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Extending Tcl for Dynamic Object-Oriented Programming

David Wetherall and Christopher J. Lindblad

Telemedia Networks and Systems Group
Laboratory for Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Object Tcl is an extension to the Tool Command Language (Tcl) for the management of complicated data types and dynamic object-oriented programming in general. We believe it is a worthy alternative to other object-oriented programming extensions (including [incr Tcl]) because it may be used dynamically, allows for per object specialization, has an economy of design and implementation, and provides a metaobject-based class system. Its design was driven by our VuSystem application needs to create a foundation with powerful abstraction and introspection capabilities, yet we sought to retain both the spirit and benefits of Tcl. This paper presents Object Tcl, emphasizing language design and implementation issues by comparing it with alternative systems.

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