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Effective TCL/TK Programming: Writing Better Programs with TCL and TK (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing)by Mark Harrison
PrefaceIt's easy to get started with Tcl/Tk. Just follow the steps in Appendix A to obtain the
% button .b -text "Hello, World!" -command exit => .b % pack .bYou'll see the Hello, World! button appear as soon as you enter the
As you learn more about the Tk widgets, you can write lots of simple programs. With a text widget and 100 lines of Tcl code, you can put together a program for sending electronic mail (e-mail) messages. With a canvas widget and 200 lines of Tcl code, you can create a simple drawing editor.
A few other Tcl/Tk books will help you get started. John Ousterhout's Tcl and the Tk Toolkit starts with a complete overview of the Tcl language and then goes on to describe each of the Tk widgets. The book even describes how to add new functionality to Tcl/Tk by integrating your own C code into the
After reading one of the introductory Tcl/Tk books, you will be well acquainted with the nuts and bolts. But you may not have a good understanding of how they fit together to make an application.
We wrote this book to pick up where the others leave off. We assume that you understand some of the Tcl language and that you've written a few simple Tcl/Tk programs. If not, you can pick it up as you read along. But instead of explaining the basics, we focus on areas that are commonly misunderstood-such as the
Along the way, we describe the lessons that we've learned from developing many thousands of lines of Tcl/Tk code. We show you software architectures and programming techniques that will make your Tcl/Tk code easier to maintain. For example, we show how to
Above all else, we try to present a holistic view of application development. In Chapter 1, we show you how to go about designing an application--from the initial concept to a working prototype to a finished product. Throughout the book, we develop several useful applications: a desktop calculator, a drawing editor, and a daily calendar that will store all of your appointments. In Chapter 8, we show you how to add polish to your finished applications and how to deliver them to customers.
In the course of this book, we develop more than two dozen useful components, including a toolbar, a paned window, a balloon help facility, and a confirmation dialog. We provide complete source code for these components in the software that accompanies this book. You can download this software from the site http://www.awl.com/cp/efftcl/efftcl.html. We encourage you to study these examples and to use them to build your own Tcl/Tk applications!
All of the examples in this book have been carefully designed to work with all recent versions of Tcl/Tk, including:
The examples should work with later releases as well. Most of our experience with Tcl/Tk comes from UNIX-based systems, so you will see a lot of references to UNIX throughout the book. But Tcl/Tk is not limited to UNIX systems. The Tcl 8.0 / Tk 8.0 release works cross-platform on UNIX, Windows 95/NT/3.1, and Macintosh systems. Almost all of our examples work identically on all three platforms. (Of course, some examples rely on such programs as
AcknowledgmentsMany people have made this book possible. Thanks to John Ousterhout and his team at Sun Microsystems for creating such a marvelous toolkit. Thanks to Mike Hendrickson and the staff at Addison Wesley Longman for their encouragement and support in producing this book. Thanks to Brian Kernighan for nudging us in the right direction and for his careful reviews and helpful comments. Thanks to Don Libes, Jeff Korn, Jeffrey Hobbs, and Jim Ingham for uncovering a number of weak spots in our material. Thanks to Evelyn Pyle for her meticulous proofreading and for smoothing out the wrinkles in our grammar. And thanks to all of the other reviewers who have made this work stronger: Ron Hutchins, Raymond Johnson, Steve Johnson, Oliver Jones, Joe Konstan, David Richardson, Alexei Rodriguez, and Win Treese.
Mark Harrison would like to thank his many colleagues at DSC Communications Corporation for their involvement and for their practical suggestions about incorporating Tcl into mission-critical products. In particular, Mark Ulferts and Kris Raney were especially helpful in this regard.
Michael McLennan would like to thank Sani Nassif for getting him started with Tcl/Tk; George Howlett for teaching him much of what he knows about software; John Tauke for making Tcl/Tk development a legitimate business activity at Bell Labs; Kishore Singhal, Prasad Subramaniam, and the management at Bell Labs for supporting this work; Joan Wendland, his friend and mentor; and Maria, Maxwell and Katie, for making him smile.
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