The binding generator is part of the `gcc' compiler and can be invoked via the `-fdump-ada-spec' switch, which will generate Ada spec files for the header files specified on the command line, and all header files needed by these files transitively. For example:
$ g++ -c -fdump-ada-spec -C /usr/include/time.h $ gcc -c -gnat05 *.ads
will generate, under GNU/Linux, the following files:
correspond to the files
/usr/include/bits/time.h, etc..., and will then compile in Ada 2005
mode these Ada specs.
The -C switch tells `gcc' to extract comments from headers, and will attempt to generate corresponding Ada comments.
If you want to generate a single Ada file and not the transitive closure, you can use instead the `-fdump-ada-spec-slim' switch.
You can optionally specify a parent unit, of which all generated units will be children, using -fada-spec-parent=<unit>.
Note that we recommend when possible to use the `g++' driver to generate bindings, even for most C headers, since this will in general generate better Ada specs. For generating bindings for C++ headers, it is mandatory to use the `g++' command, or `gcc -x c++' which is equivalent in this case. If `g++' cannot work on your C headers because of incompatibilities between C and C++, then you can fallback to `gcc' instead.
For an example of better bindings generated from the C++ front-end, the name of the parameters (when available) are actually ignored by the C front-end. Consider the following C header:
extern void foo (int variable);
with the C front-end, variable is ignored, and the above is handled as:
extern void foo (int);
generating a generic:
procedure foo (param1 : int);
with the C++ front-end, the name is available, and we generate:
procedure foo (variable : int);
In some cases, the generated bindings will be more complete or more meaningful
when defining some macros, which you can do via the `-D' switch. This
is for example the case with
Xlib.h under GNU/Linux:
$ g++ -c -fdump-ada-spec -DXLIB_ILLEGAL_ACCESS -C /usr/include/X11/Xlib.h
The above will generate more complete bindings than a straight call without the `-DXLIB_ILLEGAL_ACCESS' switch.
In other cases, it is not possible to parse a header file in a stand-alone
manner, because other include files need to be included first. In this
case, the solution is to create a small header file including the needed
#include and possible #define directives. For example, to
generate Ada bindings for
readline/readline.h, you need to first
stdio.h, so you can create a file with the following two
lines in e.g.
#include <stdio.h> #include <readline/readline.h>
and then generate Ada bindings from this file:
$ g++ -c -fdump-ada-spec readline1.h