Re: Forms support in clients

Karl Auerbach (
Wed, 28 Sep 1994 02:03:49 +0100

> > However, as someone else mentioned, the value of TCL is that it gives
> > a means to express the sequence of execution, which just about all
> > languages can do. And hence the value of TCL/TK is in TK, not TCL.
> Fascinating. It's worth bearing in mind that John only built Tk as an
> example of the *class* of things that Tcl made easier. Given that, in
> the process, he produced what is arguably the world's best toolkit for
> X11, it seems to me imprudent to dismiss out of hand John's own
> interpretation of what he had done. If you ask John, I'm sure he'll
> tell you that it is the Tcl language and architecture that made Tk what
> it is. For my part, I believe him 100%.

"arguably" is certainly an appropriate word. :-)

(I suspect that if one asked Gutenberg what was the most important
thing he had done, he would say "a beautiful bible" and that he
considered moveable type as a mere a tool to get it done faster.)

But let's get away from the language wars.

People have begun to talk about mechanisms in which documents may
contain embedded intelligence so that they are more than simple forms.
Functionality is a big issue. Doing it safely is a big issue. Choice
of language is a small issue.

If those documents are to have access to resources outside of those
they carry along inside of themselves, i.e. if they update shared
databases or interact with third party machines, the use of security
gets even more interesting; and I think that it then goes well beyond
the concept of a neutered "safe" execution environment.

Then there is the nearly 100% severable issue of clients putting
things into a server. My favorite example is a periodic polling
script that would let me know when a new document of a certain type
appears in the server. This is perhaps a robot issue, but it is
something I think many commercial users would want. (Or, as a
scientist, I might want a poll script to watch for new documents which
pertain to a certain process or which cite some previous document.)

It is this latter possibility that intrigues me. I don't know that it
fits very well with the current architecture.