Thursday, March 23, 2006


Eiffel and C++ compared

Tom van Cutsem has written an in-depth comparison of Eiffel and C++. From the abstract:
The paper discusses the object-oriented programming languages Eiffel and C++, comparing them among several of their Object-oriented features (inheritance model, type model, method lookup) and among other, interesting topics (metaprogramming, concurrency). There is no position taken into what language would be ‘superior’, only a comparison of the facts and principles underlying the design of both languages is made.
You can also view the slides for a presentation on the same subject that Tom gave in 2003. (Thanks to Tristram Brelstaff for submitting this)

There are other comparisons between Eiffel and C++ on the web. Victor Putz wrote up his experience with the Personal Software Process, in which he compared his experiences with Eiffel and C++ in terms of development time and defect rate, although the study is somewhat marred by the fact that he implemented each application first in C++ and then in Eiffel.

Ian Joyner's thorough book "Objects Unencapsulated: Java, Eiffel and C++" is out of print but readily available used (Dr Dobbs review). An earlier version entitled C++?? is available on the web.

Although there is an enormous installed base of C++ applications, the use of C++ for new projects is surely decreasing. I think this trend was cemented when Microsoft started pushing C#. Maybe Eiffel, sitting on the edge, will even outlast C++?

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