Updated 2011-07-18 23:27:56 by AMG

These pages are a part of the Tcler's Wiki - a collection of information related to Tcl/Tk. This is a new way of maintaining information, based on a concept called Wiki Wiki Web, or Wiki in short.

See also the purpose of this Wiki.

If you want to install Tcl/Tk, or just run some Tcl/Tk application, have a look at Getting Started and When all you want is to run a Tk application.

Like any other web site, you can go through these pages by clicking and following hyperlinks. There are a number of ways links show up:

  • As one or more colored words, such as the Formatting Rules page.
  • As a link to a page on another website, such as http://www.tcl.tk/
  • As a less prominent link annotation, as this one to the Tcl home site [1]
  • As an empty Page, which has no contents yet (unfortunately, any time we put in a sample here, someone comes along and breaks it...)
  • Another [Empty Page1++], which has no contents yet, because the above has content now

You can also see a list of Recent Changes, which is maintained automatically, or Search for words in page titles or even through the full text. Other places to start from are likely to spring up soon, as people start to add more information and adding lists they find useful, such as a list of people, called Tcl'ers.

If the Search doesn't work in your browser have a look at the The Tcler's Wiki where workarounds are described.

In addition, searching the wiki via Google can also be useful. For example try typing "welcome visitors site:wiki.tcl.tk" in the Google search box or http://www.google.com/search?q=welcome+visitors+site%3Awiki.tcl.tk in the address box of your browser. Then try replacing the "welcome visitors" part with whatever keywords you like.

Adding comments

But you'll miss out on half the fun if you don't enter "edit mode" - because that's what makes a Wiki unique: everyone with a web browser can edit the contents of these pages, and create new pages!

Every page has an "Edit" link at the bottom. A few notes on editing:

  • These pages are generated from plain text, with a few very simple markup tricks. For those familiar with other Wikis: the Formatting Rules on this Wiki are similar, but not identical.
  • As you will see, some pages are written and maintained by a single person (who will usually sign with his/her name), while others are more "discussion-style-append-at-the-end-please". Richard Suchenwirth welcomes comments on all his pages, even though signed, however;-)
  • There's a Graffiti page where you can sharpen your Wiki writing skills. It's a good place to start; don't be surprised if that page (and your text!) changes wildly over time. However, it is where people are encouraged to test drive the Wiki.
  • Feel free to participate on a discussion page whenever you like. As you will see, discussion in this form is different from a newsgroup. Each has its benefits; these discussions are likely to stay much shorter, but... they don't expire!
  • You may want to let the other Tcl'ers know that you are the person that is changing/creating a page. In addition to blocks like [YOUR NAME] the page Wikit user names documents how to make your name appear in the Recent Changes page.

Adding a brand new page

After a period (which may be 0 minutes long ;) of reading and occasionally adding comments, you will eventually (we hope) reach the point where you want to add a new page. To do this is as:

  • If you have an idea for maintaining a new list of some sort, or if you want to start a discussion on a new topic, you can create a new page. The way to do so is to look for a spot appropriate to mention the new page, think carefully about its name, and then simply add a comment with your new page name in square brackets. If you don't see a good place to start a new link, you can always go to New Pages and add the link there. Once the link exists, you'll see tiny hyperlinked brackets - click on one of those to edit the new page. That's all. After the new page has been saved, the bracket hyperlinking is extended with the name included.
  • If you'd like to keep a page with information about yourself, you can add your name to the Tcl'ers page, and put square brackets around it to create your own personal page (save it and then click on bracket). You can look at the other entries for ideas on what to do with your personal page. Some point to personal projects off this site, some list the pages they begin on this site, and some talk on and on about all sorts of things.

Anyone can alter anything

That's right: you can alter anything on any of these pages. With this extreme freedom and power, comes the responsibility to respect what others have written. Fixing typos is likely to be appreciated everywhere, whereas removing major pieces of another person's writing for no apparent reason (or for an arbitrary and/or capricious reason) is frowned upon... If you do this, we will find ways to cast a virtual spell on you... :o)

Does that mean everything you enter could also be gone the next minute? Yes and no: yes, it may disappear from the page - no, it's never really gone. This Wiki (which is based on Wikit) tracks the full history of changes, including the IP address of the machine from which the change was made - so we have a basic indication of who changed what. Although the feature to recall previous versions of a page has not yet been implemented, the information is already there. The plan is to allow you to view older versions of a page, and to copy and paste things back in if text has disappeared for the wrong reasons. For instance, there is the wikidiff service now available, to look at recent changes to pages.

This history mechanism also solves another aspect of Wikis, i.e. that when two people edit a page at the same time, only the last change will show up. Though probably rare, it does happen. With history recall (and hopefully some form of change highlighting), one can go back and pick up what was accidentally overwritten because of this.

You are cordially invited...

... to participate in this new form of collaboration called the Tcler's Wiki. Wiki is a more direct and creative way of defining a website together than anything else I know. It will become as much a Tcl resource as what we make of it. The Wiki concept is new for all of us, and my impression is that everyone involved so far already has a lot of fun with this. If you have an idea, and want to share it, or discuss it, or find support for it, you can set up a page and start a discussion - instantly. Also, whenever you run into broken links or stale information on this Wiki, you can go in yourself and improve and extend what's there.

If you're interested in where this Wiki is located, how it is run, what hardware and software it is based on (Tcl, of course!), or how to get a copy of its contents, check the page about this site.

As with any new enabling technology, there are truckloads of new ideas waiting to hatch - on the implementation side as well as on the contents side of this new adventure called Wiki ... -- JC