bindbc-sdl 0.19.2

Dynamic and static bindings to SDL2 and its satellite libraries, compatible with -betterC, @nogc, and nothrow.


To use this package, run the following command in your project's root directory:

Manual usage
Put the following dependency into your project's dependences section:

bindbc-sdl

This project provides both static and dynamic bindings to the Simple Direct Media Library (SDL) and its satellite libraries. They are compatible with @nogc and nothrow and can be compiled with -betterC compatibility. This package is intended as a replacement of DerelictSDL2, which does not provide the same level of compatibility.

Usage

NOTE: This documentation describes how to use bindbc-sdl. As the maintainer of this library, I do not provide instructions on using the SDL library. However, since this is a direct binding to the SDL API, the existing SDL documentation and tutorials can be adapted to D with few modifications (those being minor differences in the language, such as array declaration syntax). See the SDL Wiki for documentation on the SDL API. The SDL 2 tutorials from Lazy Foo' Productions are a good start for those unfamiliar with the API.

By default, bindbc-sdl is configured to compile as dynamic bindings that are not -betterC compatible. The dynamic bindings have no link-time dependency on the SDL libraries, so the SDL shared libraries must be manually loaded at runtime. When configured as static bindings, there is a link-time dependency on the SDL libraries -- either the static libraries or the appropriate files for linking with shared libraries on your system (see below).

When using DUB to manage your project, the static bindings can be enabled via a DUB subConfiguration statement in your project's package file. -betterC compatibility is also enabled via subconfigurations.

To use any of the supported SDL libraries, add bindbc-sdl as a dependency to your project's package config file and include the appropriate version for any of the satellite libraries you want to use. For example, the following is configured to use SDL_image and SDL_ttf in addition to the base SDL binding, as dynamic bindings that are not -betterC compatible (replace the 0.1.0 bindbc-sdl version with the actual version you require)::

dub.json

dependencies {
    "bindbc-sdl": "~>0.1.0",
}
"versions": [
    "SDL_Image",
    "SDL_TTF"
],

dub.sdl

dependency "bindbc-sdl" version="~>0.1.0"
versions "SDL_Image" "SDL_TTF"

NOTE: Previously, the version identifiers for the satellite libraries took the form BindSDL_Image, BindSDL_TTF, etc., and required an addition version identifier to specify the library version, e.g., SDL_Image_204. Those version identifiers are still accepted, so existing projects will continue to compile without modification. However, now it is necessary to specify only a single version identifier per library, e.g., SDL_Image_204 by itself will activate the SDL_image binding. Without the library version number, e.g., SDL_Image, the lowest supported version of the library is enabled.

NOTE: The C API from SDL_atomics.h is only partially implemented. It also has a dependency on the core.atomic.atomicFence template. In BetterC mode, this is not a problem as long as the source of DRuntime is available. The template instantiation will not require linking to DRuntime. However, if the SDL_atomics binding causes trouble and you don't need to use it, you can specify the version SDL_No_Atomics and the module's contents will not be compiled. If it's causing trouble and you need it, please report an issue.

The dynamic bindings

The dynamic bindings require no special configuration when using DUB to manage your project. There is no link-time dependency. At runtime, the SDL shared libraries are required to be on the shared library search path of the user's system. On Windows, this is typically handled by distributing the SDL DLLs with your program. On other systems, it usually means installing the SDL runtime libraries through a package manager.

To load the shared libraries, you need to call the appropriate load function. The load functions return a binding-specific value indicating either that the library failed to load (it couldn't be found) or that one or more symbols failed to load, or a version number that matches a global constant based on the compile-time configuration.

/*
 The package modules for any satellite libraries you have configured will be publicly imported with this single import statement.
*/
import bindbc.sdl;

/*
 This version attempts to load the SDL shared library using well-known variations
 of the library name for the host system.
*/
SDLSupport ret = loadSDL();
if(ret != sdlSupport) {
    /*
     Handle error. For most use cases, it's enough to use the error handling API in
     bindbc-loader to obtain and print error messages. If necessary, it's possible
     to determine the primary cause programmtically:
    */
    if(ret == SDLSupport.noLibrary) {
        /*
         The system failed to load the library. Usually this means that either the library or one of its dependencies could not be found.
        */
    }
    else if(SDLSupport.badLibrary) {
        /*
         This indicates that the system was able to find and successfully load the library, but one or more symbols the binding expected to find was missing. This usually indicates that the loaded library is of a lower API version than the binding was configured to load, e.g., an SDL 2.0.2 library loaded by an SDL 2.0.10 configuration.

         For many C libraries, including SDL, this is perfectly fine and the application can continue as long as none of the missing functions are called.
    }
}
/*
 This version attempts to load the SDL library using a user-supplied file name.
 Usually, the name and/or path will be platform specific, as in this example
 which attempts to load `SDL2.dll` from the `libs` subdirectory, relative
 to the executable, only on Windows. It has the same return values as the version above.

 Note that this can cause problems with some of the SDL satellite libraries unless
 special care is taken. See the section of the README titled "Loading from outside
 the DLL search path".
*/
version(Windows) {
    auto ret = loadSDL("libs/SDL2.dll");
    if(ret != sdlSupport) {
        // Error handling as above.
    }
}

/*
 The satellite library loaders also have the same two versions of the load functions,
 named according to the library name. Only the parameterless versions are shown
 here. These return similar values as loadSDL, but in an enum namespace that matches
 the library name: SDLImageSupport, SDLMixerSupport, and SDLTTFSupport.
*/
if(loadSDLImage() != sdlImageSupport) {
    /* handle error */
}
if(loadSDLMixer() != sdlMixerSupport) {
    /* handle error */
}
if(loadSDLNet() != sdlNetSupport) {
    /* handle error */
}
if(loadSDLTTF() != sdlTTFSupport) {
    /* handle error */
}

By default, each bindbc-sdl binding is configured to compile bindings for the lowest supported version of the C libraries. This ensures the widest level of compatibility at runtime. This behavior can be overridden via specific version identifiers. It is recommended that you always select the minimum version you require and no higher. In this example, the SDL dynamic binding is compiled to support SDL 2.0.4 (replace the 0.1.0 bindbc-sdl version with the actual version you require):

dub.json

"dependencies": {
    "bindbc-sdl": "~>0.1.0"
},
"versions": ["SDL_204"]

dub.sdl

dependency "bindbc-sdl" version="~>0.1.0"
versions "SDL_204"

When bindbc-sdl is configured with SDL_202, then sdlSupport == SDLSupport.sdl202 and loadSDL will return SDLSupport.sdl202 on a successful load. However, it's possible for the binding to be compiled for a higher version of SDL than that on the user's system. In that case, loadSDL will return SDLSupport.badLibrary. It's still possible to use that version of the library as long as you remember not to call any of the unloaded functions from the higher version. To determine the version actually loaded, call the function loadedSDLVersion.

The function isSDLLoaded returns true if any version of the shared library has been loaded and false if not. (See the README for bindbc.loader for the error handling API.)

SDLSupport ret = loadSDL();
if(ret != sdlSupport) {
    if(SDLSupport.badLibrary) {
        // Let's say we've configured to support SDL 2.0.5, but we are happy to also
        // support 2.0.4:
        if(loadedSDLVersion < SDLSupport.sdl204) {
            // Version to low. Handle the error.
        }
    }
    else {
        // No library. Handle the error.
    }
}

The satellite libraries provide similar functions: loadedSDLImageVersion, loadedSDLMixerVersion, loadedSDLNetVersion, and loadedSDLTTFVersion.

Following are the supported versions of each SDL library and the corresponding version IDs to pass to the compiler.

Library & VersionVersion ID
SDL 2.0.0Default
SDL 2.0.1SDL_201
SDL 2.0.2SDL_202
SDL 2.0.3SDL_203
SDL 2.0.4SDL_204
SDL 2.0.5SDL_205
SDL 2.0.6SDL_206
SDL 2.0.7SDL_207
SDL 2.0.8SDL_208
SDL 2.0.9SDL_209
SDL 2.0.10SDL_2010
SDL 2.0.12SDL_2012
----
SDL_image 2.0.0SDLImage, SDLImage_200
SDL_image 2.0.1SDLImage201
SDL_image 2.0.2SDLImage202
SDL_image 2.0.3SDLImage203
SDL_image 2.0.4SDLImage204
SDL_image 2.0.5SDLImage205
----
SDL_mixer 2.0.0SDLMixer, SDLMixer_200
SDL_mixer 2.0.1SDLMixer201
SDL_mixer 2.0.2SDLMixer202
SDL_mixer 2.0.4SDLMixer204
----
SDL_net 2.0.0SDLNet, SDLNet_200
SDL_net 2.0.1SDLNet201
----
SDL_ttf 2.0.12SDLTTF, SDLTTF_2012
SDL_ttf 2.0.13SDLTTF2013
SDL_ttf 2.0.14SDLTTF2014

Note: Beginning with SDL 2.0.10, all releases have even numbered (2.0.12, 2.0.14, etc.). Odd number versions beginning with 2.0.11 are development versions, which are not supported by bindbc-sdl. The same is true for SDLmixer beginning with version 2.0.4 (there is no public release of SDLmixer 2.0.3).

Note: There are no differences in the public API between SDLimage versions 2.0.0 and 2.0.1, and then between versions 2.0.2, 2.0.3, 2.0.4, and 2.0.5, other than the value of `SDLIMAGE_PATCHLEVEL`.

Note: There are no differences in the public API between SDLnet versions 2.0.0 and 2.0.1 other than the value of `SDLNET_PATCHLEVEL`.

Note: SDL's Filesystem API was added in SDL 2.0.1. However, there was a bug on Windows that prevented SDL_GetPrefPath from creating the path when it doesn't exist. When using this API on Windows, it's fine to compile with SDL_201 -- just make sure to ship SDL 2.0.2 or later with your app on Windows and verify that the loaded SDL version is 2.0.2 or later via the SDL_GetVersion function. Alternatively, you can compile your app with version SDL_202 on Windows and SDL_201 on other platforms, thereby guaranteeing errors if the user does not have at least SDL 2.0.2 or higher on Windows.

The static bindings

The static bindings have a link-time dependency on either the shared or static libraries for SDL and any satellite SDL libraries the program uses. On Windows, you can link with the static libraries or, to use the DLLs, the import libraries. On other systems, you can link with either the static libraries or directly with the shared libraries.

This requires the SDL development packages be installed on your system at compile time. When linking with the static libraries, there is no runtime dependency on SDL. When linking with the shared libraries, the runtime dependency is the same as the dynamic bindings, the difference being that the shared libraries are no longer loaded manually -- loading is handled automatically by the system when the program is launched.

Enabling the static bindings can be done in two ways.

Via the compiler's -version switch or DUB's versions directive

Pass the BindSDL_Static version to the compiler and link with the appropriate libraries. Note that BindSDL_Static will also enable the static binding for any satellite libraries used.

When using the compiler command line or a build system that doesn't support DUB, this is the only option. The -version=BindSDL_Static option should be passed to the compiler when building your program. All of the required C libraries, as well as the bindbc-sdl and bindbc-loader static libraries, must also be passed to the compiler on the command line or via your build system's configuration.

NOTE: The version identifier BindBC_Static can be used to configure all of the official BindBC packages used in your program, i.e., those maintained in the BindBC GitHub organization. Some third-party BindBC packages may support it as well.

For example, when using the static bindings for SDL and SDL_image with DUB (replace the 0.1.0 bindbc-sdl version with the actual version you require):

dub.json

"dependencies": {
    "bindbc-sdl": "~>0.1.0"
},
"versions": ["BindSDL_Static", "SDL_Image"],
"libs": ["SDL2", "SDL2_image"]

dub.sdl

dependency "bindbc-sdl" version="~>0.1.0"
versions "BindSDL_Static" "SDL_Image"
libs "SDL2" "SDL2_image"

Via DUB subconfigurations

Instead of using DUB's versions directive, a subConfiguration can be used. Enable the static subconfiguration for the bindbc-sdl dependency:

dub.json

"dependencies": {
    "bindbc-sdl": "~>0.1.0"
},
"subConfigurations": {
    "bindbc-sdl": "static"
},
"versions": [
    "SDL_Image"
],
"libs": ["SDL2", "SDL2_image"]

dub.sdl

dependency "bindbc-sdl" version="~>0.1.0"
subConfiguration "bindbc-sdl" "static"
versions "SDL_Image"
libs "SDL2" "SDL2_image"

This has the benefit that it completely excludes from the build any source modules related to the dynamic bindings, i.e. they will never be passed to the compiler.

-betterC support

-betterC support is enabled via the dynamicBC and staticBC subconfigurations, for dynamic and static bindings respectively. To enable the static bindings with -betterC support:

dub.json

"dependencies": {
    "bindbc-sdl": "~>0.1.0"
},
"subConfigurations": {
    "bindbc-sdl": "staticBC"
},
"versions": [
    "SDL_Image"
],
"libs": ["SDL2", "SDL2_image"]

dub.sdl

dependency "bindbc-sdl" version="~>0.1.0"
subConfiguration "bindbc-sdl" "staticBC"
versions "SDL_Image"
libs "SDL2" "SDL2_image"

When not using DUB to manage your project, first use DUB to compile the BindBC libraries with the dynamicBC or staticBC configuration, then pass -betterC to the compiler when building your project.

Loading from outside the DLL search path

The SDL libraries tend to load dependent DLLs dynamically in the same way that BindBC can load libraries dynamically. Due to the way SDL goes about it, there is an issue that can arise on Windows when putting some of the SDL DLLs in a subdirectory of your executable directory. That is, if your executable is in e.g., the directory myapp, and the SDL DLLs are in e.g., the directory myapp\libs, you may find that one or more of the SDL libraries fail to load. To solve or prevent this problem, take the following steps.

First, make sure the non-system libraries on which the SDL libraries depend (such as zlib.dll) are in the same directory as the SDL libraries.

Second, you'll want to add your subdirectory path to the Windows DLL search path. As of bindbc-loader version 0.3.0, this can be accomplished via the functions setCustomLoaderSearchPath. For details on and a full example of how to properly use this function, see the section of the bindbc.loader README titled "Default Windows search path".

The idea is that you call the function with the path to all of the DLLs before calling any of the load functions, then call it again with a null argument to reset the default search path. Bear in mind that some of the satellite libraries load their dependencies lazily. For example, SDL_image will only load libpng when IMG_Init is called with the IMG_INIT_PNG flag, so the second call should not occur until after the libraries have been initialized.

import bindbc.loader,
       bindbc.sdl;

// Assume the DLLs are stored in the "dlls" subdirectory
version(Windows) setCustomLoaderSearchPath("dlls");

if(loadSDL() < sdlSupport) { /* handle error */ }
if(loadSDL_Image() < sdlImageSupport) { /* handle error */ }

// Give SDL_image a change to load libpng and libjpeg
auto flags = IMG_INIT_PNG | IMG_INIT_JPEG;
if(IMG_Init(flags) != flags) { /* handle error */ }

// Now reset the default loader search path
version(Windows) setCustomLoaderSearchPath(null);

It is not strictly necessary to reset the default search path, but doing so can avoid unexpected issues for any other dependencies that may be loaded dynamically by application's process.

setCustomLoaderSearchPath is only implemented on Windows, since there is no way to programmatically manipulate the default search path on Linux and (as far as I know, please correct me if I'm wrong) other platforms. Then again, this issue doesn't generally arise on those platforms.

Authors:
  • Mike Parker
Dependencies:
none
Versions:
0.19.2 2020-Nov-02
0.19.1 2020-Aug-03
0.19.0 2020-May-20
0.18.0 2020-May-13
0.17.0 2020-May-12
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