Thursday, December 22, 2011
They call me GNU-Eiffel
We are continuing the development of the academic project that acquired in 1998 the status of "Gnu Eiffel compiler". As I wrote in the beginning article of this blog Dominique Colnet is focusing his academic interests on other aspects of Information Technology. Cyril - a member of the former core team of developers - and me still believe that this language has still to a useful role as a free-as-in-freedom project.
We thought to use the existing compiler - SmartEiffel - to bootstrap another one - LibertyEiffel, but we soon realized that it may be evolved into something more modular, more scalable. The only prerequisite to the latter approach is an extensive knowledge of the inner design of the compiler: Cyril has done a good work cleaning it up and know it seems easier to grasp it all. So Liberty design ended up becoming part of our improvements toSmartEiffel.
SmartEiffel also does not implement ECMA-Eiffel, trying to be follow the original design and spirit of the language that wanted to be simple yet powerful. ECMA-Eiffel is quite a different language and more complex: the original definition of Eiffel was under 50 pages, current ECMA is quite bigger.
All those considerations are pushing me to call the language and the tools implementing it GNU-Eiffel.