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Masterminds of Programming by Chromatic, Federico Biancuzzi

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Chapter 17. Eiffel

An Inspired Afternoon

Why did you choose to create a programming language?

Bertrand Meyer: Very few people create a programming language just for the sake of it. Eiffel was born out of a necessity. I designed a programming language because I needed to write software and everything I had was unsatisfactory.

Did you need a tool to, for example, implement Design by Contract?

Bertrand: That part was obvious, but in general I needed an object-oriented language. Let me give you the context. We started a company in 1985, Interactive Software Engineering. It is now called Eiffel Software. We were actually going to build software-engineering tools. We were funded by a Japanese company to build a program editor, or a syntax-directed editor, which we did build and which enjoyed moderate success.

This was a very small company. I was still teaching at the University ...

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