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Article:
  What I Hate About Your Programming Language
Subject:   What I hate about Tcl
Date:   2003-05-14 07:04:45
From:   anonymous2
Response to: What I hate about Tcl

If you think Tcl's list and associated array are so powerful, you need to try a real scripting language like Ruby, Perl, or Python. Each of your points are also true for each of them.


Tcl survives for three reasons: Tk (still one of the most portable and ubiquitous GUIs), commercial CAD tools, and easy embedding.


The language itself is truly terrible. I cringe every time I have to touch it.

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  • What I hate about Tcl
    2003-05-14 16:41:19  setok [View]

    > The language itself is truly terrible. I cringe
    > every time I have to touch it.

    This seems like a horribly broad statement. As many of my friends know, Tcl is quit my favourite language by a fair margin. Not because of Tk or the associative arrays (I know other languages have them). What I truly love about Tcl is the way it doesn't limit how itself can be extended: it has a very simple syntax -- much simpler than almost any other language besides Lisp -- which can be extended in all sorts of directions with ease. There are no special cases or reserved keywords or static language constructs. I like to say "Tcl doesn't provide you with any programming paradigm -- you just [package require] the one you want".

    Add to that the fabulous event-based IO, virtual filesystems, "everything-is-a-string" and a lush variety of OO possibilities (from [incr Tcl] to XOTcl and Snit) and it is difficult for me not to like what I see.

    I hate to sound like I'm making a marketing pitch. I can accept that my points may not convince everyone, but your bold statement just made me see red and I do not believe it was justified in the slightest. If you wish to say something like that on a public forum, please offer us the courtesy of at least trying to explain your position.
  • What I hate about Tcl
    2003-05-14 12:25:21  sharkey [View]

    "Truly terrible" is a bit of an overstatement.

    It suffers from a commitment to overwhelmingly simple command syntax. All commands are "operator arg arg arg...", so instead of "$a = $b", you end up with the ugly "set a $b".

    Simplicity is not always beautiful, but it does make embedding really easy. (in commercial CAD tools, tuxracer, network routers, or wherever)

    And Tk rocks!