Re: extensibility (was: Why you should not use Tcl)

Wayne Throop (
30 Sep 1994 04:19:24 GMT

: From: (Tim Pierce)
: What if [..users need..] slightly more sophisticated and abstract
: concepts than a small scripting language is prepared to offer?

Here we have the core of what's so strange about RMS's rationale. The
actual complaints of missing features, namely "It lacks arrays", and
"lacks structures from which you can make linked lists". "It fakes
having numbers" and "Tcl syntax seems strange to most users".

These are the only specific features RMS names as missing.
RMS *says* there are other missing features several times, eg:
"Tcl was not designed to be a serious programming language" and
"Tcl is ok for writing small programs, but when you push it beyond
that, it becomes insufficient". But what goes wrong when it is
pushed beyond its design? RMS does not share this information with us.

Again, Tcl *has* the "abstract concepts" in each and every case RMS
mentions. Tcl has numbers, but they're "fake". Tcl has arrays, but
they are more general than just integer indexes. Tcl programs routinely
use lists and structures, but not to RMS's satisfaction.

Now, I think there are legitimate technical complaints that can be made
about tcl as a language. But I don't think RMS hit on a single one of
them except in the very vaguest of ways.

As I said... "strange".

Wayne Throop