Tcl no more?

At Neumont, we’re looking at Moodle ( to replace the LMS I built in Guatemala with some friends. We decided on this mostly because our current LMS uses technologies that are not popular like AOLserver and Tcl. Moodle uses PHP, Apache, and MySQL. It suddenly hit me that I might no longer write Tcl code! I’ll surely miss it, Tcl was a really nice language.

So why did we decide on Moodle? Mostly because it is very popular and it uses popular technologies. Back in the day (in 2000?) when we decided to use the AOLserver and Tcl for our LMS in Guatemala, there were very few open source LMS’s so we chose the ACS LMS module called ACES (Arsdigita Community Educational System).

And why in the world did the ACS community go with AOLserver? Well, it was not entirely their fault. The web server was called Navi Server (or something like that), it was open source until it got bought by AOL. AOL kept it as an open source project and used (and maybe still does) for several of their websites like .

As I’m going through the O’Reilly Learning PHP5 book I’m surprised at how similar PHP it is to Tcl. Even from it’s origins. They are both wrappers around the C language, they are loosely typed, you use a $ sign before variable names, you don’t need to declare vars.

And before PHP4, PHP did not support objects, just like Tcl. But PHP’s popularity enabled it to move along and become object oriented with PHP4 and now PHP5. So maybe PHP took Tcl’s wings.

Well, the Moodle thing is still not a sealed deal but I even if that does not work out we’re not going with a Tcl solution. I’ll miss you Tcl!


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