Attracting and retaining TCL coders : LUSENET : Tool Command Language (Tcl) : One Thread

Our organization is considering purchasing an application that has been coded in TCL. Seeing that I am not familiar with coding languages/scripts I wonder if it would be difficult to recruit and retain programmers who are proficient in TCL. Is this scripting language still popular?

Also, has anyone had experience converting a TCL application to Java? If so, would you recommend doing so? Why/Why Not?



-- giovanni barbaro (, April 26, 2001


With regards to converting tcl to java - it should be doable - I know of companies who have done this - but I would first have to question why one would bother to do this? If it is merely because there are more java programmers - remember there are more cobol programmers than there are java too, but one seldom hears of people converting java to cobol ...

One should not use a language because of its popularity - otherwise, one is left rewriting old apps every couple years, as the winds of journalistic interests change direction. Instead, one should focus on solving problems. If the Tcl program solves the problems you have - then that's great. If it almost does, then you will be able to get someone up to speed on Tcl - or even find an experienced Tcl programmer in all likelihood. If the program doesn't deal with major areas of concern, you probably would be better off writing the program from scratch than to try to convert and then majorly enhance the program.

I've seldom (perhaps ever!) found a good case for taking an existing program and converting it to a different language...

-- Larry W. Virden (, April 27, 2001.

Tcl (with and without Tk) is actively used in a wide range of applications and settings. Tcl programmers aren't as prevalent as Java programmers, naturally, but any programmer ought to be able to pick up Tcl in no more than a weekend.

To get a feel for the breadth of people using Tcl, I'd recommend you visit the comp.lang.tcl newsgroup, as well as the Tcl'ers Wiki. The newsgroup would be an especially good place to ask your questions both regarding to recruiting and retaining programmers, as well as converting from Tcl to Java. The people in the comp.lang.tcl newsgroup are among the most friendly and helpful of any language newsgroup I've ever read regularly.

-- Michael A. Cleverly (, April 26, 2001.

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