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Scriptics Unveils Tcl 8.1

May 10, 1999, 15:52 (3 Talkback[s])

Scriptics Unveils Tcl 8.1, Industry's First Enterprise-Class Scripting Solution

Major Release of Open Source Tcl Scripting Language Delivers Scalability, New Functionality and Internationalization to Meet Enterprise Scripting Requirements

Mountain View, Calif. - May 10, 1999 - Scriptics Corporation, the Tcl platform company led by Tcl creator John Ousterhout, today announced a major new open source version of the Tcl scripting language. The new release of Tcl provides significant new functionality, including support for multi-threaded applications and internationalization, and a more sophisticated regular expression package. These new features establish Tcl as the industry's first scripting solution capable of handling enterprise-scale application integration tasks. The new software is freely available as open source technology through the Scriptics Web site and other sources, underscoring Scriptics' commitment to the open source process and the Tcl developer community.

The software development community has eagerly awaited the new release of the Tcl scripting language. Over 40,000 developers have already downloaded alpha or beta versions of the new Tcl 8.1 software.

"We are pleased that Scriptics has added multi-threading to Tcl," said Jim Davidson, Chief Technology Officer at AOL's Digital City. "Digital City uses Tcl to reach more than 4.5 million people each month through our interactive Web site distributed on AOL.com, CompuServe, Netscape's Netcenter and MCI Worldcom Internet. Tcl is the foundation for our service and performance is a very important issue. We have experimented with adding multi-threading to the Tcl core on our own, and we are already working on multi-threading Tcl extensions for Tcl 8.1. Tcl has enabled Digital City to deploy sophisticated Web functionality faster than anticipated, and Tcl 8.1 will allow us to use Tcl on an even wider range of application requirements."

This major announcement from Scriptics offers true enterprise technology, moving Tcl forward significantly with high-end functionality for corporate developers. With Tcl 8.1, Scriptics continues to invest in open source Tcl software, keeping its commitment to the Tcl community. This release will be quickly and broadly distributed to the Tcl developer community via the Web, mirror sites around the world, and various 3rd party distributors. Scriptics continues to combine commercial and open source software to provide developers with cutting-edge technology.

Tcl 8.1 provides developers with a number of capabilities that are essential for many corporate applications. These features are typically not found in other scripting languages. With support for thread safety, Tcl can now be compiled for use in multi-threaded applications. Multi-threading provides significantly greater performance, by allowing different parts, or threads, of an application to run simultaneously on multiple processors.

'In the past, developers have had to choose between ease-of-development and application performance,' said John Ousterhout, Tcl creator and CEO of Scriptics. 'While many corporate developers want to use scripting for high-throughput applications, they have been forced to use C or C++ on these tasks for performance reasons. With Tcl multi-threading support, developers can now enjoy the rapid development and extensibility benefits of Tcl and high-end performance application execution at the same time.'

With the new release, Tcl is now fully internationalized, offering support for the international Unicode character set (UTF-8). Developers can create Tcl applications that support any multi-byte language, including Chinese and Japanese. Tcl 8.1 greatly simplifies the task of localizing applications, and makes it possible for developers to deploy both commercial and enterprise network applications on a global scale. Tcl is the first cross-platform scripting language to allow developers to create fully international applications.

Finally, Tcl 8.1 significantly improves the way Tcl developers work with regular expressions, functionality also known as pattern matching. The ability of a scripting language to recognize and extract data from systems and processes helps developers create applications, manage systems and create reports. Tcl 8.1 offers several new regular expression options, giving developers more sophisticated capabilities and reducing the programming time of many common tasks. Tcl 8.1 also provides significantly improved pattern matching performance.

About Tcl
Created in the late 1980s by software visionary John Ousterhout, Tcl is a popular open source scripting language. Tcl has been downloaded over a million times since its initial release in 1990, and is currently being downloaded over 40,000 times each month. Tcl and the Tk GUI extension enable developers to quickly and easily create applications that are both powerful and easy to extend. Tcl can be embedded in other applications, and is often used to integrate disparate software technologies, including GUIs, middleware, existing software components, and Internet and networking protocols. Many common application integration tasks can be implemented 5-10 times faster with Tcl than with a traditional system programming language. Tcl has won the prestigious ACM Software System Award, which is presented each year for 'a software system that has had a lasting influence,' and the USENIX Software Tools User Group (STUG) Award, given each year in recognition of an outstanding software tool.

Practical Details
Tcl 8.1 is available immediately as an open source product from the Scriptics Web site - www.scriptics.com. An evaluation version of TclPro for Tcl/Tk 8.1 will also be available soon from the Scriptics Web site.

About Scriptics Scriptics is the Tcl platform company. Founded by Tcl creator John Ousterhout, Scriptics provides commercial development tools, extensions, and support and training services, as well as open source core technology for the Tcl community. The company's goal is to make Tcl the preeminent, unifying platform for creating applications that integrate diverse components, applications, and protocols. The Tcl scripting language has over 500,000 developers, with heavy usage in the telecommunications, Web, healthcare, financial services, and EDA industries.

Scriptics has secured financial backing from leading Silicon Valley venture capitalists Accel Partners and has formed strategic relationships with a broad range of global corporations, including Cisco, AOL's Digital City, Motorola, Synopsys, and Vignette. More information on Scriptics and Tcl can be found at www.scriptics.com.

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