created_at2023-07-27 18:04:57.178575
updated_at2024-05-19 14:03:36.484001
descriptionThe "Simple Logic & Arithmetic Compiler" transforms a single expression into an abstract syntax tree.
Dennis Prediger (DennisPrediger)


README Version GitHub License

SLAC: The Simple Logic & Arithmetic Compiler

SLAC is a small and simple compiler which converts a single expression statement into an AST. You can use SLAC to implement a business rules engine isolated from you application code at runtime.

It is written in Rust, and as such compiles easily as an executable, wasm module, or standalone DLL.


Library usage

use slac::{compile, Expression, Operator, Value};

fn main() {
    let ast = compile("1 * 2 + 3");

    let expected = Expression::Binary {
        left: Box::new(Expression::Binary {
            left: Box::new(Expression::Literal {
                value: Value::Number(1.0),
            right: Box::new(Expression::Literal {
                value: Value::Number(2.0),
            operator: Operator::Multiply,
        right: Box::new(Expression::Literal {
            value: Value::Number(3.0),
        operator: Operator::Plus,

    assert_eq!(ast, Ok(expected));


SLAC features a built-in tree walk interpreter. Create an Environment which houses the variables and user defined functions. Then use the TreeWalkingInterpreter class to execute the AST against the environment. Optional use add_stdlib to add some common functions.

use slac::{compile, execute, stdlib::extend_environment, StaticEnvironment, Value};

fn main() {
    let ast = compile("max(some_var, 3) > 5").unwrap();
    let mut env = StaticEnvironment::default();
    extend_environment(&mut env);
    env.add_var("some_var", Value::Number(42.0));

    let result = execute(&env, &ast);

    assert_eq!(result, Some(Value::Boolean(true)));

Script syntax

The script syntax itself is similar to Delphi Pascal code.

// arithmetic operators
40 + 1 * 2 // = 42

// Integer Division and Modulo
50 div 20 mod 2 // = 2

// comparisons
50 + 50 = 100 // = True

// logical operators
True and not False // = True

// grouping
(40 + 1) * 2 // = 82

// arrays
[1, 2, 3] + ['Four'] // = [1, 2, 3, 'Four']

// application defined external functions
max(10, 20) // = 20

// application defined variables
pi * -10 // = -31,4


By using the serde feature flag, the Expression can be (de)serialized to various formats, most notably JSON. This can be useful to separate the compilation, validation and optimization in the backend from the execution in the frontend.

use slac::{compile, execute, Expression, optimize, StaticEnvironment, Value};

fn main() {
    let mut input = compile("50 * 3 > 149").unwrap();
    optimize(&mut input).unwrap();
    let json = serde_json::to_value(&input).unwrap();

    // = Store the JSON in a database and load it on the client

    let output = serde_json::from_value::<Expression>(json).unwrap();
    let env = StaticEnvironment::default();

    let result = execute(&env, &output).unwrap();

    assert_eq!(input, output);
    assert_eq!(result, Value::Boolean(true));


The minimum required Rust toolchain version is 1.70.0.

Use cargo add slac to install the library from as a dependency in your application.


Copyright 2023 Dennis Prediger

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Commit count: 190

cargo fmt