.
+Raffaele Sena ported libffi to the ARM.
+Jesper Skov and Andrew Haley both did more than their fair share of
+stepping through the code and tracking down bugs.
+Thanks also to Tom Tromey for bug fixes and configuration help.
+Thanks to Jim Blandy, who provided some useful feedback on the libffi
+If you have a problem, or have found a bug, please send a note to