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PROPLIB(3) NetBSD Library Functions Manual PROPLIB(3)
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by Kimmo Suominen.
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proplib -- property container object library
Property Container Object Library (libprop, -lprop)
The proplib library provides an abstract interface for creating and
manipulating property lists. Property lists have object types for
boolean values, opaque data, numbers, and strings. Structure is provided
by the array and dictionary collection types.
Property lists can be passed across protection boundaries by translating
them to an external representation. This external representation is an
XML document whose format is described by the following DTD:
Property container objects are reference counted. When an object is cre-
ated, its reference count is set to 1. Any code that keeps a reference
to an object, including the collection types (arrays and dictionaries),
must ``retain'' the object (increment its reference count). When that
reference is dropped, the object must be ``released'' (reference count
decremented). When an object's reference count drops to 0, it is auto-
The rules for managing reference counts are very simple:
· If you create an object and do not explicitly maintain a reference to
it, you must release it.
· If you get a reference to an object from other code and wish to main-
tain a reference to it, you must retain the object. You are respon-
sible for releasing the object once you drop that reference.
· You must never release an object unless you create it or retain it.
Object collections may be iterated by creating a special iterator object.
Iterator objects are special; they may not be retained, and they are
released using an iterator-specific release function.
prop_array(3), prop_bool(3), prop_data(3), prop_dictionary(3),
prop_dictionary_util(3), prop_number(3), prop_object(3),
The proplib property container object library first appeared in
proplib does not have a `date' object type, and thus will not parse
`date' elements from an Apple XML property list.
The proplib `number' object type differs from the Apple XML property list
format in the following ways:
· The external representation is in base 16, not base 10. proplib is
able to parse base 8, base 10, and base 16 `integer' elements.
· Internally, integers are always stored as unsigned numbers
(uint64_t). Therefore, the external representation will never be
· Because floating point numbers are not supported, `real' elements
from an Apple XML property list will not be parsed.
In order to facilitate use of proplib in kernel, standalone, and user
space environments, the proplib parser is not a real XML parser. It is
hard-coded to parse only the property list external representation.
NetBSD 5.0 June 21, 2007 NetBSD 5.0