Why is tcl broken?

Paul Duffin pduffin at mailserver.hursley.ibm.com
Mon Jun 28 14:52:10 CEST 1999

Donn Cave wrote:
> Greg Ewing <greg.ewing at compaq.com> writes:
> ...
> | In my experience, I find that I can do with Python everything
> | that Tcl was designed for, do it more easily, do a lot
> | more besides, and have more fun in the process. I believe
> | the reason for this is rooted in some fundamental design
> | features of these languages, which I have sketched above.
> | I think that's about as close as one can get to providing
> | an objective argument as to whether one language is better
> | than another for a given purpose.

Actually you find that you can do everything that YOU want to
in Python and YOU find it easier than doing it in Tcl. I do not
believe that you can do everything in Python that you can do
in Tcl (at least as regards extending the language itself).

> How about Expect as an example?  I don't mean to criticize the
> existing Python Expect implementation(s), have no idea where the
> state of the art is on that.  I just remember trying to think of
> a natural Python idiom that would replace the "expect" verb's case
> switch flow of control.
> My experience is more or less the same as yours - rewrote Tcl
> software in Python and was henceforth a convert.  But I think
> Tcl is syntactically more adaptable, where Python kind of makes
> a virtue of its fixed ways.

Correct. With Tcl you can create new control structures which
are indistinguishable from the built in ones, you cannot do
that in Python. Python is much more rigid in its syntax although
it does have a lot of nice hooks to allow objects to behave
in different ways.

Paul Duffin
DT/6000 Development	Email: pduffin at hursley.ibm.com
IBM UK Laboratories Ltd., Hursley Park nr. Winchester
Internal: 7-246880	International: +44 1962-816880

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