Subject: Re: Reply to Ousterhout's reply (was Re: Ousterhout and Tcl ...)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1997/04/11
Newsgroups: comp.lang.scheme,comp.lang.scheme.scsh,comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.tcl,comp.lang.functional,comp.lang.c++,comp.lang.perl.misc,comp.lang.python,comp.lang.eiffel
Message-ID: <>

| Note that there _are_ at least two implementations of Tcl now (One is
| in pure Java, the other in C).  Does that move 
| it into the 'language' arena, despite there not being a formal definition?

the first sentence after the sentence you quoted answered your question.
to quote myself:

    languages exhibit the _defining_ property that there is a specification
    of the syntax, semantics, etc, apart from any implementation; or,
    briefly, that specification is superior in importance to

you don't get a language merely by reimplementing a tool.  you get a
language when the two (or more) implementations (in danger of diverting)
need to agree on the language they implement in some formal way and use (or
write) a specification to help that process.

why is this such a terribly complex thing to grasp?

I'm no longer young enough to know everything.