Thursday, January 26, 2006


99 Bottles of Beer in Eiffel

Neil Wilson suggested to the Board of NICE that it would be worth encouraging Eiffelists to contribute Eiffel examples to the PLEAC cookbook site, which got me wondering whether contributions to Ward Cunningham's wiki pages might not be more productive.

Then I thought of the "99 Bottles of Beer" site, which contains programs written in hundreds of languages that each print the words of the song. The FORTRAN entry is nine very readable lines, whilst the Eiffel entry is over a hundred lines - and I remember that in the past Eiffel has been criticised for the length and obscurity of this entry. My own entry for Amber for Parrot is 25 lines (using inline agents) and, although I don't often praise perl, its entry is a real work of art.

Frieder Monninger thought I wasn't being serious, and that it would be quite practical to write a readable Eiffel version in eight lines.

I don't think it's so straightforward. Any takers?

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