Forum OpenACS CMS: Re: Tcl - supportable

8: Re: Tcl - supportable (response to 1)
Posted by Orzenil Silva Junior on
hi Olivia,

As a very new in tcl world i would like to add my point of view about tcl and tcl in openacs.

I really agree with Ali, Andrew and others. Tcl is a great advantage in programming for itself, mainly if we take in account its extensions like xOTCL object-oriented extension, incrTcl and integration with tk (although i heard you could use tk without tcl using STK, a scheme interpreter) or expect (see for example DejaGnu -

Technically tcl has a coherent design that is easy for programmers to internalise and make sense of, indeed easy syntax. Tcl incorporate powerful data structures such as lists and powerful primitives such as regular expressions. Thinking about a minimal specification list provided by tcl we could talk tcl is:
* convenient for script writing
* interpreted
* embeddable
* composable
* portable

But more important: Tcl is decided advantage when we look at it as a component of OpenACS infrastructure. Tcl/AOLserver have great integration and OpenACS TCL API improves it. xOTCL could be integrated easily with Aolserver too and both could be used in OpenACS (look for Gustaf Neumann posts in this forums - We have people from other projects looking for this kind of property: see for example this recent post about mod_perl/apache and xotcl/aolserver at or look for Zope+Aolserver+OpenACS in google.

Also, quoting Don Baccus in a very old forum post:

"the basic AOLserver/Tcl/RDBMS paradigm is a very simple one. There's virtue in keeping things as simple as possible, isolating complexity to necessary areas, like the API between modules and the core technology." (from

When talking about tcl as OpenACS component remember that we won't build huge programs with 10's or 100's of
thousands of lines of Tcl within packages. When using tcl with OpenACS core technology we will be in the right domain that keeps Tcl's advantages, such as simplicity, easy glue, and easy embedding.

Yours concerns are target to build a CMS on top of OpenACS and have people to adapt and support it. Take a look at dotLRN as application specific example. The dotLRN project is build on OpenACS and today is a proven "out-of-box" (community, correct me if this term is not so adequate!) solution for e-learning. And more important you could find a large farm of dotlrn-based solutions (with the same tcl/aolserver) for education domain like Learn@WU from Vienna University (, aLF from innova group at Universida Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Spain (, Galileo Educational System in Guatemala (, KELP - Knowledge e-learning portal in Italy ( and many others. OpenACS core technology is very extensible, supportable and we have great and responsible people to do that!

I do not have great proximity with openACS CMS project but maybe you could try talk with people from collaboraid (, furfly (, aristoi ( or others companies or independent consultants listed in