Version 76 of Larry Virden

Updated 2007-10-26 13:38:23 by LV


My name is Larry W. Virden (aka LV here on the Wiki and lvirden many places around the internet and sometimes seen as lwv on wikit page modifications, etc.).

I maintain a blog at . I don't do a lot of babbling about Tcl there - right now, it's more my daily aches and pains, as well as discussions about my kids - having two teenagers tends to dominate one's vision. What that means - I've no idea at this time ;-) .

There are a number of other pages I have around the net - such as, for instance, . Most of them do not get updated as frequently as the xanga page.

If you have Tcl applications, extensions, routines, documentation, articles, or general information that you provide (freely or commercially) on the internet, let me know at the above address and I will add it to the FAQ. Or add them here at the wiki - as I consider it to be the primary community resource.

At home, I have primarily Macintoshes - many 68k based - for use. However, during 2006 I inherited a working G3 or G4. Now I have to figure the best way to upgrade it to MacOS X and how to safely connect to the net.

(As of winter 2003, a Christmas gift of a Win98 machine was made to a member of the family - but due to lack of resources and concern about security, it isn't on the web).

So I typically surf the web via a telnet window on my SPARC Sunblade. and use lynx or Mozilla as the browser.

At work, during late 2005 I was forced to begin using a Dell Windows XP system :-( ... Even most of the time, it is just used as an Exceed (X Window System server) box, I still hate it. I really miss having my Sun at my desk. But, I spend most of my time logged into a Solaris 9 SPARC, so all is not black.

I use Tcl/Tk 8.5b1 or 8.4.16 (actually, the CVS heads) as much as I can. At work, I use tclkit, ASPN ActiveTcl, and the source codes...

Currently at work I have the following Tcl books on my desk:

My personal copies:

  • Tcl and the Tk Toolkit
  • Tcl/Tk in a Nutshell
  • Web Tcl Complete
  • Tcl/Tk Programmer's Reference
  • Programming Expect
  • CGI Developer's Resource
  • Effective Tcl/Tk Programming

and I've loaned out, somewhere, my itcl book . ARRRGGGG! I can't figure out to whom this was loaned... which means that I don't have it any longer. This is TERRIBLE. I need another copy!

I also have company copies of:

  • Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk (first edition)
  • Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk (second edition)

At home, I have copies of

  • Tcl and the Tk Toolkit
  • Effective Tcl/Tk Programming
  • Interactive Web Applications With Tcl/Tk
  • Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk (fourth edition)

I don't recall but I don't think I have any of the other Tcl books.

Things to think about:

Anyone who has used Tcl and feels it has contributed positively to them should take a little time and contribute back. Contributions can range from making code that you have written available, to submitting Tcl/Tk bug reports, patches to suggesting improvements to , to updating Wiki pages here, etc.

Many times people complain about how Tcl works. It usually sounds like they are expecting Tcl to act in a manner similar to some other language. They generally sound frustrated, sometimes expressing threats to move off to some other language.

Unfortunately, I am uncertain which other language to recommend to them. Some want a scripting language which cares less about white space than Tcl. I suppose I could recommend Perl. Sometimes they seek languages which enforce variable naming or provide tighter scoping. I could probably recommend Python. Unfortunately that requires a particular physical code layout style, but might be able to do the rest of what they want. Or maybe Ruby would better suit them.

I do wish them all good luck finding a scripting language that is fast, flexible, enforcing the level of strictness desired, but permitting one to code in in their own personal style. It's a holy grail that programmers sometimes spend significant portions of their lives seeking. Many will tell you that this language, or that one, has satisfied them. In my own personal quest, I have yet to find the ultimate solution.

I am lvirden when I can get on the Tcl'ers Chat Tcl Chatroom.

The TkChat application in tclapps module of tcllib on SourceForge is available for users to join in the fun of the chat room.

Now that the chatroom has moved to IRC , I am no longer able to access it during the work day. Maybe some day there will be web page access again.

I wouldn't even begin to guess how many of the 20000+ pages on this wiki I have either started or contributed a lot to - it would not be modest to mention, I guess... (and if my family ever saw, I would be in big trouble for spending so much time here...)

Some favorite quotes

  • In a recent DevSource article about dynamic (scripting) languages (with contributions by our own CL and JH), the PHP author (another Larry) had a description that read something like:

"When Larry's not writing or programming, he spends his time napping and daydreaming about napping."

That is likely to be the legacy I leave my kids...

  • Everything takes longer than it does.
        - proverb
  • "Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."
  - Henry David Thoreau
  • "If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z.
      Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
  - Albert Einstein
  • In a February 1998 interview conducted by Dr. Dobbs Journal with

Larry Wall, the conclusion of the interview is:

Do you have any final comments, or typs for aspiring programmers? Or aspiring Perl programmers?
Assume that your first idea is wrong, and try to think through the various options. I think that the biggest mistake people make is latching onto the first idea that comes to them and trying to do that. It really comes to a thing that my folks taught me about money. Don't buy something unless you've wanted it three times. Similarly, don't throw in a feature when you first think of it. Think if there's a way to generalize it, think if it should be generalized. Sometimes you can generalize things too much. I think like the things in Scheme were generalized too much. There is a level of abstraction beyond which people don't want to go. Take a good look at what you want to do, and try to come up with the long-term lazy way, not the short-term lazy way.

Ideas for Tcl/Tk

Here's a couple of images for Larry to use when marking broken links in the wiki - stevel Wikignomes - you may feel free to use these as well!

Wrote a bot ("OrphanBot"), will now make a new one for local DB inspection, but got told you might find it interesting anyway: Orphans - gg

About the Tcl'ers Wiki

Merry Christmas to all! And Happy Holidays as well!

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