REBOL 3.0

Clarifying REBOL Lib Interfaces

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
26-Aug-2010 19:51 GMT

Article #0331
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A104 will be simplifying how libraries and extensions work by merging the REB Lib with the RXI Lib (extension lib).

Here's a diagram to help clarify the design:

Main points:

  • The Host Program is the main program. This is R3/Core, R3/View, or a user's own main program. It contains the Host Lib, functions beginning with OS_ that are passed to R3 Lib.
  • The R3 Library is the REBOL kernel. It is called by the host to evaluate scripts. On boot, the Host Lib is passed to RL_Init to provide a way for REBOL to call OS_ functions when it needs to interface with the OS and other services.
  • A user can create a REBOL Extension which is a lib that gets loaded as a DLL, or is embedded in the host. The extension is accessed via its RX_ functions. It is passed a pointer to the R3 Library in its RX_Init function. When it needs services from the R3 Library, it calls back via the RL_ macros (which reference a structure of function callbacks.) Example above is a user-defined My_Command function that calls OS_MAKE.
  • Embedded extensions can be placed within the Host Program. For example, R3/View includes graphics and other features as embedded extensions. When the R3 Library is called from the host, it can access the RL_ functions directly via the DLL interface (rather than using the RL_ macro interface.)

We intend to use this library interfacing technique across all operating systems, and we hope that objective is achievable.

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REBOL 3.0
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