C \(\longrightarrow\) HASKELL, or Yet Another Interfacing Tool

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Abstract

This paper discusses a new method for typed functional languages to access libraries written in a lower-level language. More specifically, it introduces an interfacing tool that eases Haskell access to C libraries. The tool obtains information about the C data type definitions and function signatures by analysing the C header files of the library. It uses this information to compute the missing details in the template of a Haskell module that implements a Haskell binding to the C library. Hooks embedded in the binding file signal where, which, and how C objects are accessed from Haskell. The Haskell code in the binding file determines Haskell type signatures and marshaling details. The approach is lightweight and does not require an extra interface description language.

This work was conducted, in large part, while working at the Institute of Information Sciences and Electronics, University of Tsukuba, Japan.