Updated 2011-04-17 04:14:04 by RLE
 a.k.a. Carl Jolly

My introduction to Tcl was while I was getting my Masters in Computer science in 1995. I'd just become a research assistant for the Computer Science Department and was funded by a NASA Electronic Medical Records grant ( yeah I don't understand why NASA was doing this either but $ is $ but I digress). My professor indicated that the project would entail producing a product that would display a persons medical records. Fine. Oh and by the way they want to see something in 3 days! OMG! I just finished a class in X-Windows programming and I was dreading having to code up what I'd plan using C and knowing all the while that'd be impossible. So I went looking for a prototyping language to speed things up. Wx-windows was promising but it was using Lisp and it was very difficult despite my dogged allegiance to emacs. I was commiserating my fate with a friend and he told me he had just been playing around with Tcl. I downloaded the software (tcl 7.5 tk4.3 ) and over the phone told me to type in the following program:
 button .exit -command exit -test Exit
 tkwait .

Wa Du La ! A button appeared which I could press and result in the program exiting. Wx-Windows was out the window! Ten hours later I had a reasonable prototype medical records system that displayed icons of various records in a hierarchy on a canvas. Hovering over the canvas would cause a tool tip to appear showing various properties of the document. Left double clicking would pull up the document using various handlers ( e.g. xpdf for pdf documents). Right clicking would pull up a pop-up menu to do CRUD operations. It was very energizing to go from knowing nothing to having a complex working program all in 10 hours. The dog and pony show went off without a hitch. Needless to say, I've been using Tcl ever since.