in my c + + application i would like to expose the same API to different scripting languages. Is there a library that allows me to expose it once and that will expose to v8, luajit, cpython or mono?

1 Answer 1


SWIG to quote the web page:

The following scripting languages were supported in the final SWIG 1.1 release:

  • Tcl 8.0 and newer versions.
  • Python 1.5 and newer.
  • Perl 5.003 or newer.
  • Guile 1.3.4 and newer.

The following languages are also supported in swig-1.3.6 onwards.

  • Java JDK 1.1 and newer.
  • Ruby.
  • Mzscheme.
  • PHP support was added in swig-1.3.11.
  • Objective Caml (Ocaml) and Pike support was added in swig-1.3.14.
  • Support for C# and the Chicken scheme compiler was added in swig-1.3.18.
  • Support for Allegro CL and Modula-3 was added in swig-1.3.22.
  • Support for Lua, CLISP and Common Lisp with UFFI was added in swig-1.3.26.
  • Support for Common Lisp with CFFI was added in swig-1.3.28.
  • Support for R was added in swig-1.3.30.
  • Support for Octave was added in swig-1.3.35.
  • Support for the Go language was added in swig-2.0.1.
  • Support for D was added in swig-2.0.2.
  • Support for Javascript was added in swig-3.0.1.
  • There is also a SWIG Eiffel module - SWIGEiffel.

Which should hit most of your requirements.

SWIG is Free software, both Libre and FOSS, and distributed under the GPL license but specifically notes:

When SWIG is used as it is distributed by the SWIG developers, its output is not governed by SWIG's license (including the GPL). SWIG's output contains code from three sources:

  • code generated by SWIG, which is not governed by copyright;
  • code copied from the SWIG library which is permissively licensed to be redistributed without restriction;
  • code derived from the user's input, which may be governed by the license of the code supplied by the user.
  • SWIG is mostly for libraries. Can it be used to add scripting interface to a running program? In other words, can a c++ program expose its objects to a scripting language through SWIG?
    – Rado
    Feb 8, 2015 at 1:32
  • When you think about it everything outside of main in a C/C++ program is a set of local library calls, with .o files just not necessarily stored in a .lib or .dll file, if your program is all in main then you should be fixing that rather than generating APIs. On the other hand a DLL and an EXE only differ in having a main and hopefully on the level of activity when things are not calling it. Feb 8, 2015 at 8:44

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