Torsten Berg

Contents moved from Torsten Reincke page, because my name has changed (I got married).

Actually, I have no formal education in informatics. No, I am a biologist. But I have been programming now for over 20 years. And there is Tcl and I was always interested in programming and this is why I am here! (Note: My name has changed as of May 2006. After the marriage, I am now Torsten Berg ...)

Tcl is the first computer language (after having had contact to Basic, Pascal, Comal80, C, Perl, Java, REXX, Forth) I used productively for large scale projects and do some real work with. Thanks a lot for this wonderful tool! It is so easy and so powerful, just like a bike: once you've learned how to use it, you have to use it all the time, because then you feel so free and so enthusiastic.

I have a homepage at (or more specifically: ). You can contact by at [email protected]. Unfortunately, there is not much to see there still. But I hope to give my projects a home there, and perhaps it is of use to someone out there, just as I got so many useful script snippets from the Wiki and other places.

Some of my contributions to the Wiki (new pages and additions to existing pages):


PYK 2023-07-17 15:41

Hi, your new page, Tcl and C, extending and embedding, mirrors information that is already available on other pages in a more organized form. Rather than creating new pages for a topic that is already covered, the existing pages and tables of contents should be improved. Today I checked every piece of information on your new page to ensure that it can in fact be found elsewhere, and then deleted the page. For example, Tcl Package Developer Guide already contains a link to How to build good packages. Links in the existing pages create a hierarchy that facilitates browsing. For example, Tcl Package Developer Guide is more general, and it points to Extending Tcl via packaging Extensions. Extending Tcl in turn points back up to the higher-level Tcl Package Developer Guide. Entire paragraphs on your new page were in fact copied from existing pages. This is exactly the opposite direction from where we want to go with the content of the wiki. A decade ago there was in fact more duplicated information on the wiki, and it was a mess. If you would like to help improve on the content on the wiki, a good way to do that is to make sure that relevant information on a topic is consolidated so that it is easy to browse to and also easier to maintain. Obsolete information on the wiki is a real problem, particularly when the information has been updated in one place but not in another.

Each bit of information on your new page can be found at one of the following pages:

Extending Tcl
Tcl Tutorial Lesson 0
Tcl Package Developer Guide
How to embed Tcl in C applications

Another note: When index pages such as the one you created, whose primary content is references to other pages were first created, there was a fair amount of outcry about them. That outcry has died down, but we should try to minimize the number of such index pages, as their unnecessary proliferation only creates clutter that impedes successful navigation of a topic. At the top of What is Tcl you will find a link to a table of contents. Ideally, every page on the wiki could be reached by drilling down into the pages reachable from this table. You could help to organize pages to achieve this goal.

TB 2023-07-18 What should I say? The whole idea with creating that specific page was actually to make it much simpler navigating through all stuff related to C programming and Tcl, especially for beginners that do not know the material and need to have an overview first, before they start digging into specifics. Of course, everything can be found somewhere on the Wiki. But my point was not to repeat existing stuff (not just a reference page for other pages), I wanted to have a nice entry point into that particular field of Tcl (and Tk), so that beginners have the most important information on one page as an overview of what is possible with Tcl and where to find it on the Wiki. This could subsequently and slowly evolve into something useful for the Tcl Tutorial ... as I go along and learn more about it. I have been searching the Wiki so many times just to find these circular links and old historical pages (which I didn't want to just overwrite or delete) that I was actually tired of the sprinkled pieces of information here and there. It just took so much time to find and understand – When looking for the information I collected using an index, I would never ever start on a page called What is Tcl and click on a link called C library and expect to find everything there. I wanted a guided access to the material on the Wiki, enhancing the existing information (in a tutorial kind of way) without throwing away the original pages. The Wiki, as it is now, does not serve this job for me.

Again, it was not just an index page and never intended as such. But ok, now it's gone ... I am quite disappointed, this has never happened to me before here on the Wiki (and I've now been here for more than 15 years). I really liked that (deleted) page as a starting point and wanted to build further on this. If you do not want to have such pages on the Wiki, it's ok for me. I can publish it in other places as well and point to the Wiki from there. But, do me a favour: where can I find the page containing the Wiki policy so I know for the future what is allowed and what is not allowed on the Wiki?

PYK 2023-07-18: You have the same freedom to revert my deletion that I had to make the deletion, and it's not the end of the world if you bring it back. If you really want to keep that page it about, it's just a matter of a couple of clicks through the history for that page. Before you do that though, consider that for some reason I considered it worth my time to spend four hours cross-referencing the information on that page and updating other pages before I deleted it. Numerous similar "introductory" pages have appeared from time to time on the wiki, and over the years they became useless because no one bothered to maintain them after the original author left off and they rotted. I have deleted several of them after culling all useful information out of them. The page you created is also destined to rot, at which point it will contribute to the problem you have stated you wanted to solve. Rot is a real factor, and duplication promotes rot.

It's clear that we both have the same goals here. I too found the wiki to be in incomprehensible mess of outdated, contradictory, unnavigable information. I propose that the real solution to the problem is set of tables of contents that are collaboratively curated to remove outdated information, circular links, and copypasta, and further propose Contents as the entry point. If we can agree on that as a common starting point for navigation, and then also agree on a few principles, such as reducing needless duplication of content to avoid rot, I think we'll find a way to fit the things we want into contents from that point. It's true that tutorial pages intended to more repeat existing information in a more instructive way, the page you created wasn't a a real tutorial.

Regarding your request for a link to wiki policy, there is none, and maybe it should remain that way. That leaves negotiation as the primary means of conflict resolution. That said, I have posted my own expectations on PYK.

TR 2023-07-18 There is no point bringing the page back. I do not want an endless debate about a page which one person feels is helpful and can evolve into some tutorial over time and which another person feels is duplicated and already covered. You are right, the page I created was not a tutorial (yet). I mentioned it myself on the Tutorial page where I linked to it, so that it can be easily found (especially by new users of the Wiki that start with the Tutorial). On purpose I wrote above that my intention was to slowly evolve it into something of a tutorial. However, I could not do this in the few days I spent my time on collecting the links, structuring the topic with a sensible outline and slowly starting to put more content into that page, also content I did not find on the Wiki yet. I thought it would be a good idea to start by just linking to existing pages until I get around to writing enough myself. If you think that the new page is destined to rot so early, well, I guess then there is really no point anymore.

I read your expectations and of course, most make sense to me. However, I tend to disagree on the "again and again and again" part. I am not the kind of person who will endlessly defend a page, my time is too valuable for that. I rather want to create content and anyone is free to ignore it. That's the whole idea of the Wiki as a place for everyone.

PYK 2023-07-21: The "again and again" part can happen, but in this case I've already made my edit expressing my opinions, and it would be out-of-place to delete the page again if you brought it back. I'd probably be hands-off on that page for some time and maybe revisit its development in the future. Now I've communicated my goal of deduplicating information to lower maintenance costs and to avoid rot, and you are free to make of it what you will. Fresh content that adds new value is a good thing. Folding similar pages into single more cohesive cruft-free pages is also a good thing.

A last note on this discussion which now resides on this page: My opinion is that once a discussion on a wiki page has served its purpose it can be deleted, possibly with a link to the last revision where the discussion appeared, if desired.