The Basics

Pollen is translated to C and it will often look like C, only simpler.

Here are some typical declarations.

uint8 i = 0
bool flag = true
int32 x, y, z
string hello = "Hello world!"     // the quoted literal is terminated with '\0'

Pollen supports the attributes const and volatile for declarations. They have the same meaning as they do in C.

Pollen data members can be references. Pollen does not support pointers. There are three kids of references in Pollen.

  • Class references. More on these here.
  • Function references. More on these here.
  • Protocol member. More on these here.

Pollen has several available formats for comments. Here are the single line formats:

 --- A comment.
 # Another comment.
 //  YAC. (Yet Another Comment.)

There is one format for multi-line comments:

   The first '!' must be followed by 2 or more dashes...
   ...and the last '!' must be preceded by 2 or more dashes.

An expression becomes a statement when it is terminated by a statement terminator. The statement terminator is a newline. For statements on one line a semicolon can be used as terminator. Here for example two class members are initialized to parameter values:

@data = data; @priority = priority

This is equivalent to:

@data = data
@priority = priority

(The @ indicates that this variable is defined in the body of a class or module.)

Pollen does not require explicit visible statement terminators. Using newline as a statement terminator makes programs visually simpler and more readable. But it is important to remember that newline is meaningful syntax and not ignored. (Multiple newlines, possibly with embedded comments, are equivalent to a single statement terminator.) Here is an example of non-conventional newline location that will cause a syntax error.

 uint8 buff[] = { 0,1,2

Pollen is flexible and understands standard formats.

 uint8 buff[] = { 
 uint8 buff[] = { 0,1,2,
                  3,4,5 }
 uint8 buff[] = { 0,1,2,3,4,5 }

Or, for functions:

 foo() {  }
 bar() { 

Pollen supports the signed integer types int8, int16, and int32 which map to an 8 bit signed int, 16 bit signed int, and 32 bit signed int.

Pollen supports the unsigned integer types uint8, uint16, and uint32 which map to an 8 bit unsigned int, 16 bit unsigned int, and 32 bit unsigned int.

Pollen supports the data type real. This is mapped to the C data type float.

 real f = 123e4

Integer literals can be written as:

  • A decimal number, with no prefix
  • An octal number, with a 0o prefix
  • A hexadecimal number, with a 0x prefix

All of these integer literals have a decimal value of 17:

 decimalInteger = 17
 octalInteger = 0o21           // 17 in octal notation
 hexadecimalInteger = 0x11     // 17 in hexadecimal notation

Floating point literals use standard floating point notation.

 real f1 = 1.3
 real f2 = 0.0
 real f3 = 123e4
 real f4 = -7.5

Pollen supports the same default (non-explicit) type conversions that C supports.

Pollen does not support type casting. The pegging operator can be used with arrays to get the functional equivalent of casting. (More on pegging arrays here).

Pollen supports the boolean type bool. It can be assigned to the constants true or false.

 bool flag = true

Pollen assertion are turned on by the cloud compiler option -a. They are off by default.

Assertions consist of an expression followed by a string. If the expression is true the string is printed out:

 pollen.assert(f1 == 3, "found f1 == 3")

Note that the string will not be printed if no print implemenation has been bound. (More on binding a print implementation here).

If assertions are not turned on, the assert will be a no op.