When is an FAQ not an FAQ? 
Author Message
 When is an FAQ not an FAQ?

(Chris M. Covington ) writes:


>>       I've read the faq's and still can't figure out how to make Tcl call a C
>>       function (I want to use only 1 process - ie, no forking).

...stuff deleted

> Actually, I believe this is a RARELY asked question.  The fact is, how
> to call C functions has been well documented from the first release of
> Tcl.  It's in the man pages that come with Tcl.  It's in Ousterhout's
> book.  It's in Welch's book draft.  Heck, it was even in Ousterhout's
> first USENIX paper on Tcl.  Not only hasn't the answer changed in all
> that time but it's very straightforward.

> The reason it's not in the FAQ is because it doesn't belong there.

...stuff deleted
> Don

This subject may be well-documented as Don says, but as a Tcl beginner I don't
think it is well-explained in Ousterhout or Welch. I recently posted a
similar question myself.  I think the problem is that both authors throw
out the solution we want piecemeal over several chapters and don't give
us a full example.  In fact I don't think there is a complete sample
application in the entire Ousterhout book! (OK, there is plenty of sample
Tcl/Tk code that comes with the software, but I didn't see any that demonstrates
making the C-Tcl connection).
After posting my query I received a couple code examples by email and
finally saw what was going on with interpreters, new tcl commands,
and linked variables and how to put it all together.
Maybe other people are different, but I can't pick up something new by
reading a lot of text. I need examples, examples, and more examples!

Not to pick a fight with Don, In fact, I just bought his book yesterday!
Hope he put in lots of examples!!  :-)


Tue, 05 Aug 1997 03:44:34 GMT  
 When is an FAQ not an FAQ?


>The reason it's not in the FAQ is because it doesn't belong there.

    I think this appears often enough to belong in the FAQ. It won't stop
the question from being asked, but it will cut down on the frequency some
and provide a standardized answer.

    FAQs are (surprising though it may be :-) usually intended to answer
questions that often appear in the group, regardless of whether those
questions are answered in more detail elsewhere. People posting a question
do not refer to those sources, whether due to ignorance, inability, or m{*filter*}
flaws. You can criticize them for not looking in any of these places, but
that will not stop the question will keep being asked. Trust me on this;
I've been keeping an FAQ for 4 years and participating in the newsgroup that
FAQ is for since it was an ARPAnet mailing list. And a lot of the same
questions keep getting asked.

>This way, the FAQ need not duplicate everything.  It can give a basic
>answer and then a pointer to the complete and definitive answer.

    I agree with this point, with the proviso that providing pointers to
print-only books is of limited utility, since many people will not have
them. Online sources everyone can get at are best. E.g. in this case the FAQ
answer would probably point to a .tar.gz file on alcatel with sample code.


Thu, 07 Aug 1997 16:16:33 GMT  
 [ 2 post ] 

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