What: apptalk
Description: Tcl only procedure for enabling inter-application communication. It is a front-end to Tk's send command. Most useful for applications that provide 'generic' services such as text editing, email, web browsing, etc.
Updated: 10/1998
Contact: mailto:[email protected] (Bryan Oakley)

Lauri Ojansivu 2008-4-13: Fixed broken download link (From mirror of Procplace).

Bryan Oakley 17-Oct 2005. Wow. I stumbled on this page today; I didn't realize it existed.

The apptalk code is nine years old as of this writing, dating back to tcl 7.6 or thereabouts. I had been programming in tcl about a year when I released that package. We were using it in some commercial code that typically had two or three specialized GUIs running as services, of a sort.

Imagine having an editor and some other app open, and that other app needs to use the services of an editor. The other app could do something like @editor load_file $filename and The Right Thing would happen. If you had two editors running you'd get a dialog that says, in effect, "you have two editors running, which one do you want to use?". If you had none running, the code was smart enough to start up a new instance.

I find it somewhat satsifying to know that the code still runs today (on X11 systems, at least) with wish 8.5, completely unchanged. I'm also a bit amazed that the above link actually works. I've long since lost the original code.

At the time, I was fairly pleased with the code. I'm not sure a single person outside our company ever expressed any interest in it, but it felt good to convince the suits to let us release the source way before "open source" was a buzzword.

LV Sun advertised their Tooltalk with similar hopes. I remember attending a conference where someone had described doing research to create a binding between Tooltalk and Tcl similar to what you describe above. Good job!