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EiffelWorld Electronic Newsletter -- Vol. 14, No. 1 -- July 2001 -- SPECIAL ISSUE: The Release of Eiffel 5

In this Issue of EiffelWorld:

  1. Announcing the Release of Eiffel 5 - Eiffel at its Best
  2. Learn How to Use Eiffel 5
  3. Eiffel Summit 2001

Announcing the Release of Eiffel 5

This special issue of EiffelWorld announces and presents ISE Eiffel 5, the newest development in ISE Eiffel and the most important advance since ISE Eiffel 3 was released in 1993.

ISE Eiffel 5 will be released for Windows on July 14, 2001, with the Unix and Linux versions to follow. On July 14, the new version will be made available at

The rest of this issue presents the salient points of ISE Eiffel 5. Make sure to monitor for further information. Also see the class announcement and the Eiffel Summit announcement at the end of this message.

Overall Structure

EiffelBench and EiffelCase are gone! A new tool, EiffelStudio, brings together all the functionalities of the environment, both textual and graphical. EiffelStudio achieves the Eiffel aim of completely seamless and reversible development, letting you choose at any time between graphical tools and textual tools.


Eiffel compilation is much faster, especially in final mode. The speedup factor from 4.5 is 3 to 5, coming on top of the already spectacular improvements of 4.5 to give a speedup of 10 or so over earlier versions.

C compilation is also significantly faster thanks to better C code generation.

The runtime's speed has also been improved.


You'll discover a greatly enhanced interface with many new possibilities: Cluster Tree giving easy access to all the clusters and classes of a system, Features Tree showing all the features of a class organized by their feature clauses, Favorites to bookmark the most frequently visited classes, and many more improvements to facilitate your daily interactions with EiffelStudio.

You will also see useful global mechanisms to rename a class and all references to it.

Documentation Generation

EiffelStudio's documentation generation is unique in the industry. You can generate complete documentation in many formats including HTML, enabling you to publish your project, at the level of detail you want -- full source code, interfaces only, graphical structure diagrams, the exact indexing clauses you want to retain, all with built-in search mechanisms -- on the Internet or your Intranet. This is a powerful collaborative development tool and is also particularly useful to developers of reusable libraries.

You can also export the system documentation to XMI, for import by UML tools such as Rational Rose.

Diagram Tool

The Diagram Tool, taking over the functions of EiffelCase, enables you both to display system structures graphically and to produce software from graphical representations. You can see the structure of a cluster, or of a class and its neighbors. You can create inheritance and client links; you can add features graphically with, in the case of a query (attribute or function) automatic generation of the associated `set' procedure with associated precondition, postcondition and invariant.

Every time you make a modification graphically, EiffelStudio immediately updates the text. Every time you make a modification to the class texts, you'll see the diagram updated at the next melt or freeze.

You can define as many views as you like -- inheritance only, client only etc. -- and have EiffelStudio save them automatically, making them available as part of the documentation generation.


EiffelStudio comes with a new editor, with such facilities as syntax highlighting and coloring, syntax completion, feature completion (type the beginning of a feature name and a menu of available completions comes up), feature call completion (after the dot of a call, see the list of available features from the given class), arbitrary-level undo, commenting out etc.


The debugging mechanism has been enhanced and developed. You can now debug any routine, without having done anything special to it. Execution, if interrupted, will put you in a debugging session right at the place of interruption. You can use "step into", "step out" as well as step-by-step and breakpoints. The Object Editor shows a convenient picture of objects, using tree views.


The new metric facilities enable you to perform many measurements on your system and compare them to standard values. You can use predefined metrics but also define your own. You can also compare your results to those precomputed for the ISE libraries and stored at, or to any metrics and measures that you have stored, through EiffelStudio, in an XML file locally or at a given URL.

Metrics provide an invaluable tool for managers and developers alike.


The construction of Eiffel applications has never been easier thanks to a whole set of new Wizards that build the basic structure of an application for you and let you fill in the details. Wizards are available for EiffelVision, WEL (Windows Eiffel Library), EiffelCOM, EiffelStore (for database applications) and others.

EiffelVision 2

A major component of ISE Eiffel 5 is the EiffelVision 2 library, an extensive portable graphical library taking advantage of the most recent advances in GUI dialogs and controls. EiffelStudio, the wizards and all of ISE's own graphical tools rely on EiffelVision 2. Beta users have unanimously told us how simple it is to build advanced graphical applications with EiffelVision 2.


EiffelStudio comes with updated online documentation, including a complete "Guided Tour", a detailed language tutorial, and hundreds of individual help files.

You can already see the introductory documentation at


Together with ISE Eiffel 5 we are releasing the first version of Eiffel.NET, our native implementation of Eiffel for the new Microsoft .NET platform with which ISE has been involved for more than two years. Eiffel.NET 5.0 is a beta, as is the rest of the .NET technology, but it will already enable you to see the power of the framework and all that Eiffel enables you to do with it. This may be the first commercial development environment to be made available for .NET outside of Microsoft, and certainly the first one to offer genericity and Design by Contract. A great way to discover the power of .NET.

ISE Eiffel 5 will be prominent at TOOLS USA 2001 (July 28-August 2)- part of the California Technology Forum:, especially during the Eiffel Summit on July 30 and in a number of tutorials and other presentations.

Learn How to Use Eiffel 5

To get familiar with the release, there is no better way than attending the class "Institute of Object Technology: Hands on Object Techniques" which will be taught in Santa Barbara on July 23-27, exclusively using ISE Eiffel 5. Come discover the power of the method, language and environment in our training center in Santa Barbara. (Only a few seats left, please act quickly)

For more information, visit

Eiffel Summit 2001 -- Coming Soon!

Its hard to believe, but the Eiffel Summit is almost here! Hurry to submit your most interesting projects for the Eiffel Summit 2001. It will be held on Tuesday July 31, 2001 in conjunction with TOOLS USA in Santa Barbara, CA.

More information is available at

This year TOOLS is part of a larger conference; the California Technology Forum (CTF). This innovative forum will feature "6 conferences under one roof". The forum will draw top-level attendees including: technology's top officers and executives and other key decision-makers in major industries; manufacturing; telecommunications professionals; legal experts in technology issues; analysts and consultants; engineers and scientists; and the media.

The California Technology forum is on-line at

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© Copyright 2001 by Interactive Software Engineering, Inc. Permission is given to redistribute this message freely, provided the message is reproduced in its entirety, unmodified, including this copyright notice. All other rights reserved, worldwide. -- Bill Navickas, ISE Inc.