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

EiffelVision 2: Fast, compact, efficient multi-platform graphics

Eiffel Power (TM) from ISE

With release 4.3 of ISE Eiffel, ISE has released an early beta version of the New EiffelVision library, described in a manual available online (see the link at the end of this page).

Why the New EiffelVision?

The New EiffelVision library is a major advance in Eiffel technology. It provides Eiffel developers with a better way to write high-quality, nice-looking, portable GUI applications taking full advantage of the facilities provided by modern toolkits.

Major improvements

Here is an extract from the manual's preface, summarizing some of the key improvements:

The New EiffelVision retains the two-tier architecture that has made the success of EiffelVision: portable upper-tier, platform-specific lower-tier (including WEL, the Windows Eiffel Library, a complete encapsulation of Windows graphics, usable by itself or as part of EiffelVision).

The New EiffelVision develops and enhances these original ideas through a number of major advances:

  • The New EiffelVision gives developers full access to the powerful widgets (controls) available in modern graphical toolkits, such as tree views, multi-column lists (list views), notebooks, status bars, advanced dialogs and many others from both Windows and X toolkits. (Below, an EiffelVision Notebook.)
  • An EiffelVision Notebook
  • The library relies on a much simplified model of the relationships between the widgets, removing the notion of "attachment" and introducing a simple notion of "container" for defining the relative placement of widgets within a window.
  • The New EiffelVision optimizes memory usage by avoiding duplication of information. This enables developers to build "lean and mean" graphical applications. The command model, managing the relationship between an application's user interface and its semantic model, has been greatly improved and simplified thanks to the use of Eiffel's new agent mechanism.
  • On the X side, EiffelVision now relies on the GTK toolkit, a high-quality library providing numerous widgets and many other useful facilities.
  • Supporting the New EiffelVision, ISE is developing a new version of the EiffelBuild interactive application builder, providing powerful facilities for building the EiffelVision-based version of the EiffelBuild interactive application builder, providing powerful facilities for building the EiffelVision-based GUI component of an application directly from the application's processing classes. An alpha version of the new EiffelBuild is available with 4.3.

The standard Eiffel graphics technology of the future

All ISE tools are being rewritten to take advantage of the New EiffelVision. One major MIS application developed by ISE for a customer already uses the library.

The experience accumulated in these efforts shows the new library to provide the expected benefits in simplicity, power, performance (especially memory usage), and quality of the user interface.

New EiffelVision Status

As of 4.3 the officially supported version of EiffelVision is still the classic EiffelVision. The New EiffelVision is a beta version and is available to customers under maintenance, on request to

A number of functionalities are still missing. We are actively working to add all the missing elements and welcome feedback; a discussion group has been established for that purpose at

We hope that users will appreciate the elegance of the library's design, take personal interest in it, and, beyond mere feedback, provide their own additions.

The manual

For more information read the New EiffelVision online manual (PDF).