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Would like to help out...


Hello people,

I'm a Perl programmer with a tiny bit of Tcl experience, but
unfortunately no C experience at all. I've read an introductory C book,
and understand the basics, but that's it.

I was wondering if it is realistic to try and help fix bugs in Tcl/Tk
from this standpoint.

I am of course willing to:      a) learn more C
                                b) learn more Tcl
                                c) study the C source code of Tcl/Tk

I know it will take a while before I can contribute anything meaningful,
but it would be great if people could give me some pointers on where to
start (reading or studying).

Thanks in advance.

Vincent Vercauteren

Belgium

In article <qAG7i.207534$d56.1765@phobos.telenet-ops.be>,
Vincent Vercauteren  <be.tele@aantete.reversed> wrote:

                        .
                        .
                        .
Yes and no.

There are abundant opportunities to contribute to Tcl.
What exactly do you mean by "help fix bugs in Tcl/Tk"?
Is it necessarily the Tcl/Tk distribution sources, or
might you work in one of the extensions?  Do you mean
only code bugs, or are you willing to look also at
documentation?

What's your motivation?  How's it happen you prefer to
help Tcl, rather than Perl?

You might be able to contribute something meaningful
within the first hour, particularly if we understand
each other clearly.

I'm certainly willing to help fix documentation also.
One of the extensions is also OK.

It's a bit hard to say why I'm inclined to contribute to Tcl
and not Perl, but it certainly has something to do with the fact that
it's a smaller - and much friendlier - community. Perl 5 is also
notoriously hard to understand the internals of... And Perl 6, well,...
Everything seems a lot clearer in the Tcl community.
(Sorry if this sounds a bit blurred)

Feel free to point me in a certain direction,
and I'll see if I can contribute.

Thanks.

In article <n8I7i.207651$qc4.1281@phobos.telenet-ops.be>,
Vincent Vercauteren  <be.tele@aantete.reversed> wrote:
                        .
                        .
                        .

>I'm certainly willing to help fix documentation also.
>One of the extensions is also OK.

>It's a bit hard to say why I'm inclined to contribute to Tcl
>and not Perl, but it certainly has something to do with the fact that
>it's a smaller - and much friendlier - community. Perl 5 is also
>notoriously hard to understand the internals of... And Perl 6, well,...
>Everything seems a lot clearer in the Tcl community.
>(Sorry if this sounds a bit blurred)

>Feel free to point me in a certain direction,
>and I'll see if I can contribute.

>Thanks.

A.  Start taking notes on the subject, "What you
    need to know to begin to help with Tcl/Tk".
    You can contribute to a Wiki page (notice, by
    the way, what's already available through <URL:
    http://wiki.tcl.tk/_search?S=help > and <URL:
    http://wiki.tcl.tk/_search?S=bug >).
B.  Join the Chat, and ask the regular there what
    needs help.  They're likely to say we need
    folks to generate and exercise the HEAD sources,
    and especially to look for compiler diagnostics,
    memory leaks, ...
C.  You're welcome to jump into The Bug Database and
    begin solving problems.
D.  <URL: http://wiki.tcl.tk/2972 >.
It's up to you of course, but my suggestion would be to get some more
experience with Tcl first, perhaps while working on improving the
documentation. I say this for two reasons. First, if you don't have a
lot of experience with C, working on a language implementation is not
the best place to start. It is probably helpful to be more comfortable
with C first. Second, if you don't know Tcl fairly well, understanding
the implementation will be difficult. I remember years ago studying
the book on the implementation of Icon and finding that I had to go
back and learn Icon better before I could proceed. Now, it is true
that Icon is a more peculiar language than Tcl, with some odd things
in its runtime, but I think that the principle applies to Tcl as well.
On May 31, 10:52 pm, Vincent Vercauteren <be.tele@aantete.reversed>
wrote:

As a relative beginner, your input regarding the tutorial might be
even more valuable than someone who knows Tcl well:

http://www.tcl.tk/man/tcl8.5/tutorial/tcltutorial.html

Fixes and suggestions welcome!

On May 31, 4:52 pm, Vincent Vercauteren <be.tele@aantete.reversed>
wrote:

> Hello people,

> I was wondering if it is realistic to try and help fix bugs in Tcl/Tk
> from this standpoint.

It is always realistic to _try and help fix bugs_. I hope you don't
get discouraged if the bugs you encounter tend to be more in the C
portion than in the tcl or tk portion.

The core distribution of Tcl is mostly C, with some Tcl scripting. The
bugs for that are available in a database at http://tcl.sf.net/ . Take
a look at the bug list ... particularly bugs listed as occurring on
your platform. If they are reports against older versions of Tcl, then
see if you can reproduce the problem. Then add a comment to the bug
report, indicating whether the bug continues to exist, no longer
exists, or the report is too vague for you to know how to reproduce.
In the last case, if a contributor is specified, see if you can email
them and get more information on the bug.

Some bugs appear in complex applications. These are generally tough to
locate and fix, because of the difficulty of reproducing them. For bug
reporters, please submit "small coherent examples" demonstrating the
problem, with detailed explanations if the example has to have certain
actions to take place in a certain order to see the bug.

The bug list for Tk is in the tktoolkit.sf.net site. You could always
take a look at that to see if bugs exist that you can reproduce.

Another useful thing you could contribute is to read the doc pages,
and submit fixes for typos, obsolete examples, etc.

You could run the test suite for tcl or tk on your platform, then see
if there are failures. If so, investigate the reason for the problem,
submit a bug report with possible fix, etc. If you study the test
suite, you might even see situations where a text case has yet to be
written, and contribute that in a bug report.

Then there are the numerous extensions where you could help, or
http://wiki.tcl.tk/ , etc.

If you are _wanting_ to learn C, that's great. Jump right in, and see
where you can help. However, if you don't particularly want to join in
there, lots of other places you could help. For instance, tcllib and
tklib are two commonly distributed "extensions" where contributions
are simply in tcl. You can help there by writing docs, writing test
cases, or even writing new scripts.

In article <1180698329.351168.5@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,
Larry W. Virden <lvir@gmail.com> wrote:
                        .
                [much advice so wise
                it deserves to be
                memorialized for the
                next time someone asks]
                        .
                        .
>bugs for that are available in a database at http://tcl.sf.net/ . Take
>a look at the bug list ... particularly bugs listed as occurring on
>your platform. If they are reports against older versions of Tcl, then

                        .
                        .
                        .
Along with everything else Larry has written, I want to emphasize
that "your platform" part.  Tcl *particularly* can use attention
from people experienced with MacOS, HP-UX, a range of Win* compilers,
AIX, ...
Thanks for all the helpful responses!

It makes a big difference to be welcomed this way!

Vincent

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