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AlphaTcl is a library of Tcl scripts implementing most of the functionality of the text editor Alpha; AlphaTcl is not an editor in itself. A normal Alpha user will never have to worry about AlphaTcl: it is embedded inside Alpha. The functionality implemented in AlphaTcl is available from Alpha's menus like in any GUI text editor.
The reason for having this library of scripts instead of implementing everything in C is that it makes Alpha modifiable and extensible. This wiki contains many examples of tweakings of Alpha: new functionality provided by power users, prototypes of new features being implemented, etc.
Alpha is a powerful, scriptable, multi-purpose text editor. It has modes for most programming language and markup languages (LaTeX, HTML, XML, etc.) It uses Tcl as extension language, and most of its functionality is provided by the AlphaTcl library.
More precisely, Alpha is a family of editors. The original Alpha was written by Pete Keleher for the Mac OS back in the 1990s. Vince Darley reimplemented a version in Tcl/Tk called Alphatk. When Pete Keleher abandoned Alpha in the old Millenium, a group of developers, known as the Alpha Cabal, took over and developed an OSX version AlphaX.
Tcl is a powerful scripting language originally developed by John Ousterhout. It is widely used in science and industry. It is characterised by a very simple syntax. It is easy to learn and easy to read! For more info, see the Tcl Wiki.