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Old 02-12-2009, 06:47 PM
Mike Castle
 
Default Terminal Control Language (not unix tcl) ... any Specification or lib?

On Thu, Feb 12, 2009 at 8:04 AM, Martin <martin@marcher.name> wrote:
> learn the proprietary TCL[1] (not the unix tcl) which seems to come
> from Verifone[2] internal programming languages.

I used to do development on these devices 10+ years ago, I think for
Tranz 330, 340 and 380, for precisely this type of operation. Looks
like you're using much newer hardware.

That said, when last I looked (and this was 10+ years ago), Verifone
had no interest in supporting non-MS platforms for their development
tools. All that we had was just the software to compile and load the
software onto the device. It was a DOS command line program that
worked only over the serial port. I don't remember if the cable were
commonly available ones (my GF worked at RadioShack at the time and I
don't remember ever seeing them in the store, and I hung out there
quite a bit). Though, of course, one could probably always make one.

I think I got the software to work once or twice under DOSEMU at the
time, but since I had NT boxes as well, I just used those. I would
suspect that running the CLI stuff under WINE these days might
actually work fairly well.


The language itself isn't that hard. Think of it as a language that
looks like assembler, but acts like awk. It's terse, with a bunch of
one letter commands, usually one per line, but operates on records
separated into fields.

For how we were using it, it worked quite well. Your biggest concern
is how much memory you have on the device (the biggest differences
between the models). We usually just aimed for the lowest supported
hardware, trying to keep the app small, and just used the rest of the
memory to store the clockin/clockout records.


It looks like you can find the language manuals online at
http://www.verifone.com/technical-support.aspx . You can at least
look to see if you want to go down that route.

>From reading that wiki page, it looks like Verifone might have more
interest in supporting Linux, since they're using it inside the
machines now. But I'm not sure about the availability of tools. I
think when I moved on from that job, Verifone was trying to ramp down
the sales of the software. I think you'd have to talk to your current
vendor about getting the appropriate software. It's not obvious to me
how they're connected to Verifone and might be using TCL.

Assuming the old tcload stuff would even work on this new fangled
device, you might be able to find someone who is willing to pass on
their older license for something cheaper than what you can get it
from PCS. But I don't think there ever has been, or ever will be, an
open source solution to this very niche language.

mrc


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