tcl – choirs of singing angels

seriously, I have not had this much of a eureka moment since I ran my first rails application.

TCL is an ancient, Lisp-inspired, unix based scripting language – what’s so exciting about that?! Let me tell you…

TCLKIT is a redistributable binary version of TCL/TK, prepackaged for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris on multiple architectures (and, if you can find a platform they haven’t built it for yet, you can always download the code and build it yourself :)). A quick test of mine has shown a (very basic) GUI prompt is possible on Windows 7 64-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Mac OS X (10.6), openSUSE 64-bit (gnome) and ubuntu 32-bit (kde), all using ONLY the appropriate TCLKIT binary and the following three lines of code:

package require Tk
label .hello -text "Hello World"
pack .hello

More importantly, it also has a kickass interface for catching stdout from preinstalled command line utilities, namely:

set output [exec ls -la /]

will do exactly what it looks like – run the shell command and store the stdout in a variable called output. (which you have to call $output for the rest of the script.)

That is all for now, more posts if I find anything else awesome (or terrible) about this way of writing short cross platform scripts to wrap command line calls in string parsing complex logic, and occasionally firing simple dialogs.


About tehwalrus

Lib Dem, Software Developer, General Geek. View all posts by tehwalrus

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