Charles McColm

The Working Centre Linux Project -

My first exposure to Tcl/Tk was when the leader of The Working Centre Linux Project[L1 ], Paul, asked me to code a form users could use to provide us with feedback about our Linux distribution. At the time I was working on my Honours Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Professional Writing at the University of Waterloo. Paul was working on a Masters degree in Computer Science (or was it Math? I think his undergraduate degree was in Math). Regardless, Paul, asked me, with my limited programming experience, to write a program he probably could have easily written himself. Meanwhile he wrote all the documentation for the project. I suggested a simple HTML form, but we ultimately decided on something more substantial: a Tcl/Tk GUI form called WCLPfeedback[L2 ]. In the end I think it got removed from later distributions, no one was using it.

Flatfile database The next Tcl project I initiated on my own. I wanted to write a flat file database using tcl, uncgi, apache and a little bash shell scripting to inventory the computer parts we had at The Working Centre[L3 ]. At the time I was just a volunteer, working on the Linux distribution Paul, Daniel, and I had thrown together. In retrospect the database was the first step towards my current job as the fearless leader of The Working Centre's Computer Recycling project[L4 ]. Eventually I moved the database to Oscommerce (MySQL/PHP), but it was a good start.

IceUtils I've always been a fan of fantasy novels. At one point I decided to write some software to help come up with generic fantasy worlds. One of my favourite authors is Edgar Rice Burroughs. A lot of his novels are formula like. I figured a random suite of tools would make it easy to produce formula fiction. At the same time I decided not to make it GUI since I also wanted to use it over IRC, Internet Relay Chat. The result is Iceutils - . IceUtils has since been completely rewritten in C, but the tcl tools remain in the tarball.

Linux Games Currently I'm not doing much with Tcl/Tk, but lately I've been considering reviving the old code in IceUtils and adding a Tk GUI. But first I have to take care of some organizational details in my life. We've just moved Computer Recycling to 66 Queen Street (door on Charles St.) and I'm about to move in February, so there's little time to work on any other projects at the moment.