Site news: Site developments (Feb 2024 edition)
It's always a pleasure to talk about upgrades and development of this site. These changes don't happen all that often, work on the ground-level infrastructure goes on in the background and every so often comes together.
So this is one of those times. Recently big revisions took place in the software that's used to generate this and other sites. Anyway, what goes into it might interest a few people out there. And if not, it's still an accomplishment to be proud of and that's a good reason to share enthusiasm for what's been done.
As in the past the website generator is written in the programming language Tcl. Maybe not the best known or most popular language but it's been around since the late 80s. Currently there's a new version in development and nearing release, Tcl 9.0. It's very exciting to the community of Tcl developers and users. The new version will bring many new features, updates and modernization to Tcl.
Of course it's challenging to bring everything up to date. After all there are many extensions that users rely on. For our purposes it was necessary to port a couple, although very recently "official" ports have been published.
We created new extensions. One is nxproc, providing named-arguments for user-defined procedures, type-checked arguments and support for TclOO as well. Another extension is oowebtools which forms the "base layer" this site relies on for it's functionality.
These extensions have been released as open-source projects. It's certainly the idea that others will find these useful, and incorporated in other developers' projects. There's absolutely no benefit in not sharing good ideas freely. After all, whether obscure or well-known, contributions to the community have a value that's decidedly "non-trivial" to the people who understand it's implications.
So the underlying changes may not be immediately apparent to visitors to our humble site, but rest assured the improvements make the experience a bit better—and that's what really counts.