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Eiffel: Analysis, design and programming language

2nd edition, June 2006

This document provides the full reference for the Eiffel language. Eiffel is a method of software construction and a language applicable to the analysis, design, implementation and maintenance of software systems. This Standard covers only the language, with an emphasis on the implementation aspects. As a consequence, the word “Eiffel” in the rest of this document is an abbreviation for “the Eiffel language”.

The Standard specifies:

  • The form of legal basic constituents of Eiffel texts, or lexical properties of the language;
  • The structure of legal Eiffel texts made of lexically legal constituents, or syntax properties;
  • Supplementary restrictions imposed on syntactically legal Eiffel texts, or validity properties;
  • The computational effect of executing valid Eiffel texts, or semantic properties;
  • Some requirements on a conforming implementation of Eiffel, such as the ability to produce certain forms of automatic documentation.

The Standard does not specify:

  • The requirements that a computing environment must meet to support the translation, execution and other handling of Eiffel texts;
  • The semantic properties of an Eiffel text if it or its data exceed the capacity of a particular computing environment;
  • The mechanisms for translating Eiffel texts into a form that can be executed in a computing environment;
  • The mechanisms for starting the execution of the result of such a translation;
  • Other mechanisms for handling Eiffel texts and interacting with users of the language.
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CategorySoftware engineering and interfaces

SubcategoryProgramming languages

Technical CommitteeTC49

ISO/IEC number25436


  • ECMA-367, 1st edition, June 2005Download