This site contains older material on Eiffel. For the main Eiffel page, see

On-line manuals and tech papers

These pages offer a rich set of manuals and technology papers on many aspects of object technology, advanced development tools, issues in software engineering, and Eiffel.

The list appears in four parts: on-line manuals, technology papers, Bertrand Meyer columns and articles, downloadable documents. The distinction between manuals and technology papers is not strict; the general idea is that manuals provide directly applicable instruction, whereas technology papers provide background information and explain principles.

On-line manuals

Eiffel Power (TM) from Eiffel Software

A goldmine of practical information on how to use the best tools for enterprise application development.

The three essential documents on the language and environment, part of the EiffelStudio online documentation:

Invitation to Eiffel

    A short introduction to the language and method. Also available in PDF.

An Eiffel tutorial

    A more complete presentation of the language and method. Also available in PDF.

EiffelStudio: A Guided Tour

    A detailed step-by-step presentation of the wonderful tools of EiffelStudio for O-O analysis, design, programming, browsing, documentation, debugging, metrics and more. Also available in PDF.

The description of the Cecil library

    A versatile mechanism enabling external software -- C, C++ -- to make full use of all Eiffel facilities.

'ffel Softwares own style rules

    Discover these simple guidelines, devised and refined over the years by the technology creators and applied to their own products; follow these guidelines to obtain readable, consistent and maintainable products.

The draft manual for the new EiffelVision library.

    Discover a greatly improved multi-platform library, taking advantage of the advances in graphical toolkits on both Windows and X.

The EiffelNet Library Manual

    A presentation of the EiffelNet Library for client-server development and multi-tier architectures (also available for downloading by FTP, see below).

The manual for the EiffelWeb library

    Processing Web forms in Eiffel, simply and effectively.

The tutorial for the Windows Eiffel Library

    Graphical Windows programming made safe and easy!

Also available for developers of Windows GUI applications: the tutorial on the Eiffel Resource Bench

    Use popular interface builders (resource editors) for your Eiffel application.

The C++ interface manual, also covering the Legacy++ class encapsulator for C++.

    Shows how to use Eiffel as an encapsulation mechanism to incorporate software written in C++.

The EiffelThreads library description

    All there is to know about this powerful mechanism for developing multithreaded applications the object-oriented way. (See also the EiffelThreads demo below.)

The manual for the DLE system (Dynamic Linking in Eiffel)

    DLE provides Eiffel users with the power of run-time class extension.

The Eiffel Library Kernel Standard, Vintage 95

Technology papers

Clear, incisive, often provocative discussions of the hottest issues in modern software development.

Design by contract: building bug-free object-oriented software

    A presentation of Design by Contract, the key to reliable software development.

Put it in the Contract: The Lessons of Ariane

    Analyzes in detail the $500-million crash of the Ariane 5 rocket launcher, and explains how the use of Design by Contract for reuse would have avoided it.

Multithreading, distribution and Internet programming can be easy

    A short presentation of the SCOOP mechanisms for programming threads and concurrent applications.

Multithreading demo of Eiffel 4

    A flashy downloadable demo of the multithreading library included with all deliveries of Eiffel 4. (See also the EiffelThreads manual above.)

The subcluster mechanism of Eiffel 4

    How to define a clear, organized hierarchical structure for your systems.

The Evolution of EiffelVision

    The platform-independent graphical and graphical user interface (GUI) library. (See also The New EiffelVision below.)

The Windows Eiffel Library

    The library for developing graphical Windows applications, taking full advantage of Eiffel and object technology.

The Precursor construct

    A new mechanism simplifying the use of inheritance.

The Eiffel Garbage Collection mechanism

    An overview of the garbage collection and memory management principles and mechanisms of Eiffel Software's Eiffel environment.

On the Eiffel approach to typing

    An overview of Eiffel's approach to safety through static typing; from a net posting. Includes comparisons with C++ and Smalltalk. See also the "catcall" papers below for more in-depth discussions.

Eiffel on the Web: Integrating Eiffel systems into the Microsoft .NET Framework

    A presentation of how Eiffel was made available on Microsoft's revolutionary .NET framework, as part of an Eiffel Software-Microsoft collaboration. Introduces Eiffel# and compares the object models of .NET and Eiffel.

Eiffel extensions proposed to NICE.

Bertrand Meyer columns and articles

Software Development  columns

IEEE Computer: Component and Object Technology column of

Software Engineering in the Academy (IEEE Computer, May 2001). PDF.

    A general discussion of the role of universities in software engineering education and research, with a number of concrete proposals.

Towards an Object-Oriented Curriculum

    A proposal for reorganizing software education based on modern principles of object-oriented software engineering, with key emphasis on reuse. See also the previous entry, a more recent discussion of some of the same issues.

Articles from JOOP (Journal of Object-Oriented Programming)

Patenting software: a proposal

    A note about the application of patenting to software. (In French; English version is planned.)

Static Typing and Other Mysteries of Life

    A discussion of static typing and the associated issues (from keynote talks at OOPSLA 1995 in Austin and TOOLS PACIFIC in Melbourne).

Beware of Polymorphic Catcalls

    A solution for achieving a type-safe covariant policy with incremental checking (a complement to the preceding paper, giving the precise rules).

Disciplined exception handling

    The original article (1988) on the application of Design by Contract to the handling of abnormal cases.

Documents available for downloading

In addition to these Web-browsable manuals, we have made some often requested documents downloadable by FTP in Postscript form. You can find them on our FTP server at The set of available documents is constantly enriched; it currently includes descriptions of the following products and concepts:

  • EiffelBuild.
  • The DLE (Dynamic Linking in Eiffel).
  • The Eiffel language.
  • EiffelVision.
  • Concurrency.
  • The EiffelStudio environment.
  • EiffelNet
  • Typing issues.
  • EiffelWeb

Watch out for new entries in the coming months as more and more of our documentation goes on line.