A functional-programming style, or more generally a style involving more expressions and fewer instructions, is possible in Eiffel. In particular, Eiffel’s agent mechanism embeds a full functional-programming mechanism in the object-oriented framework of the language.
To make the notations simpler, we are discussing and tentatively implementing a number of proposed extensions. They involve no fundamental new language mechanisms, but provide new, more concise notations for existing mechanisms. Examples are:
- Conditional expressions.
- Implicit tuple, a rule allowing the omission of brackets for an actual argument when it is a tuple and the last argument, e.g. f (x, y, z) as an abbreviation for f ([x, y, z]) (an example involving just one argument). Tuples already provided the equivalent of a variable-argument (“varargs”) facility, but it is made simpler to use with this convention.
- Parenthesis alias, making it possible to write just f (x, y) when f is an agent (closure, lambda expression, delegate etc. in other terminologies), i.e. treating f as if it were a function; the notation is simply an abbreviation for f.item ([x, y]) (an example that also takes advantage of implicit tuples). It has many other applications since a “parenthesis alias” can be defined for a feature of any class.
- Avoiding explicit assignments to Result.
- Type inference (to avoid explicitly specifying the type when it can be deduced from the context). This is a facility for the programmer, useful in particular for local variables, but does not affect the type system: Eiffel remains strongly typed, it is just that you can be lazy about writing the type when there is no ambiguity.
- In the same vein, omitting the entire list of generic parameters when it can be inferred.
The description of the mechanism (see the link in ) is in the form of a set of slides explaining the concepts and presenting example. This is a working document and feedback is welcome.
 Eiffel as an expression language, Eiffel Software working document, 2012-2014, see here.