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Karl Lehenbauer, “TCL: The Tool Command Language – LISP for the Masses”

October 20, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CDT

Abstract: In 1991 TCL looked to me like LISP for the masses. It had a lot going for it. Minimal syntax. Really good with lists. At ease with recursion, yet better at manipulating text, in my opinion, which also I felt was really important. It seemed way more accessible for the journeyman programmer, whom I had found it difficult to get to engage with LISP.

An embeddable interpreter with a small footprint, TCL was intended to replace the myriad special purpose scripting languages that had proliferated in the 1980s with something that was capable, flexible, easy to learn, and free.

I was an early proponent of the language, contributed to its development, and used it extensively while building two successful, and one unsuccessful, businesses.

In this talk I’ll introduce TCL, talk about my hopes for it, how and why we used it, and attempt to illuminate where it succeeded, and where I think it has fallen short.

I intend to leave the participants with a basic understanding of the language, some of my a-little-bit-off-the-beaten-path precepts about what needs to be in a language for it to be successful, and useful, and appropriate for solving problems.

Bio:  Karl Lehenbauer is a founding employee of FlightAware and has served as Chief Technology Officer since 2005. In his role as CTO, Lehenbauer leads the development and engineering teams, based in FlightAware’s Houston office.

The principal architect of FlightAware’s flight tracking technologies, Lehenbauer brings decades of experience designing and managing the development of large, real-time, mission critical applications spanning aircraft systems, electricity generation, transmission and distribution, and oilfield applications. He is regarded as an Internet pioneer and was the founder of the first Internet Service Provider in the Southern United States, which he sold in the 1990s. Previously, Lehenbauer served as an architect and developer for GE Aircraft Instruments’ engine monitoring and analysis devices. He was a major contributor to the design of the Tcl programming language, author or coauthor of numerous Tcl extensions, and is also a contributor to The Apache Project among other open source Internet projects and protocols dating back to the mid-1980s.

Lehenbauer is an avid cyclist, kayaker and outdoorsman, as well as an ASA stock car driver and instructor. He lives in Houston with his wife, Ellyn.

Lehenbauer holds an FAA pilot certificate.

Claude Rubinson is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Houston Functional Programmers
Time: Oct 20, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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October 20, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CDT



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