Connecting Tcl/Tk with GNUstep Objective-C programs

by Theo Verelst

of course feel free to comment/add/correct/improve/ etc.

To set up a software connection, see also:

automatically generating socket based Tcl / C connection code, 1

Over a decade ago, the NeXT computer was welcomed into (at that point commercial) computerland, and I think at least some of the ideas still haven't lost their appeal, an opinion which I recently found appearently is shared by the makers of the latest Mac OSX, which use the opensource GNU compiler, and basically what made for NeXTStep of the company Apple bought, the graphical and other Object libraries together with their own additions.

The idea of the NeXT was more than the os (which was based on Unix); it had a built in digital signal processor (DSP), a real-time hardware-accelerated Postscript screen renderer and some neat apps (Pagemaker and such). Currently, excepting those things, GNUstep for Linux, Windows (I guess with an X server, but am not sure), Unix, and possibly Mac, brings us for free in open source, which can in practice be compiled and used with a portion of the feel and possibilities of NeXTstep and some of its application parts, and especially, the good enough gnu Objective-C compiler, most libraries, and development tools.

In the past I (professionally) used Objective-C for a (3D) graphics program/database, so I know at least it can do some things, and because it has dynamic binding, it is interesting to play around with, and I think especially when tcl/tk can be combined with it.

For starters, I thought I'd see if the GNUstep (on Linux, Redhat 9) environment works, and if a powerfull link method can work: a socket. It appears that in principle at least the setup can be proven to give results after some hacking. I am aware there has even been a tcl/Objective-C combination long in the past; maybe newer and more powerful versions exist, but my interest was along the line of using some of the GUI power of NeXTstep and maybe BWise block approaches in the set up for powerful Objective-C and Tcl/Tk interactive designs.

Without sources (they suck too much without some additional work) see here for the first results: