Contributing to open-source EiffelStudio

Now that you have spread the word about Eiffel, you feel the urge to contribute to the product itself. There are many ways to help develop EiffelStudio through projects large and small. Check the list of open projects below; if you see one of interest, contact the project members as listed on the corresponding project page. Don't forget to subscribe to the Eiffel developers list (see the the mailing lists page) where you can post questions about past, current and possible projects.

If you feel none of the current projects covers your special interest, see below how to add your own project.

Whatever your contribution, remember that Eiffel is also about style. Make sure you are familiar with the design and coding rules and apply them thoroughly.

Information.png Note: To authors of projects available from this page: please make sure the project description is up to date and in particular that the project members are listed and reachable; that's the best way to gain more collaborators. If the project is no longer active please move the entry to projects to be started or restarted section so that someone else may pick it up.

How to become a developer

Before giving access to the EiffelStudio repository, we need to assess the quality of your work. To do so, we ask you to participate in the projects/areas of your choice by submitting patches to the forums for a peer review. If after several contributions your code and work is satisfactory to the other developers, we will grant you access to the EiffelStudio subversion repository where you can be integrated with your fellow EiffelStudio developers.

General environment mechanisms

There are always new ideas to improve the user experience with EiffelStudio.

Improve ease of use, for both novice and advanced users, by refining the tools that create classes and features from templates.
Improve the EiffelStudio built-in smart editor.
While Eiffel doesn't need some of the refactoring mechanisms of other languages, the environment could benefit from new refactoring mechanisms in addition to the ones currently supported.
Build a high-quality mutation testing tool (for evaluating the quality of test strategies, fault detectability and redundancy) taking advantage of Eiffel's mechanisms, especially Design by Contract.

Information.png Note: For tool development check out the Tool Integration Development page for a quick tutorial on how to integrate a tool window in EiffelStudio.

Graphics and user interface

Make the user interface of EiffelStudio more appealing. Much of the work is to be done in the underlying EiffelVision library, with the added benefit that improvements will be available to user applications as well.

More keyboard accelerators for EiffelVision applications.
EiffelVision support for the character set of arbitrary human languages (see also Unicode).
The graphical user interface builder, EiffelBuild, is currently a separate product. Ideally it should be completely integrated with EiffelStudio.
Provide EiffelVision with a Carbon back-end to make it truly native on the Mac.
EiffelStudio provides support for changing the user interface messages and dialogs to any language. If you are a fluent speaker of a language other than English, you can help the localization into that language.

Libraries (other than EiffelVision)

Eiffel is all about reuse of quality components. The best way to get started as an Eiffel contributor is to extend an existing library, or start a new one to fill a need.

Remote communication with LEGO NXT Mindstorms "bricks"

Build infrastructure

Developments in this category are intended to help produce new versions of EiffelStudio faster and better.

Simplify and streamline the EiffelStudio build process.
Include EiffelStudio in standard Debian installation
Script the release of Mac universal binaries for OS X

Language and compiler

This is the heart of the Eiffel environment: providing the best possible implementation of the Eiffel language. See the compiler pages for detailed information about EiffelStudio's compiling techniques including the Melting Ice Technology.

The Eiffel standard developed by the ECMA TC39-TG4 committee and approved in 2006 by the International Standards Organization is the definitive reference on the Eiffel language. Work is progressing quickly to include all ECMA-ISO mechanisms into the EiffelStudio compiler; you can help fill the remaining gaps.

Information.png Note: On this site you will also find a category for ECMA pages in which many proposals and other topics are discussed, but are not necessarily approved by the ECMA committee. Refer to the official ISO/ECMA documents for the official word.

Other Stuff


Developing is not everything; the results must also be tested for functionality and performance. The EiffelStudio testing process is completely open and follows advanced software engineering standard. Please visit the special category devoted to EiffelStudio testing.

Projects to be started or restarted

The projects in this list are mere ideas which may not yet have a project page. Some of them were started but not completed. Feel free to take over! If you do so, move the project to one of the above sections (compiler, libraries etc.). If you have further suggestions you may include them here.

Not really the description of a single project, but a collection of ideas of cool things to add to EiffelStudio. Feel free to add to it.
A mechanism to compile classes without providing a control file.
A request for a new basic type.
Develop a standard for distributing Eiffel components in binary form, and implement it
Improve support for character sets of arbitrary human languages. See also EiffelVision Unicode support.
Eiffel is highly portable; a port to a new platform is a moderate effort.
This should be replaced by more specific goals, see general environment mechanisms above.
See e.g. ESC-Java, Spec#...
More user-friendly error "non-messages", following the lead of spelling error reporting in MS Word
Support for total beginners
Give EiffelStudio, in particular the editor, a macro facility
Add breakpoints to the editor for better navigation
Integrate a repository mechanism
Output a trace statement indicating a trace point has been hit, without the need to write code or stop execution
An update notification service to let developers know there is a new version available.
Integrate configuration management into EiffelStudio.
Encapsulate Scintilla multi-platform editor
Encapsulate Gecko html multi-platform engine component

Completed projects

AutoTest is an automated testing framework taking advantage of Eiffel's Design by Contract to provide far more automation than current solutions such as JUnit. Currently it is a separate tool; ideally it should be part of EiffelStudio.

Adding your own project

To add your own project:

  • Make sure it is not redundant with one of the existing projects. If there is any chance of duplication, please contact the project authors first.
  • If you have not already done so, subscribe to the developers' mailing list (see the the mailing lists page). Post a message to the list explaining your idea and asking for feedback.
  • Also check the above list of "projects to be started or restarted", in particular the EiffelStudio Wish List. Some of the pages are just stubs, but others already have a detailed analysis which can serve as a framework for future work on the corresponding features.
  • If you decide to go forward, create a page about your project, listing the goals of the project, the rationale (why is this useful?), the issues to be solved, the overall techniques proposed, and a general development strategy. Make sure to include a "project members" section so that people can contact you (for example through your user name on this Wiki).
  • Edit the present page so that it includes a link to your project page; select the appropriate category. Below the link, include (as in current entries) a one- or two-line summary of the project's goal.
  • Do it!

See also


This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.