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Object oriented structured programming language in the Algol family, originally designed by Bertrand Meyer and partially inspired by Simula and Modula-2. Much like Smalltalk, Eiffel has also suffered in the last few years due to companies that built commercial tools for the language have turned their attention to Java. The language has a reputation as the language you turn to when other languages and tools have failed, particularly with large programming projects, although this has been downplayed a little as more tools for "programming in the large" appear for more mainstream languages. However the clean object-orientation features of Eiffel really have no like in other languages even with other O-O languages such as Smalltalk and Java, this means that creating code that is easy to re-factor or change outright makes it a really coherent tool for prototyping and for software that needs to be adjusted frequently such as market trading software.

Eiffel was forked into another programming language called Sather fairly early on in its lifetime.

OS/2 implementations

Classes and bindings

  • Tower Eiffel Booch Classes - Freeware release of the old Booch classes that Tower used to sell, work with v2 of Tower Eiffel.
  • A version of the O2 System Object oriented database was available with Eiffel bindings for a while.

Foreign libraries with Eiffel bindings

  • LibcURL - Internet URL (WWW, FTP, etc) access - Open Source - Current.

Eiffel related programmer's utilities

  • Exuberant ctags - Creates index files out of Eiffel source files - Open source - Current.

OS/2 text & programmers editors with Eiffel support

  • Boxer - Eiffel syntax support included by default - Commercial - Discontinued
  • jEdit - Java based editor - Eiffel syntax highlighting built in - Current.

DOS implementations

  • Eon/Eiffel - Shareware
  • SmallEiffel - Open Source - Discontinued

DOS text & programmers editors with Eiffel support

  • Boxer - Eiffel syntax support included by default - Commercial - Discontinued

Eiffel implementations that run under WinOS/2

Eiffel implementations that run under Java

  • J-Eiffel - Eiffel to Java compiler - Open source - Discontinued


The book where Eiffel was first described, but is actually a textbook of object-oriented methods rather than a Eiffel tutorial, originally published in 1988.
By the gent behind the old Visual Eiffel compiler & IDE
Introductionary articles
Tutorials and other learning material
On-line courses
  • Marco Piccioni, Bertrand Meyer and Nadia Polikarpova: Art, Magic, Science - "Learn the basics of Information Technology and how to write quality programs in this introductory computer science course."
Note, closed for new participants but all course material is online if you want to do some self learning.



  • Bertrand Meyer: Standard Eiffel (revision of preceding entry), ongoing, 1997-present.
  • NICE - The "Nonprofit International Consortium for Eiffel" organisation, did some of the work on standards prior to ECMA-367.
  • Standard ECMA-367 Eiffel: Analysis, Design and Programming Language - 2nd edition (June 2006) - The first international formal Eiffel standard, later adopted by ISO as ISO/IEC 25436:2006.