This part of the book explores Python's interfaces for
communicating with software components written in other programming
languages. Its emphasis is on mixing Python with programs written in
C and C++, but other integration techniques are also introduced along
the way. This part contains two chapters that address the two primary
modes of Python/C integration:
Chapter 19. This chapter presents tools that allow
Python scripts to call out to C components. C components take the
form of new modules or object types. This chapter also covers
SWIG -- a system that automatically generates the glue code needed
to export C and C++ libraries to Python scripts and hides much of the
complexity underlying extensions.
Chapter 20. This chapter presents tools that allow
C programs to execute Python scripts. These tools live in the Python
runtime API -- a collection of functions exposed by the Python
interpreter and linked in to your C/C++ program. This chapter
concludes with a look at other integration topics and systems --
JPython, COM, CORBA, and so on.
This part of the book assumes that you know how to read C programs,
and is useful mostly to developers responsible for implementing
application integration layers that route control to and from Python
scripts. Yet because C components are at the heart of many Python
systems, a basic understanding of integration concepts can be useful
even to scripters who code strictly in Python.