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Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk (4th Edition) 4th Edition

51 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092024972
ISBN-10: 0130385603
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Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk (4th Edition) + Tcl and the Tk Toolkit (2nd Edition) + Effective Tcl/Tk Programming: Writing Better Programs with Tcl and Tk
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Despite its frequently obtuse syntax, Tcl/Tk enjoys a large and enthusiastic following. It's king of the world when it comes to building graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for C programs (particularly those running in X Windows environments), which is what the language originally was invented to do. Tcl/Tk (which is pronounced "tickle tee-kay," and which stands for "Tool Control Language/Toolkit" despite the abbreviation's unusual capitalization) is expanding its scope to encompass fields as diverse as voice scripting and molecular visualization. The latest edition of Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk, the fourth, offers an encyclopedic guide to Tcl/Tk that not only helps programmers solve problems, but enables them to conceive new applications for the language.

The new edition of Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk covers Tcl 8.4, particularly its versatile new Virtual File System (VFS) capabilities that allow you to include FTP sites and other remote directories in ordinary File Save and File Open interfaces. Further new coverage goes to Starkits, with which you can bundle Tcl/Tk programs for deployment, and some new Tk elements. Otherwise, the book is generally revised and improved with additional examples (the sample code has always been one of this book's main attractions) and intelligently laid-out keyword tables. It has a great lay-flat binding, too. This book (with John Ousterhout's Tcl and the Tk Toolkit) remains one of the two must-have Tcl/Tk books. --David Wall

Topics covered: The Tcl programming language and the Tk toolkit on which it most usually operates. Sections cover basic and advance programming techniques, specific aspects of Tk widgets, and extending the C library that defines Tcl. Copious examples make it easier to understand (and quickly employ) effective design strategies.

Review

"Brent Welch fills an important need for an introduction to Tcl/Tk with an applied focus and with coverage of many of the useful extensions available . . . I recommend this book to my new students . . . and I keep a copy handy for my own use." -- Joseph A. Konstan, Professor of Computer Science, University of Minnesota --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4 edition (June 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130385603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130385604
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #526,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
A comprehensive, systematic guide to practical usage of Tcl/Tkup to version 8.2. Since we have now 8.3 already one needs to checkthe site to see the latest improvements of Tcl. This book constantly helps me to do daily tasks in Tcl. It's a tutorial and a reference. Still I like to mention the book "Effective Tcl/Tk Programming" by Harison / McLennan, which goes much further in tutoring the GUI things. And there is also a handy refernece called "Tcl/Tk, Programmer's Reference" by C.Nelson which fits better onto the desk, if that's an issue. The very old book of Ousterhout himself, which was really great, is now completely outdated.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Gjorgi Var on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got interested in Tcl when a friend of mine had presented me with the Expect application and all the wonderfull things it can do for a sysadmin. Since knowledge of Tcl is required for Expect, I set off looking for a book on the topic... and having read the lines "for beginners and expirienced programmers alike" I thought I hit the target. But what a disapointment...

First of all, most books for beginners follow certain format which is not the case with this book. Nothing like "here's how to declare variables", "variables are typeless", "here's how procedures/functions are done", "here's what sets Tcl apart from other languages" or "how to do those things that other languages cannot" that other books for beginners so often cover. I had to look online for the line that starts off the freshly written Tcl script... and this is for beginners?!

From skimming over Tcl implementations on different platforms (I guess that covered the beginner's part) authors dwelve straight into the HTML processing by Tcl (as in "hey Tcl programmers, here's how to do web pages!") which only adds to confusion. It doesn't stop there though... Tcl is said to be a glue language that puts different blocks together, but how come that passing commands to the system from the Tcl script isn't covered? Yes, there are dedicated commands for cruising through the directory tree, creating/removing/deleting files, but is that all?! Linux has a rich arsenal of commannds, many of which go beyond those tasks... and you cannot pass them from a Tcl script? Where's the glue then...

Same confusing format is followed in the Tk part, except for the canonnical "Hello World" example (straightforward "type it in- here's how it works" breakdown) the rest is off the beginner's path.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kaushik Raghavan on September 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not the book to start learning Tcl/Tk. Its a fantastic reference guide. The sample code in the book is clearly not beginners material. If you're writing stuff in Tcl/Tk, this book is probably the only book you will need for reference.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Larry W. Virden on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of a small number of Tcl books that I keep handy at all times. I wear two hats with regards to Tcl - one, a site administrator supporting quite a number of Tcl programmers (both classically trained as well as programmers who have learned to make their 'day jobs' doable); the other hat, as one of the comp.lang.tcl Usenet group FAQ maintainers. I find that while there are several dozen books on Tcl, all of which are excellent, I turn to Practical Programming quite frequently for its code examples as well as the appendices discussing the differences between versions.
While there may be those who, out of ignorance or just contrariness, dump on Tcl regarding its syntax, etc. several facts are in doubt in my mind.
1. Tcl is freely available code which can be used as the basis of any reasonable project that needs done.
2. The Tcl community is much more open to newcomers than the other 2-3 dozen 'more recent' languages that I use.
3. The Tcl publishing field continues to show that it is a viable business.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Young Pharaoh on February 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have to admit my disappointment with this book. I had high expectations about it before I started reading through it. Once I did, I quickly started to find out that the book is not easily readable. Frequently, you will find yourself needing to read one sentense more than once in order to understand what the author wanted to convey. The author could have used a simpler way to phrase his explanations. I wonder why he chose to make things seem dry, rough, and always ambiguous. You will find yourself making very slow progress and feeling like you are not grasping alot of info, or at least not comfortable with the info you got.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Symbol on September 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am an experienced SW developer, having used many languages. I needed to "get up to speed" in Tcl/Tk in a hurry.

This book presented the needed topics in an orderly fashion, had clear examples, and doubles as a very handy reference.

I ordered some other Tcl/Tk books (to be on the safe side), but this one has become my "Bible" (along with the Help info built into the IDE I am using)

Highly Recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yuri Slobodyanyuk on July 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected from a book praised and priced so high to deliver on
promise. Unfortunately I can't say this is the case with
"Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk (4th Edition) " . Yes, it
shines through every page that the author(s) who wrote it knows the
language in and out; only that unfortunately he (they) failed in
presenting this knowledge in a digestable form.
I am not new to programming and I would see and say it here if the book was written for advanced readers only, but no, the book is just plain cryptic. You will have to read over and over the same example and
explaining it text to MAY be get to the meaning.
The main reason I still bought it is that it was the only more or less
up-to-date book about the language. But now even this reason could be dismissed
- on O'Reilly in June 2009 appeared new edition of
"Tcl and the Tk Toolkit, Second Edition " By John K. Ousterhout; Ken Jones as Rough Cuts version, I am now reading it and rediscovering the
simplicity of this language . Chances are good it will be available
some day as printed book as well.
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