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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by Anonymous on Sun 27th Nov 2005 04:39 UTC
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I thought the idea of software development was to create products that actually work with a minimum of errors. For that task, there is few languages a good as Eiffel. It removes the "programmer as god" mentality from software development and provides a structure that deters bugs. In fact, the only bug-free software I've ever heard of was developed in Eiffel. The entire syntax of the language can be learned in two weeks... I don't know anyone who knows the entirety of the C++ syntax.

An argument has been made here that "rigid" development languages like Eiffel "shackle" the creative impulses of developers. That seems kind of dumb to me. It's tough to be creative when you are constantly returning to fix broken code. It to Be, Inc. ten years to build the BeOS into a workable system working with C++ when they could have done that in a third of the time with Eiffel and have had a far more modular and stable system. I'd rather have a simple, rigid language that takes care of the crap that I don't want to so I can focus on solving problems. I'm not trying to be an "artist" with a language, I just want to get stuff done.

That being said, if the open source community switched to Eiffel, it would practically eliminate most security vulnerabilites and bugs and have a tremendous advantage over closed-source projects, especially Microsoft. I recently read an article that talked about the new procedures Microsoft has implemented to improve its code quality and they sounded a lot like what is featured in Eiffel. Eiffel would be especially valuable in open source because QA would be built directly into the language, freely developers to explore new ground. Frankly, I don't know why Eiffel hasn't already been used for a major open source project. The language itself is simple, robust, and has an excellent reputation for producing fast, stable code. The only detractors I've ever encountered are "code artists" or people who haven't actually used it. If the Open Source community wants to get serious about competing with companies like Microsoft, it's going to have to stop following and start leading. That means finding any advantages it can to compete. It'd take a while for the community to get the ball rolling but, once everyone was up to speed, Eiffel would be a tremedous competitive advantage.

I expect the Open Source community to hang on to its sacred cows and ignore this advice because, as far as I'm concerned, it's just the flip-side of Microsoft. If anyone in the community has any real sense, they'll at least try Eiffel for a small project. They're doing it for free anyway so what difference does it make? But I won't hold my breath

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