Feb 22 Tcl Meetup notes

Feb 22 Tcl Meetup Notes

possible topics

  • Google Summer Of Code 2022 SEH
  • Tcl 9 - how can we help make it happen? stevel
  • Unicode / 8.7 / 9.0 oehhar et al

Tcl 9

  • Brian looked at the new text widget. There are some core dumps in tests to address. The purpose of the new text widget is speed.
  • Tcl 9 beta. Any reason why not?

Robert Parker asked about json


  • excited about Tcl 9
  • would like to help
  • is there a consolidated list of things that need doing? (Brian suggested the core ticket list)
  • is there a consolidated list of what has been changed?
  • is there a consolidated list of breaking changes?


  • Tcl 9 full unicode
  • do we need 8.7 compatibility? (Nathan, please expand)
  • should we just jump to 9 and forget about 8.7? (Ashok)


  • Ashok suggested getting 8.7 out without unicode changes ASAP, Brian supported.
  • Ashok asked about the driver for 8.7 in the TCL. stevel answered that it is clearly Don Porter who decides about the release progress. Next meeting, he might attend (7pm UTC was proposed by stevel).
  • We want to get 8.7 & 9.0 out. Many great TIPS are ready since 8 years and we do not get them in production (apn, oehhar). How can we unblock a release?
  • pooryorick stated that he will skip 8.7 and invest only in 9.0. We have a lack of resources and 8.7 is just another complexity.
  • 8.7. exists because of the octal change, which is a breaking change on the string level Brian
  • Does 8.7 set changes in concrete too early? (Nathan please expand)

chw talked about some of the fancy stuff he's been doing - including rotating color emoji on a canvas. There was a discussion, if it was possible to have the sdl+agg branch in tk core. The patch to libxft (X11 freetype font rendering library) with support for BGRA bitmap fonts (e.g. Google Noto Color Emoji) can be found in https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xorg/lib/libxft/-/merge_requests/1

APN Summarizing my comments in the meetup: A lot of functionality outside of Unicode and 64-bit support has been implemented in the core within the last decade but not released because 8.7 is intended as the 9.0 compatibility / transition release. While I understand at some level the motivation for a transition release, I would ask why that transition release cannot be 8.8, 8.9 or whatever at the time 9.0 is close to being done. Based on comments by others (I am not really qualified to be a judge), the partial "upgrade" to full Unicode support in 8.7 is problematic in its current state. If that is the case, I would prefer to a 8.7 release with all Unicode-related changes since 8.6 reverted. I do not know if that is even possible. Given no one seemed satisfied with the 8.7's limited enhancements in Unicode relative to 8.6, why expend effort on shoehorning it into the 8.x release train? Given the lack of resources, a clean break to full Unicode support in 9.0 may be simpler to implement and faster to bring to market.