Another Eiffelwish: A cluster concept with restricted visibility (to avoid name clashes).
The Eiffel language in its current definition has no concept of namespaces. However in large programs using many libraries name clashes (i.e. two classes having the same name) become more and more probable.
Different Eiffel compilers have resolved the name clashes with different strategies. This is not satisfactory because it is not portable. Therefore the Eiffel language should be extended to resolve potential name clashes of class names in a manner which is independant from the used compiler.
The following paper contains a proposal for a cluster concept which is capable of handling and resolving class name clashes. All the mechanisms described below are extensions to the Eiffel language. I.e. with that extensions the Eiffel language is capable of handling and resolving name clashes within the language (without the use of some compiler specific configuration files).
The basic concepts are views and clusters. Each class belongs to exactly one cluster and has exactly a view of classes which it can use. This makes it possible that a class does not see all classes of the universe but only a limited set of classes. Furthermore views have the possibility to rename some of the classes. A class rename is local to a view.
Fully qualified names for classes are introduced as a last resort to resolve name clashes.
Having a standardized way to express used clusters within Eiffel, it is possible to simplify small programs as a side effect. Complete Eiffel programs can be contained within one file with all the needed (usually very little to none) cluster information. A "Hello world" program becomes the trivial `do print("Hello world%N") end' without any definition of a root class nor a root procedure and without any necessary configuration file.
Therefore the cluster concept makes Eiffel more scalable in both directions: for small programs and for large programs.
Read the detailed paper at http://tecomp.sourceforge.net/index.php?file=doc/papers/lang/cluster.txt