Re: Why you should not use Tcl

George M. Sipe (
27 Sep 1994 16:28:53 -0400

In article <>,
Michael B. Johnson <> wrote:
>Hear, hear. I've been using tcl for around 5 years, and besides the
>truly pragmatic reasons to use it (unencumbered source code license,
>amazing support from comp.lang.tcl, very portable core, etc.) there
>is one philosophical reason which has kept me from switching to a
>"purer" language like Scheme. Simply put, tcl was built to do exactly
>what I use it for - serve as an extensible, embeddable scripting
>language, where it's straightforward to do database-like accessing
>of variables and procedures. Sure, I'd like it to be faster, but in
>the mean time, I'm getting an enormous amount of work done. If the
>GNU folks come out with an embeddable extensible scripting language
>that is as portable as tcl while staying at an equivalent "cost"
>with regard to code size and gives me much higher performance, I'll
>certainly give it a look, but in the mean time, I'm getting a
>huge amount of work done with tcl.

Ahhh, but you noted above as a reason to use Tcl - "unencumbered source
code license" - a GNU sponsored language would be heavily encumbered by
the GPL or maybe LGPL. You can bet the the bulk of the available
extensions and modules written in it would likewise be encumbered.
This pretty much kills it for commercial use and means commercial
software will end up using something else. Too bad.

Contrast this to Tcl. A truly free language, with a community that
makes extensions and modules written in it available under the same
terms (in most cases).

>As always, thanks to John and this community for the fine job done
>with tcl.

And for the generous licensing terms which allow it to be more than
a "private" language (as a GPLed/LGPLed language would be).

P.S. I realize that a GNU language could be considered a specification
to which a truly free implementation could be made, but in reality this
is unlikely to be done or to succeed if it were done for a number of

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