Announcing the first beta release of the Technical Analysis Library 
Author Message
 Announcing the first beta release of the Technical Analysis Library

This is to announce the first beta release of the Technical Analysis*
Library (TAL).  TAL is an object-oriented library, written in Eiffel,
that provides facilities for the construction of technical analysis
applications.  For example, the library can be used to write a GUI-based
stock charting application similar to commercial charting programs.

TAL is now available (via anonymous ftp) at:

and should soon be available at the Eiffel Forum Archive (The package that
is currently available at this site is an older version submitted for the
Eiffel Struggle.) at:

tal_b1.tar.gz contains the source code for TAL and the application
that uses it.  tal_app_b1.tar.gz contains the runnable binary of the

In addition to the library, a basic, but useful, command-line-driven
application is provided that includes several common technical indicators,
such as moving average, moving average convergence/divergence (MACD),
momentum, and stochastic.  (The data from these indicators can be fed
into a graphing program, such as gnuplot, for a visual representation.)
This application also makes use of what I consider the most powerful
aspect of the library: the analysis of market data based on specified
technical indicators in order to generate buy and sell signals for
markets that meet specified criteria.  For example, it can be used to
generate a buy signal for a market whose MACD difference line crosses
above the MACD signal line within a specified time frame.  I have been
using this facility for the past few weeks to greatly reduce the time
I spend analyzing stock data in order to make trading decisions.

TAL was written using ISE's Eiffel 4.2f compiler on a Linux system on
Intel hardware.  You will need this compiler to compile the library.
However, a binary of the application for Linux/Intel systems is
available if you want to try the program out.  (At least a Pentium
CPU is recommended - the application runs on my old 486-33 computer,
but it's rather slow.)  Porting the system to any platform for which an
ISE compiler is available (including other UNIXes and Windows) should
be straightforward.

I am calling this a beta release because, although I have done a fair
amount of testing of the library and application that uses it, I have
not had time to test it thoroughly.  There are likely to be some bugs
still lurking within the code.  However, since it was written in Eiffel -
which provides excellent support for assertions that assist a developer
in designing and writing correct code - and since I have taken pretty
extensive advantage of this facility, I don't expect the bug count to
be large - at least in the library itself.  Since the application that
uses the library is an extenstion of a test application (and thus not
as carefully constructed as the library), it is somewhat fragile at
this point and may have a few bugs.  For example, if you specify on
the command line the name of a file that doesn't exist, when it tries
to read the file it will terminate with an "Operating system error."
This could probably be considered a bug.

My hope is that others will find the library useful and will use it to
write powerful, robust applications and that at least some of these
applications are made available, like TAL, to anyone who has a need
for them.  The most compelling potential application at this point is,
of course, a GUI that provides charting facilities and that provides a
convenient interface to the library's market analysis facilities.

Also, for developers using object-oriented methods, even if you don't use
Eiffel, I think you will find the design of the library very interesting -
rich in use of design patterns and pattern combinations, and, for the
most part, well-architected.  (Any feedback or criticism, by the way,
on the design or implementation of the library is welcome.)  And, of
course, since this is free software, anyone is welcome to use all or
any part of TAL (code, design or architectural ideas, etc.) one likes
in whatever way one wishes.

This library and the application that uses it are copyrighted,
free software released under the Eiffel Forum Freeware License, which
essentially allows unrestricted use of the package with the only condition
that, if a binary program that uses a modified version of the software is
distributed, the modified version of this software must be made available.

If you have any questions about TAL, feel free to send them to me,

*For those not familiar with technical analysis, it is a set of
techniques for analyzing market data, using indicators such as trend
lines, moving averages, price momentum, oscillators, etc. to identify
changes in market trends.  It is based on the observation that "prices
move in trends which are determined by the changing attitudes of investors
toward a variety of economic, monetary, political, and psychological
forces." ["Technical Analysis Explained," by Martin J. Pring] For those
interested in looking further into the subject of technical analysis,
I would recommend the book quoted from above, as well as "Trading for
a Living," by Dr. Alexander Elder.
Jim Cochrane

Tue, 29 May 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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