The Blech compiler - blechc
blechccompiles Blech programs to C programs. Learn how to build and install the Blech compiler from source.
Build blechc from source
Clone the blech compiler project using
git clone https://github.com/boschresearch/blech
To build the project, you need .NET Core installed. Go to the Microsoft .NET website and follow their instructions to install the latest stable .NET Core available for your operating system.
Navigate to the folder where you checked out the Blech project. It should contain the file
Blech.sln. Now you have choices:
For a simple debug build run
./src/blechc/bin/Debug/netcoreapp3.1/blechc.dll. Use the dotnet command to start the compiler like so
For a release build additionally use the
Finally, for a self-contained release build, which is operating system dependent, you need to run
dotnet publishwith a specific runtime identifier like so
dotnet publish -c Release -r win-x64
For Linux use
linux-x64, for MacOS use
This creates a folder
./src/blechc/bin/Release/netcoreapp3.1/win-x64/publishwhich contains all files needed for execution. The folder as a whole can be moved arbitrarily. Inside the folder invoke the binary
to run the Blech compiler.
Assuming you have a binary of the Blech Compiler
blechc for your operating system, or you have built the Blech project yourself from sources, this sections tells you how to use it.
blechc binary is in your
$PATH, you can invoke the compiler by simply writing
on the command line interface.
If you do not have a standalone (publish) build and want to use your local Debug (or Release) build, use the
dotnet command to start the compiler from your blech working directory.
From here on out we assume
blechc to be a synonym for either call above
The following shows some typical invocations of
Compile a Blech program:
someBlechFile.blc to C code silently. You will only see output on the command line if there are problems with the translation.
This will generate a file
blech.c in the same folder which contains a runnable program. It runs in a main loop and calls the entry point activity of
someBlechFile.blc 60 times. Furthermore in the subfolder
./blech two files are generated
someBlechFile.h. They contain the C code and interface declarations respectively.
Compile with diagnostic messages:
blechc -v d someBlechFile.blc
Does the same as above but prints out textual representations of intermediate compilation results including: typed syntax tree, control flow graphs and block graphs for activities, C code.
Just check the programs correctness:
blechc --dry-run someBlechFile.blc
Runs through all compilation phases but do not write any C files. This is useful to check for problems without actually touching anything on the file system.
Try all the options
Compile generated C files
By default the compiler produces a main program in
blech.c which can be used as a first test. To compile this code you need to include Blech specific C header files. These are located in
On Windows C compilation may look like this.
mingw32-cc.exe -I. -I<path-to>/blech/src/blechc/include blech.c
Note that the current folder
. is explicitly added as a path to be included.
The resulting executable will run the program for 60 reactions and print the variable evaluations after every reaction in JSON format.
To include the generated C code in your own project inspect
blech.c for details. In particular, make sure you call the
init function on initial startup and then
tick with every reaction.
For programmers familiar with Arduino these correspond to the