Linked by David Welton on Mon 10th Mar 2003 21:42 UTC
Original OSNews Interviews The Tcl programming language has been immensely successful in its almost 15 years of existence. Tcl, stands for 'Tool Command Language' and is pronounced 'tickle' by those in the know. It's probably most famous for the Tk graphical toolkit, which has for years set the standard for rapid, scriptable, cross-platform GUI development, but the language is used throughout a staggering variety of applications, from the open source web server that runs AOL's web site, to code for network testing, to code to run oil rigs.
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It was a great language, however...
by xiong huan on Tue 11th Mar 2003 06:30 UTC

Tcl was a great language. The idea of a language that is embeddable and extensible is cool. However, its time has passed, python has surpassed it in all these aspects and is much better in many other aspects.

IMHO, among many other key features(ie, strongly typed or not, object oriented, garbage collection, etc.), readability and good api design are two important factors which affects if a language can be accepted widely or not. That is the reason why java and python has been widely used for large projects but perl and tcl not. For example, Tcl doesn't have good support for complex data structure. Although that can be improved, however, I don't think that will change people's traditional view of the language.

It may be argued Tcl is actually designed as a glue language for high level usage, as explained in http://home.pacbell.net/ouster/scripting.html . That is a good article and I learned a lot from it. However, being a glue lanuage doesn't necessarily mean being low in capability and putting everything in its backend module. In addition, after 5 years from the time the ariticle was written, there aren't many signs that script language is a better choice over system language for large software system integration. For example, GNOME and KDE are all based on component model, and their components are glued together mainly with C/C++ language. That reason is system language itself is also envolving and programmers have build enough skills and experience and know how to use it with great power and avoid pitfalls at the same time.

Having said that, I would like to show my respect for all these developers for their great work on Tcl and Tk(Tk is really impressive!). Anyhow, having one more choice when selecting language is always a good thing. ;)