TIP 6: Include [Incr Tcl] in the Core Tcl distribution

Login
Bounty program for improvements to Tcl and certain Tcl packages.
Tcl 2017 Conference, Houston/TX, US, Oct 16-20
Send your abstracts to tclconference@googlegroups.com
by Aug 21.
Author:         Mark Harrison <markh@usai.asiainfo.com>
State:          Rejected
Type:           Project
Vote:           Done
Created:        16-Oct-2000
Post-History:   
Tcl-Version:    8.4.0

Abstract

Include [Incr Tcl] in the Core Tcl distribution.

Proposal

[incr Tcl] http://tcltk.com/itcl/ shall be included in the core Tcl distribution. It shall be included in the Tcl source tree, and built as part of the standard Tcl distribution.

Specific items:

Rationale

The lack of a standard object and data abstraction system continues to hinder Tcl development.

"Lets face it, not including any sort of OO system is one of the major failings of Tcl. Indexing into global arrays is a sad hack when compared to a real OO system." - Mo DeJong mdejong@cygnus.com

Earlier this year, it seemed that it would finally be included in Tcl 8.4, but that plan was rescinded.

Note that this is distinct from the "batteries included" (BI) distribution, and is not intended to be a model for building the BI distribution. It is a special case for inclusion in the core tcl command set, since a "class" command is a fundamental language construct.

Alternatives

Include [incr Tcl] in a "batteries included" (BI) distribution.

Many people will not opt for the BI distribution ([4]) due to its larger size. It is quite likely that (for example) a Linux distribution my include Tcl as a standard component, but place the BI on a supplemental disk.

Objections

I don't want any object system included!

You can delete the [incr Tcl] library with no harm to your code.

John Ousterhout hates objects!

This misconception is primarily due to a misreading of one of his papers. A better summary of his position is that "scripting is a better solution than objects in many cases." John Ousterhout has told me that he will not stand in the way of adding object-oriented programming to Tcl.

[incr Tcl]'s object model is not good!

[incr Tcl] supports the same object model as C++ and Java. Many programmers are familiar with this model and accept it as a good model.

The CLOS object model is better!

Quoting John Ousterhout, "People vote with their feet". For whatever reason, slot-based systems failed to gain as much popularity as C++/Java-like systems.

There are many Tcl object systems to choose from!

None are even a fraction as long-lived, popular, or well-supported as [incr Tcl].

Special Provisions

Since [incr Tcl] still exists as a separately named entity, this TIP shall not be construed as relieving any individual from the responsibility of providing appropriate [incr Apparel].

Copyright

This document has been placed in the public domain.

History