Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 26th Nov 2005 17:02 UTC, submitted by Megatux
Gnome "I followed the debate about a successor for the C/C++ combination as the primary language for developing the GNOME core desktop platform very closely last month. There has been discussion about a number of options. What I would like to do on this page is give an overview how a probably less well-known language might be a viable compromise as a C/C++ successor. This language is called Eiffel and exists for over a decade. Eiffel takes the principle of Object-Oriented programming to its extremes and, as a consequence, is a very easy to learn language."
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"Think of Eiffel as a Java (OOP, Garbage collection, documentation) but *C* fast. Gcc fast. "
You'd be surprised how fast Java is when comparing the same code against c, practically the same... IE, if you need to import in your java code, it's wrong.

"Code in Eiffel is written with Design by Contract. This is a vaccine against bugs. "
From my brief readings onf wikipedia. It looks to me like DBC is a runtime check that validates the IO of your function calls? I guarantee that'd cause slow downs...

"The problem with C/C++ ???!! What ??!! Don't you know ??! Are you aware of the hundreds of exploits because of unsafety ???!!"
Bugs are the fault of developers, don't blaim the language. C lacks a toolset to help you avoid them, but it's still your fault for writing them. All that code is being run as *essentially* c code at some point anyway...

"Microsoft is moving away from C++"
That's because c++ is probably the most obnoxious language in history. It's not a superset of C, but when you're staring at its compiler errors you'd swear it was. And, when you read other peoples code you end up finding the same stupid mistakes you were making in your c code (pointer issues). And adding in GC has been fairly problematic.

"My guess: the free software community will reject Eiffel on the basis of ignorance."
Probably. It is entirely practical for the choosing of the language to be a democratic thing; and there's just not many Eiffel developers. That may or may not be Eiffel's fault, but there's no reason to tell everyone to learn a new language.. This is probably one of the worst things going against Python; it's so unpopular in Academia (amongst classes I've heard of) and professionals.. If you think about it, chunks of Gnome are already written in Python.. (Gnome panel applets). It may still be better to go with c# or Java, because so many professionals use it (which means many amateurs will be using it or are using it at work). I wouldn't say that if the languages weren't good enough; but I think they certainly are.

"Eiffel grants you no excuse for not using a language with garbage collector."
So... Is someone advocating using c++ instead of c for gnome?

I see no reason to choose Eiffel over any of the more popular languages which have been developed. I'm actually getting a bit sick of learning new languages... I don't have time to actually use them anymore!

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