The Methods & Tools Special Interest Group met from 4 pm till 5 pm Central European Time.



AmsterCHEM (represented by Jasper van BATEN), Bryan Research & Engineering (represented by Michael HLAVINKA), Michel PONS (contractor to CO-LaN as Chief Technology Officer). Apologies received from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (represented by Bill BARRETT)


Methods & Tools SIG looked into how the libffi library, used to create on-the-fly proxies of non CAPE-OPEN interfaces for marshalling of calls between a PME and PMCs, is integrated within the COBIA project.

Since COBIA runtime needs to be easily distributed on Windows platforms, that building libffi library for Windows platforms is a rather cumbersome process, and also that modifications to the libffi library add support for new platforms rather than fix bugs, the libffi DLLs are created outside of the build process of COBIA distribution packages and stored within the COBIA source repository only as binary files. Since the libffi DLLs for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows platforms were built using GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) rather than Visual Studio C/C++ compiler (MSVC), version information will be added post-build to enable Windows Installer to operate correctly on COBIA installation packages.

On Linux, it was checked that distribution packages are readily available for libffi.

A test environment is under development to check that on-the-fly generation of proxies for non CAPE-OPEN interfaces functions as expected.

When compiling libffi source code into DLLs, it was linked against the Universal C Runtime Library (UCRT) and Methods & Tools SIG discussed whether the entire COBIA code should be compiled againt UCRT instead of against MSVCRT library as it is now.

Because UCRT is C-runtime only (not C++), and because its use depends highly on using MSVC as a compiler, Methods & Tools SIG decided that COBIA project for now continues to link the MSVC-specific runtime in a static manner, instead of attempting to dynamically link to the UCRT library. This also avoids potential issues introduced by sharing the runtime, such as other applications imposing changes in the localization or floating-point handling.

Next meeting of Methods & Tools SIG is scheduled for November 22, 2022.


Picture of Bill BARRETT (US EPA representative) in December 2018Contact Bill BARRETT (representative of US Environmental Protection Agency, leader of the Methods & Tools Special Interest Group) should you wish to join the Methods & Tools Special Interest Group. Its charter is: “Improve integration, and expand utilization of Computer-Aided Process Engineering (CAPE) applications within the enterprise through identification and resolution of existing cross-cutting issues with the CAPE-OPEN platform, develop mechanisms for use of CAPE within other application domains, and incorporate advances in information technology into the CAPE-OPEN platform.”