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learning eiffel and VB

learning eiffel and VB

learning eiffel and VB

no, i'm not crazy. i am wondering if eiffel has a chance to compete with vb; i'd like to be competant on a non-MS language other than c.

RE: learning eiffel and VB

This is not at all crazy. Eiffel vendors should release a product that is as easy to get started and write simple apps like VB. Then we would have something much better than VB because it would scale up to large apps and platform independent as well.

RE: learning eiffel and VB

Eiffel vendors should, and some of them try to. E.g., Visual Eiffel from Object Tools, and ISE Eiffel. Unfortunately, they seem to be laboring under the twin handicaps of knowing their product too well (the documentation is pitiful!) and being... well, ISE isn't very interested in screen-painters, since that doesn't directly influence or display the design of the language, and Object Tools seems to be cash strapped (they over-hype the cheap versions, and then try to sell you upgrades). Now I suppose that the Visual Eiffel program can, technically, do all that they say once you figure out how to get it properly installed, but it seemed to have strange limitations to me, and they didn't deny my suggestion to them that this was because the professional edition didn't properly handle databases. So I found it unuseable (for my purposes).

This is a pity, as I rather like the language. Enough to have personally bought it four times. Each time the inconvenience of either the IDE's or the documentation has been sufficient to cause me to return to a different way of doing things. Once I was flat-out told by the developer that I should buy a database instead of trying to implement a B+Tree. This was a bit of a turn-off. I feel that a programmer's tool kit should not have that kind of artificial limitation. I suppose that I could have written it in C and then linked it to Eiffel as a primitive, but that would have defeated the purpose of learning how to program in Eiffel.

RE: learning eiffel and VB

To learn Eiffel, read Robert Swizer's "Eiffel - An Introduction" or, for more detail, "Object-Oriented Programming in Eiffel" by Thomas and Weedon. There are several other good books available and a lot of useful sites.

I use the Visual Eiffel tool because I can't afford the ISE tool. I haven't used the current version, but previous versions were, I thought, fairly well documented. I have a copy of MS Visual C++ which I rarely use, but when I need it, I have to get the book out just to find my way round. I think that any problems you have may be due to lack of familiarity, rather than inherent difficulties in the product.

Your comments on databases surprised me. I use Intersystems Cache (which incidentally, has a very good implementation of a B-Tree) using ODBC and the native 'C' interface. I have not had any problems, though I have yet to stretch the database size to a point where I can say if performance is a problem.

I found the install a little long winded, but not overly complex, though having to rebuild the libraries once a year because of daylight savings is rather annoying.

I'm an Eiffel fan, I admit, but I also think it is a sound choice for any developer.

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