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<html> <head> <title>OTcl - MIT Object Tcl</title> </head> <body> <h1>OTcl - MIT Object Tcl</h1> <h2>The FAQ & Manual (Version 0.96, September 95)</h2> <address> David Wetherall<br> firstname.lastname@example.org<br> MIT Lab for Computer Science<br> </address> <h2>What is OTcl?</h2> <p>OTcl, short for MIT Object Tcl, is an extension to Tcl/Tk for object-oriented programming. It shouldn't be confused with the IXI Object Tcl extension by Dean Sheenan. (Sorry, but we both like the name and have been using it for a while.)</p> <p>Some of OTcl's features as compared to alternatives are:</p> <ul> <li>designed to be dynamically extensible, like Tcl, from the ground up <li>builds on Tcl syntax and concepts rather than importing another language <li>compact yet powerful object programming system (draws on CLOS, Smalltalk, and Self) <li>fairly portable implementation (2000 lines of C, without core hacks) </ul> <p>OTcl was presented at the Tcl/Tk Workshop '95. It constitutes a standalone release of a system that has been in use, embedded in the <a href="http://www.tns.lcs.mit.edu/vs/vusystem.html">VuSystem</a>, for two years. We made the release public (with free use, distribution and modification under the MIT license) to meet the demand for object-oriented programming in Tcl.</p> <h2>Where do I get it?</h2> <p>The primary distribution site for OTcl, including this FAQ and Manual, and documentation is:</p> <a href="ftp://ftp.tns.lcs.mit.edu/pub/otcl/"> <blockquote>ftp://ftp.tns.lcs.mit.edu/pub/otcl/</a></blockquote> <p>As well as the source code distribution, binary distributions are available for some platforms.</p> <h2>How do I make it?</h2> <p>OTcl is known to work with Tcl/Tk versions 7.3/3.6, 7.4/4.0, and 7.5/4.1 (alpha1) on Unix platforms. Since it is written in ANSI C, does not change the Tcl core, and is small, it should be relatively easy to port to other platforms. [And I expect it could easily work with earlier Tcl/Tk versions, at least down to 7.0/3.3.]</p> <h3>Compiling the Source Distribution</h3> <p>To build OTcl from its source distribution, you will need access to the Tcl source distribution, plus compatible Tcl/Tk libraries and external includes. The Tcl source is needed to include structures defined in internal headers. The libraries are needed if you want to link OTcl into standalone shells.</p> <p>(Specifically, OTcl needs the file tclInt.h and tclIntDecls.h from the source code to Tcl. If you're building OTcl on a platform with a binary installation of Tcl/Tk you <em>must</em> get these header files from the matching source code for your version ot Tcl/Tk.) <p>To compile, <tt>cd</tt> to the untarred directory, type <tt>./configure</tt>, and then <tt>make</tt>. The configuration process will ask you the location of the Tcl/Tk files it requires and produce the <tt>Makefile</tt>. Running <tt>make</tt> will cause four binaries to be produced; they are described below.</p> <p>Don't be put off by the use of configure. Compiling OTcl is straightforward (it's all in one C file!) and configure is mainly being used to accommodate platform dependent libraries and linking. You can edit the <tt>Makefile</tt> directly, or issue compile and link commands manually.</p> <h3>Using and Installing the Binaries</h3> <p>OTcl compiles to four binary results, each suited to a different purpose.</p> <ol> <li>otclsh, a tclsh loaded with OTcl. <li>owish, a wish loaded with OTcl. <li>libotcl.a, the OTcl library, for adding OTcl to your Tcl application. See below. <li>libotcl.so (suffix may vary), a shared version of the OTcl library for dynamically loading OTcl into running Tcl shells. See below. </ol> <p>You can test the binaries with <tt>make test</tt>. This runs the <tt>test.tcl</tt> script, which should report that several tests are passed.</p> <p>You can install the binaries with <tt>make install</tt>.</p> <h3>Adding OTcl to Your Application</h3> <p>OTcl doesn't change the core, so it can be added to other Tcl applications or shells in the usual manner. It is known to work with expect-5.18 and tclX7.4a, for example. However, OTcl does depend on several internal Tcl data structures, so it may not be compatible with Tcl versions in which the core has been modified.</p> <p>With a Tcl application of version 7.5 or higher (and a corresponding <tt>libotcl.so</tt>) OTcl may be loaded dynamically by issuing the tcl command <tt>"load libotcl.so OTcl"</tt> to the running interpreter. (If <tt>libotcl.so</tt> is not installed, then you may require environment variables, such as LD_LIBRARY_PATH for Solaris, or other schemes for access.)</p> <p>Alternatively, OTcl can be linked into a Tcl application to provide access to its C API. Simply call <tt>Otcl_Init</tt> from your application initialization routine (for which you will need to include <tt>otcl.h</tt> and link against an OTcl library). Then your modules may acess OTcl C functions through its external interface file, <tt>otcl.h</tt>.</p> <h2>How do I use it?</h2> <p>There's a quickstart tutorial to help you become familiar with OTcl syntax and style. It's included in the distribution.</p> <blockquote> <a href="doc/tutorial.html">Tutorial</a> </blockquote> <p>For documentation about objects, classes, and their capabilities, see the following reference pages. They're included in the distribution.</p> <blockquote> <a href="doc/object.html">OTcl Objects</a><br> <a href="doc/class.html">OTcl Classes</a><br> <a href="doc/autoload.html">OTcl Autoloading</a><br> <a href="doc/capi.html">OTcl C API</a><br> </blockquote> <p>You can read further about OTcl's capabilities and design in the workshop paper, also included as part of the distribution. It provides a couple of terse examples too.</p> <blockquote> <a href="http://www.tns.lcs.mit.edu/publications/tcltk95.djw.html"> Extending Tcl for Dynamic Object-Oriented Programming</a><br> David Wetherall and Christopher J. Lindblad<br> Proceedings of the Tcl/Tk Workshop '95, Toronto, July 1995.<br> </blockquote> <h2>Feedback?</h2> <p>Let me (<a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>) know if you have suggestions or other feedback.</p> </body> </html> <!-- $Date: 2001/06/26 18:50:10 $ -->