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Gmane
From: Jordan K. Hubbard <jkh-2kanFRK1NckAvxtiuMwx3w <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: Re: modern Tcl and correct quoting
Newsgroups: gmane.os.apple.macports.devel
Date: Monday 24th June 2013 00:12:40 UTC (over 4 years ago)
On Jun 12, 2013, at 9:39 PM, Poor Yorick

wrote:

> I've mastered some of the deepest darkest corners of bash syntax (got
some
> creds in ABS), and it's one of my ongoing regrets.  If only I could get
those
> years back and put them into Tcl instead!  Bash never became fun, but
coding in
> Tcl only gets more satisfying.

I don't say much on this list, but I just wanted to jump up and applaud
when I read that. :-)

I've gotten a lot of ribbing from other Apple engineers over the years for
my unstinting support of Tcl, it being widely assumed that Landon chose it
for MacPorts almost entirely at my instigation since I was the boss, but
this is untrue - we actually tried everything from XML to Javascript in
some of the early prototypes.  There's just something about Tcl's
fundamental simplicity in syntax and easy hybridization with C code that
makes it still as relevant today as it was 20 years ago, and that's why we
chose it for MacPorts.

I'll admit that Tcl is not as fundamentally object-oriented as Ruby, and it
took awhile for the Tcl community to really sort that out even after [incr
tcl] became stable, which is a shame, but the TclOO bits in 8.6 are pretty
good so I think that's in the past.  I would encourage the project to adopt
all the new features of 8.6 in a major cleanup of the MacPorts framework
someday, and for the older OS X releases there's always the option of
distributing a stand-alone installer which also bootstraps a newer Tcl
environment into place.

MacPorts has always installed its own bits, even when there are "parallel"
system bits available, and for really good reasons which are already
spelled out in the FAQ.  Why not do so for Tcl itself?   Even the folks who
build from source could be catered to with a little makefile shim which
checked the system version of tcl and boostrapped a new Tcl into place
before doing anything else.

- Jordan
 
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