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This year's FOSDEM as come and gone. I organized the Tcl/Tk Developer's room, did a short tutorial session at WL Delft Hydraulics, and got time to visite Bruges (Brugge) for a full day.
My European friends think of Brugge as a bit of a tourist trap, but I found it enchanting. Mind you, I never went into any of the shops along the main shopping areas. I did manage to visit 6 museums in a day, and spent a fair amount of time in 3 of them.
The short history of Brugge is that it was a top city in Europe until about 1500 when the river silted up and it stopped being a seaport. It was practically a ghost-town for about 400 years, until someone said "Hey, we've got a ready-built Medieval Theme Park here", and started restoring the beautiful inner city and making the buildings into museums.
The city boasts some excellent Flemish Primitive art (the Groeninge is pretty well-known), and the only Michealagelo painting to have left Italy while the artist was still alive.
I finally finished the second edition of my book in early 2003, and spent the rest of the year doing some consulting and training, but mostly delivering papers and organizing the 10'th Tcl/Tk Conference.
I talked at a dozen conferences and user groups that year including being a guest at FOSDEM in Brussels, delivering a paper at the Tcl-Europe conference in Nurnberg, and WIP talks at the USENIX technical and Security conferences.
2001 was a very busy teaching and travelling year. I made two trips to Ireland and a trip to Hawaii to deliver training sessions, and Carol and I finished up the year by spending 3 weeks touring China. I'm not sure which of the trips was actually more fun or tiring. The guides in China keep you almost as busy as teaching for a full day and then sightseeing with friends.
I spent an extra week visiting Dublin, and exploring it with Lynne Ann and Roelof Goudriaan, but only got one weekend to explore Hawaii (and spent most of it working.) The Belfast trip was a fly-in, teach and fly-out again. I'm not sure I even got jet-lagged, I was there for so little time. (Which is too bad. It was one of the friendliest places I visited.)
The last year has seen the consulting business grow nicely. I've done several training sessions, including a month in India, teaching Tcl/Tk and basic web applications. I've developed several new packages for clients, written more articles for ;login: magazine, and incorporated Carol and my businesses as Noumena Corporation
I'm back from a semester of teaching Computer Science I and II at Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA. My welcome home gift is an amazingly positive review of my book from Dr. Dobbs Electronic Review of Computer Books, and Amazon.com making my book a Recommended Read.
The semester at Grinnell was a lot of fun, and while I don't intend to get into Academia as a career, I'm hoping to continue teaching and giving training sessions.
The big news is that Tcl/Tk for Real Programmers is at the printers, and will be out in early December. Just in time for your holiday gift giving.
I've been working on this book for the last year. There's about 700 pages of text in the book, and another 60-80 pages of text on the CD-ROM. Between the book and the CD-ROM I've tried to create a package that will take an experienced programmer from knowing nothing about Tcl/Tk through the easy early projects, and into the real world problems of handling with large projects, writing extensions, creating new widgets, and a bit more.
The book emphasizes how to program to Tcl/Tk's paradigms, rather than just writing Fortran or Bourne Shell scripts in another language. To that end, I cover what you can do with associative arrays in scripts and extensions, how to use the hash tables in extensions, how to use the package and namespace commands to do object-oriented programming in pure Tcl, along with discussions of the core Tcl commands.
Like most projects, I was ready to throw it at the wall and declare a loss more than once during the writing, but now that it's done and I can look at it with clean eyes, I'm pleased with the result. I hope you will be, also.
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