New free Eiffel compiler

Bertrand Meyer <>
21 Jan 1996 21:04:23 -0500

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New free Eiffel compiler (Bertrand Meyer) (1996-01-21)
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From: Bertrand Meyer <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 21 Jan 1996 21:04:23 -0500
Organization: Interactive Software Engineering Inc.
Keywords: Eiffel, available

In July of 1995, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Eiffel, ISE
introduced a free compiler, FREE EIFFEL FOR WINDOWS.

A new version is now available, at the same release level as ISE's
commercial offerings (version 3.3.9).

This new version is a significant improvement over the previous one
and corrects the bugs that were reported on comp.lang.eiffel; in
particular, run-time assertion violations are now correctly handled.

In addition, whereas the preceding version was for Windows 3.1 only
(Windows 95 had not yet been released at the time), the new one has
two variants: one for Windows 3.1, and another (32-bit) that will run
on both Windows 95 and Windows NT.

FREE EIFFEL FOR WINDOWS is a complete implementation of the Eiffel
language, with no limit on the size of the systems that you can
compile. It comes complete with more than 160 library classes in
precompiled form (EiffelBase for data structures and algorithms,
EiffelLex for lexical analysis, EiffelParse for parsing).

A number of important tools are included, for system browsing
(descendants, ancestors, descendant versions, clients, suppliers
etc.), documentation (short, flat-short...), generation of various
text processing formats (MML for FrameMaker, HTML, Microsoft's Rich
Text Format (RTF), troff, TEX, or in fact any format that users care
to define) etc. Basic on-line documentation is included, in particular
an introduction to Eiffel and a presentation of the environment.

The main difference with the commercial versions is that the
environment is textual, not graphical. In addition, the compiler,
based like all of ISE's compilers on our proprietary Melting Ice
Technology, only generates "melted" code (rather than C code), so that
run-time execution speed is 5 to 10 times slower than with the fully
optimized object code generated by the professional versions.

FREE EIFFEL FOR WINDOWS is not really appropriate for commercial
development, but provides an excellent and cost-free way to get
familiar with the concepts and basic tools of the Eiffel method and

The next level up is our Personal Eiffel for Windows, similar to the
free version but with the full graphical environment (EiffelBench) and
the graphical library (EiffelVision), still at $69.95 (US price - for
details see the price lists at After that come
the professional versions for Windows (3.1/NT/95), the low-cost and
full-function Linux version, the Unix versions (all platforms), the
VMS version.

Although free, FREE EIFFEL FOR WINDOWS is a full-fledged ISE product,
not an obsolete earlier product. As noted above it is at the same
compiler level as the commercial versions. Technical support and
manuals in book form are available for a fee.


Normally we recommend that people download FREE EIFFEL FOR WINDOWS
from the Eiffel archive at "SimTel, the Coast to Coast Software
Repository (tm)" (which we thank, by the way, for their
hospitality). We have uploaded the new version to SimTel but they
haven't had the time to install it yet. So please go to our home page

and follow the instructions there. You will be instructed to download
the version from ISE's own FTP site. In the future we will probably
change the instructions so that users are encouraged to use SimTel or
one of its many mirror sites.

(I could have waited a few days for SimTel's acknowledgment, and sent
people directly there. We are eager, however, to make sure that people
start using the new version right away, rather than continue to
download the now obsolete version at SimTel, hence this early
announcement. We expect that ISE's new Internet connection will handle
the load; if you encounter any trouble please accept our apologies and
try again later; send comments about the connection to

   [If you have access to FTP but not the Web go to
We prefer, however, that you go through the Web address if
you can, since it contains more detailed instructions.]

We look forward to welcoming all new users of FREE EIFFEL FOR WINDOWS
into the Eiffel community.

Bertrand Meyer, ISE Inc., Santa Barbara (California)
805-685-1006, fax 805-685-6869, <> -
Web home page:

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