6.28.7 How the C interface works

The documented C interface works by generating a C code out of the declarations.

In particular, for every Forth word declared with c-function, it generates a wrapper function in C that takes the Forth data from the Forth stacks, and calls the target C function with these data as arguments. The C compiler then performs an implicit conversion between the Forth type from the stack, and the C type for the parameter, which is given by the C function prototype. After the C function returns, the return value is likewise implicitly converted to a Forth type and written back on the stack.

The \c lines are literally included in the C code (but without the \c), and provide the necessary declarations so that the C compiler knows the C types and has enough information to perform the conversion.

These wrapper functions are eventually compiled and dynamically linked into Gforth, and then they can be called.

The libraries added with add-lib are used in the compile command line to specify dependent libraries with -llib, causing these libraries to be dynamically linked when the wrapper function is linked.