Sunday, November 11, 2007


End of the road for EiffelZone

I've put up a banner on every page at mentioning that the site is no longer maintained.

I set up EiffelZone as a resource for the Eiffel community, but there isn't really an Eiffel community anymore. Instead, there are two communities - the insular EiffelStudio community and the vestigial SmartEiffel community.

The days of libraries and applications being usable with both SmartEiffel and EiffelStudio are pretty-much over, so there's not much use anymore for the Eiffel Software Directory. SmartEiffel users can find what they need at and EiffelStudio users can find what they need by starting from

I suppose you count Gobo Eiffel and SmartEiffel 1.2 users as EiffelStudio users :-)
Thanks Roger for setting up the site. This obviously had been a huge amount of work.

It has always been a great starting point to find Eiffel libraries and I think it will still be useful for some time before it dies because of bit-rot.
Well Berend, I did use the words "pretty-much over", not "completely over". I don't think any new Eiffel software package was released in 2007 which supported both SmartEiffel and EiffelStudio.

SmartEiffel 1.2 is, according to Daniel, a transitional compiler that is intended to eventually die out, not a fork that is intended to continue. As far as I know, Daniel is using 2.x anyway nowadays.

It's great that Eric supports SmartEiffel 1.2 with Gobo, but there can't be more than three users of SE 1.2 worldwide, so Eric can't be expected to support it in the long term.

I can understand why Eric won't support SmartEiffel 2.x after he was shafted over the case-sensitivity of identifiers. I'm surprised that he continues to support EiffelStudio after he was shafted over the XML build file format, but that's his decision.

If one restricts one's choice of Eiffel compilers to those which (a) are actively maintained, and (b) are geared towards growing their userbase by growing the use of Eiffel as a whole rather than by increasing their share of a diminishing market, then one is left with, um ...
Thanks, anonymous, for your kind words.

It's always sad to be in a negative situation. I'll try to alternate positive and negative blog posts.
Gobo 3.7 being released this weekend would be a positive announcement.

I agree that EiffelZone is past its sell-by date.

Daniel has said recently that he still uses SmartEiffel 1.2, and maybe he will make a new release in November (we shall see).

As for a new software package that supports both EiffelStudio and SmartEiffel in 2007, I expect I shall be able to release Gestalt 1.0 in time for Christmas, and it will compileable in at least ISE (5.7, 6.0 and 6.1), SmartEiffel 1.2r7 (or 8 if it is out by then), and probably gec (Berend is doing work on gec and eposix this very week).

When i asked Daniel if he intended to support STRING_GENERAL and STRING_32, he said he hadn't decided. So it's still unclear whether continuity SmartEiffel has a future or not.
Roger, SmartEiffel wasn't ditched by the Gobo team because "Eric was shafted". SmartEiffel implemented a different dialect which simply could no longer be supported, despite initial heroic efforts of Eric to support SmartEiffel 2.0.

It is impossible to use SmartEiffel and any other Eiffel compiler, because the dialect is quite different. Just like you can't compile C++ code with C.
There is still some work pending in 1.2 before dying (given that people is obviously using it).

I am using SE2 for new stuff, but still use 1.2 for some old apps I made for myself and have not been 100% ported to SE2 by using 1.2

Losing EiffelZone is sad news, it has always been a very valuable site. Do you think you could make the DB available for other people, if anyone has the time to keep that going?
Thanks, Daniel.

I can make the database available if anyone wants to use it to launch a new directory. It's from an old version of PostgreSQL, together with a lot of plain text stuff.

But really I don't see the point - it would just duplicate what's being done at EiffelRoom.
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