The Blech abides

Blech is no longer under active development at Bosch Research, but it found a new home.

Although the Blech community is small we want to send a message to all Blech users that explains why the Blech repositories saw almost no activities in the last 5 month. The cause for concern: Blech is no longer under active development at Bosch Research. The silver lining: Blech remains an open-source project now evolving in the GitHub blech-lang organisation.

Initially, our work led us to study the academic ideas of synchronous programming, most prominently represented by Esterel and Lustre. The invention of sequential constructiveness - first made usable in SCCharts - opened the door for an imperative synchronous language that can easily be adopted by experienced embedded developers without the need to deny their C origin.

After a careful search for existing alternatives, we started the endeavour to create a new language called Blech. The goal was – and still is – to make the work of embedded developers more productive and fun. For this, we envisioned a language that looks and feels like a modern imperative programming language and at the same time achieves a level of abstraction and compile-time guarantees that only a synchronous language can provide.

The latest release 0.7.0 was the first substantial evolution. It added a state-of-the-art module system to the language. The release brought many big and small improvements and thus demonstrated the viability of the compiler.

Sadly, the development of Blech and its accompanying tools at Bosch Research is on hold. This means, we can no longer develop Blech during our working hours. Blech reached the state of a minimal viable product, but there are many things missing and there is still a long way to go before it can prove itself in industrial product development.

On the bright side, we like to thank Bosch Research for giving us the chance to develop Blech into its current state and making it open-source early on. Over the time, we received quite some encouraging feedback from Blech users which reassured us that Blech is helpful for many embedded programming problems.

Therefore, we think it is to time to open a new chapter for Blech. Being open-source it has found a new home in the GitHub blech-lang organisation. There it can freely evolve driven only by the interest of an open community.

So spread the word, become a Blech developer or challenge Blech in your embedded projects, and remember to fork and download it from its new home .

The Blech abides.