Calling into native code like C++ from C# is a powerful interoperability tool in Unity. As we move more and more code out of Mono and IL2CPP and into Burst, will we still have this tool available? Today we’ll find out!
Posts Tagged P/Invoke
Today we’ll go through everything that happens when you make a P/Invoke call. We’ll see how native libraries are loaded and how marshaling works. We’ll touch on calling conventions and character sets. In the end, we’ll have a better understanding of what goes on when we call into native code.
There are many posts that’ll tell you the “hello world” of calling native code like C++ from a C# Unity project. These tend to be simple examples though, so it’s hard to go from that to wrapping a real life useful native library. Today we’ll wrap SQLite, a popular C library that implements a database, and talk about the challenges in doing so and how to end up with a pleasant C# API for the rest of the game to use. Read on to learn how!
Programming in high-level languages like C# often presents the illusion that the CPU is only capable of a few primitive operations like “add,” “multiply,” “push,” “pop,” and “move.” After all, those are the primitive operations that we write all of our C# code with. The reality is quite different. Modern CPUs have hundreds of instructions for tons of special-purpose operations. Entire algorithms in C# are built right into the CPU and can be executed with one instruction. Today we’ll look at some of these exotic instructions as a reminder of what CPUs can really do and see how we can tap into this potential.
Since their introduction in part 7, support for C++
MonoBehaviour messages has always been a special case. The reason for this was that we didn’t have good enough support for what I’m calling “factory functions.” These are functions like
GameObject.AddComponent<T> that instantiate a generic type. This week we’ll go over why that support was lacking, what was done to fix it, and how the new system works.
Part 19 of this series started to allow our C++ game code to derive from C# classes and implement C# interfaces. The first step was to override methods as they’re the most common. Today we’ll tackle the second-most common: properties. We’ll also handle indexers, which are like properties with more parameters. Read on to see how to use this and how it works behind the scenes.
The last time we looked at performance was way back in part four of the series. Ever since then we’ve been relentlessly adding more and more features to the C++ scripting system. So today we’ll take a break from feature additions to improve the system’s performance in a couple of key areas.
This week’s article adds another major feature to the C++ scripting system: delegates. These are vital so C++ game code can use features like Unity’s UI system (a.k.a. UGUI). Without them, we wouldn’t be able to handle button clicks or other UI events. So read on to learn how these were implemented in the GitHub project.
The series continues by adding support for a major feature: arrays. These are used very frequently throughout the Unity and .NET APIs and the lack of support for them has been a big missing piece of the puzzle for most games. The GitHub project has been updated to support single- and multi-dimensional arrays. Read on to learn how this support was implemented!