ChaiScript Tutorial (5.5) – Global Variables in ChaiScript

Besides calling ChaiScript functions from C++. You can also access global variables from C++.

Global Variables in ChaiScript

Unlike most languages, where weather a variable is global or not is defined by if the variable exists in the root scope. Such as the following in C++:

int globalVariable = 0;
	int localVariable = 1;

ChaiScript uses the global keyword to specify if a variable is global or not. Any variable declared with global is considered as a global variable. Even if it exists in a if statement.  Ex:

global globalVar = 0
var localVar = 1 //technically a local variable
	global anotherGlobalVar = 2 //You can still access this after the scope
	var aLocalVar = 3 //Your normal local variable
puts(anotherGlobalVar) // this is valid


Accessing Global Variables in C++

To set the value of a global variable from C++. The add_global method can be used. Pass in the variable you want to be added wrapped by chaiscript::var to ChaisCript and it’s name. Then add_global will check if the variable exists. If not, then add the value to ChaiScript. Else throw an error. There also exists an const varience. Where the vlaue added is a constant in ChaiScript(But not required to be const in C++). For Example:

chai.add_global_const(chaiscript::const_var(3.14), "PI");

To modify a global. Use the set_global method. It will set the value nomatter if the value exises in ChaiScript or not. (It’s add_global without checking.)

Note that variables added by this method is copied by value.  To share a value between ChaiScript and C++. The variable has to be passed through std::ref (or needs to be a refence to the object)or pass a pointer of it. Ex:

float meaning = 42.f;

Then, in ChaiScript. Both meaning and life represents the same variable in C++.

meaning = 43 //meaning == 43 in C++
life = 4.2 //meaning == 4.2 in C++

Reading Global Variables

Reading global varable back from ChaiScript to C++ is done in the same way we get functions from ChaiScript in out last tutorial.

float val = chai.eval<float>("meaningOfLife");

You should’n do this though. In most cases, it is easier to setup the variable in C++ then share it with ChaiScript instead of creating it in ChaiScript then read it back.

This concludes this short tutorial. We well be exploring OOP in ChaiScript in the next tutorial.



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