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Calling TCL 8.4 functions from TCL 8.0

Posted by kinshuk_mishra (kinshuk_mishra), 17 March 2003

Is there any way in which I can call out TCL 8.4 functions from TCL 8.0.

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 17 March 2003
Err - I don't fully understand the question - are can see you are trying to mix releases 8.0 and 8.4 of Tcl .... perhaps you are running 8.0 (to get expect on windows) but want extended regular expressions, for which the first stable release was 8.2?

Posted by kinshuk_mishra (kinshuk_mishra), 18 March 2003
Yes you are correct....presently I am using TCL 8.0 because of expect (windows),  but string comparision, regular expressions and libraries like "file util", "html parse"  are only there in TCL 8.4.

Does 8.2 support both "expect for windows" and these features. If yes then please let me know the link else is there any other option through which I can use the afore said features.

Posted by admin (Graham Ellis), 18 March 2003
Handlling asynchronous inputs from lots of sources is highly operating system dependent and usually very time consuming to program; Unix / Linux systems were designed from the start to run many time-shared processes and so at least a few helpful elements are there for the low level programmer, but Windows had different origins and I have seen the comparable facilities of some versions described as "a kludge" and "not really timesharing".  

Expect wraps asynchronous input handling in Tcl and makes it easier to program (there are still some fascinating aspects to expect programming that can make it more challenging than most - that's because of what it does, not what it is), and so the implementation has to be very different for the different groups of operating systems.   I would have expected ActiveState (of all people, considering how strong they are on ports to Windows) to have ported / supported the port of Expect into Active Tcl, but they have not done so.  

If you want the power of Expect and all the other advanced features of Tcl, you could always switch to Linux or Unix  

If you are tied to Windows     then you might want to consider writing a tiny Expect application (using the available 8.0) and passing your data to something else.  I guess that something else could be Tcl 8.4 - on a positive side it's a similar language on Tcl / Expect 8.0 but on the downside you would have to install and maintain two versions of the same language on your system, and they would be liable to get mixed up both in your mind as you program, and perhaps in the installation directories.   Whatever language you chose for the second half, perhaps talk to it through a socket?    I'm writing somewhat "blind" here without details of your application .... but this may give you some food for thought

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