Now let's expose a C++ class to Python:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

namespace { // Avoid cluttering the global namespace.

  // A friendly class.
  class hello
      hello(const std::string& country) { this->country = country; }
      std::string greet() const { return "Hello from " + country; }
      std::string country;

  // A function taking a hello object as an argument.
  std::string invite(const hello& w) {
    return w.greet() + "! Please come soon!";

To expose the class, we use a class_ builder. Class member functions are exposed by using the def() member:

#include <boost/python.hpp>
using namespace boost::python;

    // Create the Python type object for our extension class and define __init__ function.
    class_<hello>("hello", init<std::string>())
        .def("greet", &hello::greet)  // Add a regular member function.
        .def("invite", invite)  // Add invite() as a regular function to the module.

    def("invite", invite); // Even better, invite() can also be made a member of module!!!

Now we can use the class normally from Python:

>>> from getting_started2 import *
>>> hi = hello('California')
>>> hi.greet()
'Hello from California'
>>> invite(hi)
'Hello from California! Please come soon!'
>>> hi.invite()
'Hello from California! Please come soon!'


We can even make a subclass of

>>> class wordy(hello):
...     def greet(self):
...         return hello.greet(self) + ', where the weather is fine'
>>> hi2 = wordy('Florida')
>>> hi2.greet()
'Hello from Florida, where the weather is fine'
>>> invite(hi2)
'Hello from Florida! Please come soon!'

Pretty cool! You can't do that with an ordinary Python extension type! Of course, you may now have a slightly empty feeling in the pit of your little pythonic stomach. Perhaps you wanted to see the following wordy invitation:

'Hello from Florida, where the weather is fine! Please come soon!'

After all, invite calls hello::greet(), and you reimplemented that in your Python subclass, wordy. In the next section we'll make greet virtual, and we'll see how to make C++ code see our overrides from Python.

It is important to note that boost::python will not allow you to make dynamic type casts (through polymorphism) if the function/method is considered "unsafe". That means that an appropriate method-wrapper will not be created for functions that execute potentially exception-generating code where exceptions do not have python mappings. Let's have a look at an example:

We make a base class we can derive from:

class Base {
  boost::python::list list;
  virtual void x() = 0;

And derive from that in the classic way, implementing the function x() in such a way that it uses unprotected boost::python::extract instances without catching potential exceptions:

class Derive : public Base {
  virtual void x() {
    int y = boost::python::extract<int>(list[0])();

Exporting the classes like this:

class BaseWrap : public Base, public wrapper<Base> {
  virtual void x() { this->get_override("x")(); }

class_<BaseWrap, boost::noncopyable>("Base")
  .def("x", boost::python::pure_virtual(&Base::x))

class_<Derive, bases<Base> >("Derive");

Will generate the following error whenever you try to cast an instance of Derive to Base*:

TypeError: No registered converter was able to produce a C++ rvalue of type int from this Python object of type method-wrapper

What to do? Simply use try{}catch(){} blocks around any boost::python code that can produce an exception, such as the extract operation.

boost.python/ExportingClasses (last edited 2008-11-15 14:01:19 by localhost)

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