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critcl(n) 3.2 doc "C Runtime In Tcl (CriTcl)"


critcl - Introduction To CriTcl

Table Of Contents


Be welcome to the C Runtime In Tcl (short: CriTcl), a system for embedding and using C code from within Tcl scripts.

Adding C code to Tcl/Tk has never been easier.

Improve performance by rewriting the performance bottlenecks in C.

Import the functionality of shared libraries into Tcl scripts.

History & Motivation

CriTcl started life as an experiment by Jean-Claude Wippler and was a self-contained Tcl package to build C code into a Tcl/Tk extension on the fly. It was somewhat inspired by Brian Ingerson's Inline for Perl, but is considerably more lightweight.

It is for the last 5% to 10% when pure Tcl, which does go a long way, is not sufficient anymore. I.e. for

  1. when the last bits of performance are needed,

  2. access to 3rd party libraries,

  3. hiding critical pieces of your library or application, and

  4. simply needing features provided only by C.


To make the reader's topics of interest easy to find this documentation is roughly organized by Quadrants, i.e.

            | Study           | Work
----------- + --------------- + -----------------
Practical   | Tutorials       | How-To Guides
            | (Learning)      | (Problem solving)
----------- + --------------- + -----------------
Theoretical | Explanations    | References
            | (Understanding) | (Knowledge)

Note: At this point in time the documentation consists mainly of references, and a few how-to guides. Tutorials and Explanations are in need of expansion, this is planned.

Known Users

Tutorials - Practical Study - To Learn

This section is currently empty.

Explanations - Theoretical Knowledge - To Understand

This section is currently empty.

How-To Guides - Practical Work - To Solve Problems

  1. How To Get The CriTcl Sources.

  2. How To Install CriTcl.

  3. How To Use CriTcl - A light introduction through examples.

References - Theoretical Work - To Gain Knowlegde

  1. The CriTcl License

  2. CriTcl Releases & Changes

  3. CriTcl Application Reference

  4. CriTcl Package Reference

  5. CriTcl cproc Type Reference

  6. CriTcl - Utilities

  7. CriTcl - C-level Utilities

  8. CriTcl - C-level Callback Utilities

  9. CriTcl - Wrap Support - String/Integer mapping

  10. CriTcl - Wrap Support - Bitset en- and decoding

  11. CriTcl - Wrap Support - Enum en- and decoding

  12. CriTcl - Code Gen - Constant string pools

  13. CriTcl - Code Gen - Tcl Interp Associations

  14. CriTcl - Code Gen - C Classes

  15. CriTcl Application Package Reference

  16. Guide To The CriTcl Internals


Jean Claude Wippler, Steve Landers, Andreas Kupries

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report them at https://github.com/andreas-kupries/critcl/issues. Ideas for enhancements you may have for either package, application, and/or the documentation are also very welcome and should be reported at https://github.com/andreas-kupries/critcl/issues as well.


C code, Embedded C Code, calling C code from Tcl, code generator, compile & run, compiler, dynamic code generation, dynamic compilation, generate package, linker, on demand compilation, on-the-fly compilation


Glueing/Embedded C code