Timeline of Tcl/Tk

1987 While on sabbatical, Dr John Ousterhout plays with the idea of creating a embeddable command language so that all his little tools have the same language. Wanted it to be easily extendible, simple and generic so that it can be used for a wide range of applications.

1988 Started work and completed first edition of Tcl. Played with it purely for his own purposes, not thinking anyone else would be interested. He was worried about the increasing complexity of implementing usefully complex GUI's, and so hoped Tcl might help him and his research team there. Late in this year started creating Tk extension part time.

1989 First copies of Tcl given out. Ousterhout gave a few talks on the matter and was invited to speak w/interested (and interesting) companies. Intereste in Tcl grows in an order of magnitude each year from now into the early 1990's, until there are several tens of thousands in 1993.

1990 Decided to post the source on FTP.

Don Libes of the National Institute of Standards and Technology uses Tcl to write Expect, which is hugely popular (automates interactive Unix applications).

Finished first version of Tk in late 1990. Missing some key widgets (multi-line text, etc)

1992 Second version of Tk out, added many much needed widgets like the above and canvas.

Poul-Henning Kamp makes an SNMP extension package for Tcl based on the CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) SNMP source code and Tcl 6.4

1993 Tcl/Tk in use by tens of thousands. Popular because Tk is by far the easiest way to implement GUI under Unix. Also embeddable, which was desired by more than expected. Two of the earliest pioneers were Mark Diekhans and Karl Lehenbauer. They wrote TclX, which was one of the first freely available Tcl extensions. TclX provided file access, time and date manipulation, and many other useful facilities. Over time the features of TclX have proven so important that many of them have been incorporated into the base Tcl releases.

Ousterhout releasing a new version every 6-12 months including many (mostly) user comments (sometimes they even provided the code).

Glenn Trewitt and Poul-Henning Kamp drafted a Tcl-SNMP API called tclsnmp2, including support for SNMPv1 & v2.

1994 Ousterhout quits Berkley to work for Sun with a Tcl and Tk development team. Would use this team to port Tcl/Tk to Windows (95 & NT) and Macintosh. Added socket support for network stuff and greatly increased speed of the kernal. Created Safe-Tcl which allows "untrusted scripts to be run safely."

Jurgen Schonwalder, working at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany adds Scotty. He is still working on it.

Marshall Rose and Keith McCloghrie release "How to Manage Your Network Using SNMP" telling about accessing & using SNMP MIB data w/Tcl + SNMP extensions. Tough to use for non-programmers (like Scotty).

1995 2,000 downloads of Tcl/Tk core from sun/week.

1997 Hundreds of thousands of Tcl/Tk developers.

SNMP Research released TickleMan/Lite for NT so now there is a pre-built Tcl interpreter w/turnkey installation on Win95 & NT

1998 In early January Ousterhout leaves Sun and forms Scriptics. Within about a month, half of the Sun development team joins them. 12,000 downloads of Tcl/Tk core from FTP/week.

Tcl wins ACM Software System Award for "a software system that has had a lasting influence". Past winners of the award include such seminal systems as the TCP/IP protocols, the first spreadsheets, the first relational databases, the World-Wide Web, Unix, PostScript, and Smalltalk. The second award was the USENIX Software Tools User Group (STUG) Award, given each year in recognition of an outstanding software tool.

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