Saturday, March 11, 2006


Eiffel-like languages: the Key Language and Apple

When the UK and Ireland Eiffel Interest Group was going strong in the early 1990s, we used to talk about the growth of Eiffel. Often, the conversation would end with someone making a comment like "of course at Apple, they're using Eiffel for multimedia".

None of us were multimedia developers, and we didn't really know what was going on at Apple, but we liked to spread the news. A few years later I looked into this in more depth and was fascinated by what I found. There's a whole community of multimedia developers using an Eiffel-like language called Key, and Eiffel-like techniques, to develop CD-ROM titles and media-rich websites.

Because these people think of themselves as designers, and we think of ourselves as software developers, there's almost no overlap between the two communities - but it's nice to see this specialist niche that has developed.

I previously wrote this up for comp.lang.eiffel in 1998, then later for Eiffel Liberty Journal. This month, when I checked for updates, I found that a whole new chapter had occurred, with a new twist.

See Apple's Eiffel-inspired multimedia language.

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