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Oberon is the name of a modern integrated software environment for single-user workstations. It includes a language in the Pascal-/ Modula-tradition and a highly effective and compact operating platform. Most Oberon implementations come with a tutorial. For general information on Oberon  see

Learning Oberon

If you want information about the Oberon language, we can offer an "Introduction to Oberon". For local students, see also: next course.

The Oberon language comes in two variants, the original Oberon language, and Oberon-2, an extension which allows type-bound procedures. Object oriented programming is supported by Oberon as well as by Oberon-2. Oberon-2 has some additional convenience for object oriented programming, but with some cost in terms of performance and flexibility. For a discussion of object oriented Oberon-2 type bound programming style versus "classical" Oberon style, see [Marais 1996a]. As of today (Oct. 98) most Oberon compilers support Oberon-2.

Access to Oberon

At present, Oberon comes in four variants. These are available from the "official" ftp site for the Oberon distribution is[]. Each of the Oberon versions comes with additional information.
Unfortunatly this information may be hidden, apocryphal or worse (e.g. information about how to install software which you can read after you have installed the software successfully). We are providing installation information which was helpful to us. This may be outdated the time you read it. But if it is still helpful to you, we are happy. Comments/corrections are welcome.

Main Implementation Families

See also the Oberon genealogy.
System 3
A once experimental variant of Oberon, which has taken most of the impetus. System 3 adds support for persistent Objects on the system level, and gives a graphical interface using Gadgets. At present, this is our most recommeded version of Oberon for serious development.
Oberon V4
This is the most recent version of the classical Oberon system documented in [Reiser 1991] and [Wirth & Gutknecht 1992]. If you see Oberon without special name tag, it is most probably Oberon version 4. Although System 3 has taken most of the impetus, you will find various experimental developments and new possibilities in V4 which are not available in other variants.
A "black box" programming framework based on Oberon. Oberon/F is a commercial product, but an educational version is available. Oberon/F uses Windows or Macintosh interface conventions. Oberon/F is a convenient entry point if you come to Oberon from a Windows or Macintosh environment and want to keep your preferences. You should however be warned that Oberon/F is neither compatible with System 3 or V4, and by now is abandoned in favour of a new product of the same company, called BlackBox.
If you want to use Oberon only for the advantages of the Oberon language, you can use an Oberon compiler for the operating system of your choice. A series of compilers is available, using Oberon in a classical (e.g. UNIX) environment.

Ported versions of the Oberon language and system are now available for numerous commercial machines.

Items not to miss

Download information is available fromETH Zürich.
Looking at other recent or past developments, you may want to make sure that you have an open connection to other languages or programming enviornments. Here are some links:


This is not a comprehensive list. Use the "official" Oberon home page for access to more information.

For a guide to System 3 with gadgets, see

André Fischer, Hannes Marais: The Oberon Companion .
A Guide to Using and Programming Oberon System 3 vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich 1998. ISBN 3-7281-2493-1. 336 pages, format 17 x 24 cm, hard cover, CD included.
"Classical" Information
Reiser, M.: The Oberon System. Reading: Addison-Wesley 1991
Wirth, N.; Gutknecht, J.: Project Oberon. Reading: Addison-Wesley 1992
To learn about the Oberon programming language, consult
Reiser, M.; Wirth, N.: Programming in Oberon. Reading: Addison-Wesley 1992
dt: M. Reiser, N. Wirth: Programmieren in Oberon. Addison-Wesley 1994, ISBN 3-89319-657-9
J. Marais: Design and Implementation of a Component Architecture for Oberon ETH Zürich 1996.
Object-oriented programming using Oberon-2 type bound programming style versus "classical" Oberon style is discussed in-depth in
J. Marais: (1996a) Extensible Software Systems in Oberon, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, Vol 5 (1996)

We have selected Oberon as our main development environment.
a portable data analysis system based on Oberon.

More Oberon related sites

Again inclusion/non-inclusion in this list is only controlled by our local needs. For more general access, contact the Oberon web ring.

The Oberon Webring Navigator

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Comp.lang.oberon discussion list.
System 3
ETH home page for System 3.
Oberon Microsystems
commercial providers of the Oberon/F framework.
The Ulm Oberon System for Sun 3.
(Programmers Open Workbench) is an integrated development environment for Oberon-2, running on Win3.1x, Win95 and NT 4.0.