What's it

It's a CLI utility that trims Tcl source files off comments and whitespaces.

By this, you can get a working Tcl code stripped of needless stuff and, as a side effect, of some Tcl's freaks (the most notorious are "supposed comments" inside list and switch commands).

Also, the trimmed code:

  1. performs a bit faster
  2. needs less a disk volume
  3. if necessary, impedes modifications





The utility is run using the following syntax:

   tclsh trim.tcl [-i idir|ifile] [-o odir] [-r] [-f] [-n] [--] [app args]


idir - a directory of files to process (by default idir=./)

ifile - a file listing .tcl files (#-comments are ignored)

odir - a directory of resulting files (by default odir=../bin)

app - an application to be executed after trimming

args - optional arguments of the app

The -i (--input) can be multiple, -o (--output) can not.

If -r (--recursive) is set, the input directories are processed recursively. By default, they are processed non-recursively.

If -f (--force) is set, the existing output file(s) will be rewritten. By default, the trim.tcl doesn't rewrite the existing file(s).

If -n (or --no) is set, no real changes made, supposed changes shown only.

The trim.tcl by no means changes the input file(s).


   tclsh trim.tcl -i ./lib -o ./bin tclsh ./bin/main.tcl arg1 "arg 2"


The trim.tcl sets the following limitations for the code processed:

1. In general, multi-line strings should be double-quoted (not braced), because the braced strings would be trimmed. But there are two important exceptions: when set and variable commands use a braced string, it is not trimmed, e.g.

   set str1 "
      Correct"       ;# equals to set str1 "\n   Correct"
   set str1 {
      Correct}       ;# equals to set str1 "\n   Correct"
   variable str2 "
      Correct"       ;# equals to variable str2 "\n   Correct"
   variable str2 {
      Correct}       ;# equals to variable str2 "\n   Correct"
   puts "
      Correct"       ;# equals to puts "\n   Correct"
   puts {
       NOT CORRECT}  ;# equals to puts "NOT CORRECT"

2. Comments after "{" should begin with ";#", e.g.

   while {true} {  ;# infinite cycle

3. List and switch commands can contain comments which are not considered to be meaningful items, e.g.

   switch $option {
      # it's a comment (and the error in standard Tcl switch)
      -opt1 {
        puts "-opt1 processed"
      # ...

The 1st limitation is rarely encountered and easily overcome with n escape sequences.

The last two limitations are actually the advantages of the utility.

The 2nd requires a bit more discipline of coders.

The 3rd eliminates Tcl comment freaks, incl. unmatched braces.

The trim.tcl and trim_test.tcl set examples of this in action:

   tclsh trim.tcl -f -o trimmed

   tclsh trim_test.tcl -f -o trimmed

   tclsh trimmed/trim.tcl -f -o trimmed

   tclsh trimmed/trim_test.tcl -f -o trimmed