Monday, January 22nd, 2007

Aejaks – Tcl/Tk Style Framework Built on Echo2

Category: Framework

For those Ajax cowboys out there who pine for the power and simplicity of Tcl/Tk, there is good news for you: Aejaks lets you write Ajax apps using Tcl. The widget model is inspired by that of Tk, but is not compatible with it.

javascript

  1. #####################################################################################
  2. # showCode - create a new window, show the code from the code array
  3. proc showCode {name} {
  4.     global code
  5.     set w .split.s2.win
  6.     if {[info exists ::$w.code_$name]} {
  7.  return
  8.     }
  9.     WindowPane $w.code_$name -title "$name Code" -width 600 -height 600
  10.     ContentPane $w.code_$name.c -background white -insets 10
  11.     Pack $w.code_$name.c  -insets {10 10 10 10} -border {4 black solid}
  12.     TextArea $w.code_$name.c.t -text $code($name) -foreground black -background white -width 800 -height 600  -border {3 black groove}
  13.     Pack $w.code_$name.c.t
  14.     Pack $w.code_$name
  15. }

aejaks.png

It uses Jacl, a Java implementation of the Tcl language and is implemented on top of another framework we are familiar with: Echo2.

Echo2 is a Java based windowing toolkit for building Ajax-enable applications. Aejaks translates most of the Echo2 Java objects into Tcl objects, but provides many shortcut features, such as anonymous object construction for attribute-type objects.

There is a console included in the source that allows you to do some interactive scripting with Tcl. Your finished scripts you can just drop into the directory that Aejaks was configured to look for applications, and Jacl will compile them on the fly.

This is another sign that 2007 will be a year of intermediate forms, i.e. frameworks the compose and build on other frameworks. Wait until 2008 until we see something truly new.

Posted by Dietrich Kappe at 11:00 am
6 Comments

++++-
4.1 rating from 23 votes

6 Comments »

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interesting. too bad it requires JAVA though. im sure that part can be solved however.

its somewhat dissapointing that nearly 2 decades after the web is invented you can only use one language in it first class, the other ones relegated to hacks like GWT, Rail’s JS generator, etc.. once we break the strangehold js has on the clientside things will get interesting..

Comment by c — January 22, 2007

AFAIK there was a TCL plugin for Mosaic circa 1994. guess it never took off..

Comment by ix — January 22, 2007

Slight correction, Tcl code does not need to be compiled in order to run. Simply place your Tcl code in the directory Aejaks was configured to look for applications, and you are ready to go. New apps can be deployed (or existing ones changed) by just dropping in a new Tcl file containing your code in the directory.

Jacl actually has three modes of operations: pure interpreter, static Tcl to Java compiled, or on-the-fly Tcl to Java compiled. All three modes can be used with Aejaks.

Comment by tpoindex — January 23, 2007

C,

I’m not sure what language you refer to as the first class (JavaScript or Java) ? But I think both echo2 (Java) and Wt (C++) prove that it is possible to develop web applications in these two languages, first class, without need for JavaScript. The upshot of not using JavaScript is that applications are automatically portable to javascript-disabled browsers, and we’re back to the huge benefit of compile-time syntax checking.

Comment by kdf — January 23, 2007

There is still a tcl plugin:

http://www.tcl.tk/software/plugin/

Comment by Scott Gamon — January 23, 2007

How can you conclude 2007 won’t include innovations when we’ve only seen 24 days of the year? How are you so sure 2008 will be great?

Comment by Ted — January 24, 2007

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