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dart_eval is an extensible bytecode compiler and interpreter for the Dart language, written in Dart, enabling dynamic codepush for Flutter and Dart AOT.

dart_eval pub package
flutter_eval pub package
eval_annotation pub package

The primary aspect of dart_eval's goal is to be interoperable with real Dart code. Classes created in 'real Dart' can be used inside the interpreter with a wrapper, and classes created in the interpreter can be used outside it by creating an interface and bridge class.

dart_eval's compiler is powered under the hood by the Dart analyzer, so it achieves 100% correct and up-to-date parsing (although compilation and evaluation aren't quite there yet.)

Currently dart_eval implements a decent amount of the Dart spec, but there are still missing features like generators, Sets and extension methods. In addition, much of the standard library hasn't been implemented.


A basic usage example of the eval method, which is a simple shorthand to execute Dart code at runtime:

import 'package:dart_eval/dart_eval.dart';

void main() {
  print(eval('2 + 2')); // -> 4
  final program = '''
      class Cat {
        final String name;
        String speak() {
          return name;
      String main() {
        final cat = Cat('Fluffy');
        return cat.speak();
  print(eval(program, function: 'main')); // -> 'Fluffy'

Compiling to a file

For most use-cases, it's recommended to pre-compile your Dart code to EVC bytecode, to avoid runtime compilation overhead. (This is still runtime code execution, it's just executing a more efficient code format.)

This also allows you to compile multiple files into a single bytecode block.

import 'dart:io';
import 'package:dart_eval/dart_eval.dart';

void main() {
  final compiler = Compiler();
  final program = compiler.compile({'my_package': {
    'main.dart': '''
      int main() {
        var count = 0;
        for (var i = 0; i < 1000; i++) {
          count = count + i;
        return count;
  final bytecode = program.write();
  final file = File('program.evc');

You can then load and execute the program later:

import 'dart:io';
import 'package:dart_eval/dart_eval.dart';

void main() {
  final file = File('program.evc');
  final bytecode = file
  final runtime = Runtime(bytecode);
  print(runtime.executeLib('package:my_package/main.dart', 'main')); // -> 499500

Using the CLI

The dart_eval CLI allows you to compile existing Dart projects to EVC bytecode, as well as run and inspect EVC bytecode files.

To enable the CLI globally, run:

dart pub global activate dart_eval

Compiling a project

The CLI supports compiling standard Dart projects, although installed packages in pubspec.yaml are not currently supported. To compile a project, run:

cd my_project
dart_eval compile -o program.evc

This will generate an EVC file in the current directory called program.evc.

The compiler also supports compiling with JSON-encoded bridge bindings. To add these, create a folder in your project root called .dart_eval, add a bindings subfolder, and place JSON binding files there. The compiler will automatically load these bindings and make them available to your project.

Running a program

To run the generated EVC file, use:

dart_eval run program.evc -p package:my_package/main.dart -f main

Note that the run command does not support bindings, so any file compiled with bindings will need to be run in a specialized runner that includes the necessary runtime bindings.

Inspecting an EVC file

You can dump the op codes of an EVC file using:

dart_eval dump program.evc

Return values

In most cases, dart_eval will return a subclass of $Value such as $int or $String. These 'boxed types' have information about what they are and how to modify them, and like all $Values you can access their underlying value with the $value property.

However, when working with primitive value types (int, string etc.) you may find that dart_eval returns the underlying primitive directly. This is due to an internal performance optimization. If you don't like the inconsistency, you can change the return type on the function signature to dynamic which will force dart_eval to always box the value before it's returned.

Security and permissions

dart_eval is designed to be secure. The dart_eval runtime functions like a virtual machine, effectively sandboxing the code it executes. By default, the runtime will not allow running programs to access the file system, network, or other system resources, but these permissions can be enabled on a granular basis using runtime.grant:

final runtime = Runtime(bytecode);

// Allow full access to the file system

// Allow access to a specific network domain

// Allow access to a specific network resource

Permissions can also be revoked using runtime.revoke.

When writing bindings that access sensitive resources, you can check whether a permission is enabled using runtime.checkPermission, or assert using runtime.assertPermission. Out of the box, dart_eval includes the FilesystemPermission and NetworkPermission classes ('filesystem' and 'network' domains, respectively) as well as read/write only variations of FilesystemPermission, but you can also create your own custom permissions by implementing the Permission interface.


Interop is a general term for methods in which we can access, use, and modify data from dart_eval in Dart. Enabling this access is a high priority for dart_eval.

There are three main levels of interop:

  • Value interop
  • Wrapper interop
  • Bridge interop

Value interop

Value interop is the most basic form, and happens automatically whenever the Eval environment is working with an object backed by a real Dart value. (Therefore, an int and a string are value interop enabled, but a class created inside Eval isn't.) To access the backing object of an $Value, use its $value property. If the value is a collection like a Map or a List, you can use its $reified property to resolve the values it contains.

To support value interop, a class need simply to implement $Value, or extend $Value<T>.

Wrapper interop

Using a wrapper enables the Eval environment to access the functions and fields on a class created outside Eval. It's much more powerful than value interop, and simpler than bridge interop, making it a great choice for certain use cases. To use wrapper interop, create a class that implements $Instance. Then, override $getProperty / $setProperty to define your fields and methods.

Hot wrappers and runtime overrides

dart_eval includes a runtime overrides system that allows you to dynamically replace the implementation of a constructor. To get started, first create a hot wrapper for the class you want to substitute, and replace instantiations of this class with the hot wrapper constructor throughout your program, using a unique ID for each.:

// Create a hot wrapper for the class you want to substitute
class $ListView extends $Instance {
  static const $type = ...;
  static const $declaration = ...;

  final ListView $value;

  $ListView(String id, ListView Function() value) : 
    $value = runtimeOverride(id) as ListView? ?? value();
  /// etc...

// Replace instantiations of the class with the hot wrapper constructor
Widget build(BuildContext context) {
  return $ListView('#login_page_list_view', () => ListView(children: [

Note that in some cases you may have to cast the return value of runtimeOverride as dart_eval is unable to specify generic parameters to the Dart type system:

$Iterable(String id, Iterable<E> Function() value) : 
  $value = (runtimeOverride(id) as Iterable?)?.cast() ?? value();

Next, mark a function in the eval code with the @RuntimeOverride annotation:

ListView loginPageListView() {
  return ListView(children: [
    Text('Updated Login Experience'),

Finally, follow the normal instructions to compile and run the program, but call loadGlobalOverrides on the Runtime after calling setup(). This will set the runtime as the single global runtime for the program, and load its overrides to be accessible by hot wrappers.

When the program is run, the runtime will automatically replace the instantiation of the hot wrapper with the return value of the function marked with the @RuntimeOverride annotation.

Overrides can also be versioned, allowing you to roll out updates to a function immediately using dart_eval and revert to a new native implementation after an official update is released. To version an override, simply add a semver version constraint to the @RuntimeOverride annotation:

@RuntimeOverride('#login_page_list_view', version: '<1.4.0')

When running the program, specify its current version by setting the value of the runtimeOverrideVersion global property:

runtimeOverrideVersion = '1.3.0';

Now, when the program is run, the runtime will automatically replace the instantiation only if the app version is less than 1.4.0.

Bridge interop

Bridge interop enables the most functionality: Not only can Eval access the fields of an object, but it can also be extended, allowing you to create subclasses within Eval and use them outside of Eval. For example, bridge interop is used by Flightstream to enable the creation of custom Flutter widgets.

However, it is also somewhat difficult to use, and it can't be used to wrap existing objects created in code you don't control. (For utmost flexibility at the expense of simplicity, you can use both bridge and wrapper interop.) Since Bridge interop requires a lot of boilerplate code, in the future I will be creating a solution for code-generation of that boilerplate.

Bridge interop also requires that the class definitions be available at both compile-time and runtime. (If you're just using the eval method, you don't have to worry about this.)

An example featuring bridge interop is available in the example directory.


To configure interop for compilation and runtime, it's recommended to create an EvalPlugin which enables reuse of Compiler instances. Basic example:

class MyAppPlugin implements EvalPlugin {
  String get identifier => 'package:myapp';

  void configureForCompile(Compiler compiler) {
          returns: BridgeTypeAnnotation(BridgeTypeRef.type(RuntimeTypes.objectType)), params: [])

  void configureForRuntime(Runtime runtime) {
    runtime.registerBridgeFunc('package:myapp/functions.dart', 'loadData', 
        (runtime, target, args) => $Object(loadData()));
    runtime.registerBridgeFunc('package:myapp/classes.dart', 'CoolWidget.', $CoolWidget.$new);

You can then use this plugin with Compiler.addPlugin and Runtime.addPlugin.


See Contributing.


How does it work?

dart_eval is a fully Dart-based implementation of a bytecode compiler and runtime. First, the Dart analyzer is used to parse the code into an AST (abstract syntax tree). Then, the compiler looks at each of the declarations in turn, and recursively compiles to a linear bytecode format.

For evaluation dart_eval uses Dart's optimized dynamic dispatch. This means each bytecode is actually a class implementing EvcOp and we call its run() method to execute it. Bytecodes can do things like push and pop values on the stack, add numbers, and jump to other places in the program, as well as more complex Dart-specific operations like create a class.

Does it support Flutter?

Yes! Check out flutter_eval.

How fast is it?

Preliminary testing shows that, for simple code, dart_eval running in AOT-compiled Dart is around 12x slower than standard AOT Dart and is approximately on par with a language like Ruby. For many use cases this actually doesn't matter too much, e.g. in the case of Flutter where the app spends 99% of its performance budget in the Flutter framework itself.

Language feature support table

The following table details the language features supported by dart_eval with native Dart code. Feature support may vary when bridging.

Feature Support level Tests
Imports [1](, [2](, [3](
Exports [1](, [2](
part / part of [1](
show and hide [1](
Conditional imports N/A
Deferred imports N/A
Functions [1](
Anonymous functions [1](, [2](, [3](, [4](, [5](
Arrow functions [1](, [2](
Sync generators N/A
Async generators N/A
Tear-offs Partial [1](, [2](
For loops [1](, [2](
While loops
Do-while loops
For-each loops [1](
Async for-each N/A
Switch statements N/A
Labels and break N/A
If statements [1](
Try-catch Partial [1](, [2](
Try-catch-finally N/A
Lists [1](
Iterable [1](, [2](
Maps Partial
Sets N/A
Collection for [1](, [2](
Collection if [1](, [2](
Spreads N/A
Classes [1](
Class static methods [1](, [2](
Getters and setters [1](
Factory constructors N/A
new keyword [1](
Class inheritance [1](
Abstract and implements Partial
this keyword [1](, [2](
super keyword
Super constructor params [1](
Mixins N/A
Futures Partial [1](, [2](
Async/await [1](, [2](, [3](
Streams Partial [1](
String interpolation [1](
Enums N/A
Generic function types Partial [1](
Typedefs N/A
Generic classes Partial
Type tests (is) [1](
Casting (as) N/A
assert N/A
Null safety Partial
Late initialization N/A
Ternary expressions [1](
Extension methods N/A
Const expressions Partial N/A
Isolates N/A

Features and bugs

Please file feature requests and bugs at the issue tracker.


A library providing a Dart bytecode compiler and interpreter.
Provides dart:async bridge classes and wrappers
Provides dart:convert bridge classes and wrappers
Provides dart:core bridge classes and wrappers
Provides dart:io bridge classes and wrappers
Provides dart:math bridge classes and wrappers