vm:entry-point pragma

The annotation @pragma("vm:entry-point", ...) must be placed on a class or member to indicate that it may be resolved, allocated or invoked directly from native or VM code in AOT mode.


Dart VM precompiler (AOT compiler) performs whole-program optimizations such as tree shaking and type flow analysis (TFA) in order to decrease size of the resulting compiled apps and improve their performance. Such optimizations assume that compiler can see the whole Dart program, and is able to discover and analyse all Dart functions and members which can be potentially executed at run time. While the Dart code is fully available for precompiler, native code of the embedder and native methods are out of reach of the compiler. Such native code can call back to Dart via native Dart API.

In order to guide precompiler, programmer must explicitly list entry points (roots) - Dart classes and members which are accessed from native code. Note that listing entry points is not optional: as long as program defines native methods which call into Dart, the entry points are required for the correctness of compilation.

In addition, when obfuscation is enabled, the precompiler needs to know which symbols need to be preserved to ensure they can be resolved from native code.


The allowed uses of the annotation are as follows.


Any one of the following forms may be attached to a class:

@pragma("vm:entry-point", true/false)
@pragma("vm:entry-point", !const bool.formEnvironment("dart.vm.product"))
class C { ... }

If the second parameter is missing, null or true, the class will be available for allocation directly from native or VM code.

Note that @pragma("vm:entry-point") may be added to abstract classes -- in this case, their name will survive obfuscation, but they won't have any allocation stubs.


Any one of the following forms may be attached to a procedure (including getters, setters and constructors):

@pragma("vm:entry-point", true/false)
@pragma("vm:entry-point", !const bool.formEnvironment("dart.vm.product"))
@pragma("vm:entry-point", "get")
@pragma("vm:entry-point", "call")
void foo() { ... }

If the second parameter is missing, null or true, the procedure (and its closurized form, excluding constructors and setters) will available for lookup and invocation directly from native or VM code.

If the procedure is a generative constructor, the enclosing class must also be annotated for allocation from native or VM code.

If the annotation is “get” or “call”, the procedure will only be available for closurization (access via Dart_GetField) or invocation (access via Dart_Invoke).

"@pragma(“vm:entry-point”, “get”) against constructors or setters is disallowed since they cannot be closurized.


Any one of the following forms may be attached to a non-static field. The first three forms may be attached to static fields.

@pragma("vm:entry-point", null)
@pragma("vm:entry-point", true/false)
@pragma("vm:entry-point", !const bool.formEnvironment("dart.vm.product"))
@pragma("vm:entry-point", "get"/"set")
int foo;

If the second parameter is missing, null or `true, the field is marked for native access and for non-static fields the corresponding getter and setter in the interface of the enclosing class are marked for native invocation. If the ‘get’/‘set’ parameter is used, only the getter/setter is marked. For static fields, the implicit getter is always marked. The third form does not make sense for static fields because they do not belong to an interface.

Note that no form of entry-point annotation allows invoking a field.