Pikchr is (currently) implemented in C.
- It uses no external libraries other than the standard C library and the standard math library (for sin(), cos(), and some others).
- It is completely contained in a single source code file:
pikchr.c. There is also a header file
pikchr.havailable if you want it, but it is not required.
- It uses a single C-language interface routine:
Any existing Markdown or other wiki rendering engine that can invoke a C-language library should be able to integrate Pikchr quickly and easily. The code has been audited and fuzzed and is believed to be impervious to hostile inputs.
There is a single interface function:
char *pikchr( const char *zText, /* Input PIKCHR source text. zero-terminated */ const char *zClass, /* Add class="%s" to <svg> markup */ unsigned int mFlags, /* Flags used to influence rendering behavior */ int *pnWidth, /* Write width of <svg> here, if not NULL */ int *pnHeight /* Write height here, if not NULL */ );
To convert Pikchr into SVG text ready to be inserted into the HTML output stream, simply invoke the pikchr() function, passing the source text as the first argument. The SVG output text is returned, and the desired width and height of that text is written into the *pnWidth and *pnHeight variables.
If the input Pikchr text contains errors, a negative number is
written into *pnWidth and the returned text is an error message ready
to be dropped into "
<pre>...</pre>". Any "
<" or "
&" characters in the error message text have already been escaped,
so the error message can be inserted directly into an HTML output stream
without further processing.
The returned string is held in memory obtained from
malloc(). The caller
is responsible for freeing this memory to prevent a memory leak. It is
possible (though unlikely) for pikchr() to return a NULL pointer, for
example if it hits a
If the zClass parameter is not NULL, then it is an extra class name
(or names) that is inserted into the "
<svg>" element of the returned
Flags passed to pikchr()
pikchr.h header file currently defines two flags
that can be passed into the pikchr() function as the 3rd argument, "mFlags".
(Additional flags might get added in future releases.)
PIKCHR_PLAINTEXT_ERRORS→ Normally, the text returned by pikchr() in the event of an error is formatted as HTML. Setting this flag causes the error message to be plain text.
PIKCHR_DARK_MODE→ When this flag is used, Pikchr inverts the colors in the diagram to make them suitable for "dark mode" pages. The main Pikchr website can be switched between dark-mode and light-mode so that you can see the effects of this flag on Pikchr diagrams.
Example use of pikchr()
pikchr.c" source file itself contains an example use of the
pikchr() function. If "
pikchr.c" is compiled with the
compile-time option, it will include a
main() that reads all the
files named as arguments, runs each through pikchr() and outputs
the result embedded in HTML. So if you want an example, look at the
"main()" function at the bottom of the "
pikchr.c" source file.
Pikchr seems to use about 650 CPU cycles per byte of input. So even a slow core can handle on the order of 3 or 4 megabytes of Pikchr input per second. As most Pikchr scripts are less than 1000 bytes, the processing overhead of running Pikchr is likely to be too small to measure. Pikchr could perhaps be optimized to increase its performance, but it is so fast already (especially compared to the rest of the Markdown formatting stream) that we don't see any point in that. Contact the developers if you uncover evidence that contradicts anything in this paragraph.
You can build a libFuzzer-based fuzz tester for Pikchr by compiling like this (or similarly):
clang -g -O3 -fsanitize=fuzzer,undefined,address -o fuzz -DPIKCHR_FUZZ pikchr.c
Gather a bunch of Pikchr scripts to be used as seeds (perhaps from the tests/ or examples/ subdirectories of the source tree) and put them in a subdirectory, which we will call "fz". Then run:
We have run this for hundreds of millions of tests already. You are welcomed to run more.