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native-calls

A JavaScript - C++ RPC library generator

Native Calls

Native Calls allows developers to write IDL files that get compiled into C++ and JavaScript stubs that implement RPC calls over postMessage. The result is a nice, clean way of using Native Code straight from JavaScript!

Part of my final year project at Imperial College London.

This is still work in progress, but feedback is much appreciated!

Getting started

Please read the getting started guide to see how Native Calls works and how to use it.

Build

To build the project, you'll need the following requirements:

  1. The Native Client SDK.
  2. The NACL_SDK_ROOT variable set.
  3. node.js

To build, simply run make in this folder. This will get JavaScript dependencies, build the C++ RPC library and build each individual demo.

Note: I have only tested this on Mac OSX and linux. Compiling on Windows will probably break.

Run

To see it in action, make sure you have built the project (see above). Then, type make serve. This will start a server in the project directory.

Visit the index page, by typing http://localhost:3000/ into your browser.

Install

To install the C++ library to your SDK, run make install. This will build the library for all toolchains and configurations. This will also install the generator, pprpcgen globally.

If you want to only install pprpcgen without cloning this repository, you can type npm install -g native-calls.

Development

Test

To run all tests, type make test. This will test JavaScript front end, back end (generators), and C++ tests. You can also test each component individually:

  • make test runs all tests
  • make nodetest runs generator tests
  • make cpptest runs C++ rpc framework tests
  • make eetest runs end-to-end tests
  • make jstest runs JavaScript rpc framework tests

The tests are run using karma.

TODO

If you're interested in contributing, here are some things that still need to be done...

  • Generating JS skeletons for the Emscripten code (possibly in combination pepper.js) and provide automatic fallback for browsers which don't support Native Client
  • Performance optimization, in particular efficient use of binary arrays
  • Generating C++ stubs and JS skeletons to allow calls from native into JS code
  • Support for transferring binary

Docs

You can read some design docs in the docs folder.

The full project report (in progress) is written in TeX and is found in the report repo.

Eclipse

How to set up the Native Calls project in Eclipse.

A project has already been created and is in the repository. All you need to do is to configure it with your NACL_SDK_ROOT.

  1. Download eclipse CDT
  2. Clone the Native Calls project.
  3. Copy the .cproject.sample file and save it as .cproject.
  4. Open eclipse
  5. Import the project. File -> Import... -> Existing Project into Workspace
  6. Right click on the project and click properties.
  7. Under C/C++ Build -> Enivronment, set the NACL_SDK_ROOT variable to be the NaCl SDK location. Save for all configurations.
  8. Under C/C++ Build -> Build Variables, set the NACL_SDK_ROOT variable to be a directory pointing to your NaCl SDK location. Save for all configurations.
  9. Right click on the project and choose Index -> Rebuild to rebuild the index.
  10. Done! Clicking the build button runs make.

You can also set up eclipse to debug the C/C++ application. This is shown in the chromium how-to.