The Tcl language and Tk graphical toolkit are simple and powerful building blocks for custom applications. The Tcl/Tk combination is increasingly popular because it lets you produce sophisticated graphical interfaces with a few easy commands, develop and change scripts quickly, and conveniently tie together existing utilities or programming libraries.
One of the attractive features of Tcl/Tk is the wide variety of commands, many offering a wealth of options. Most of the things you'd like to do have been anticipated by the language's creator, John Ousterhout, or one of the developers of Tcl/Tk's many powerful extensions. Thus, you'll find that a command or option probably exists to provide just what you need.
And that's why it's valuable to have a quick reference that briefly describes every command and option in the core Tcl/Tk distribution as well as the most popular extensions. Keep this book on your desk as you write scripts, and you'll be able to find almost instantly the particular option you need.
Most chapters consist of alphabetical listings. Since Tk and mega-widget packages break down commands by widget, the chapters on these topics are organized by widget along with a section of core commands where appropriate. Contents include:
Paul Raines is a physicist and scientific programmer at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center at Stanford University where he is part of a large collaboration studying CP violation (why charge and parity are not conserved in some particle decays). He is a huge advocate of scripting languages and has been using Tcl on various projects since 1992. He is also the coauthor of O'Reilly & Associates' Tcl/Tk in a Nutshell. When he can get away from the lab, Paul enjoys hiking, bridge, and soccer.
When Jeff Tranter was first exposed to UNIX-based workstations about ten years ago, he dreamed of being able to afford a system with similar capabilities for home use. Today, he sees Linux as the realization of that dream, with the added bonus of being able to examine and modify all of the source code and even contribute to its development. He's been using Linux since 1992 and is the author of the freely available Linux Sound and CD-ROM HOWTO guides. Jeff has also written a number of Linux utilities and several Linux related magazine articles. Jeff received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Western Ontario. He currently works as a software designer for a high-tech telecommunications company in Kanata, Ontario, Canada's Silicon Valley North.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The bird featured on the cover of Tcl/Tk in a Nutshell is an ibis. There are over 30 species of these wading birds distributed throughout the world, primarily in the warmer and tropical regions. All ibises have long, narrow, sharply turned-down bills that they use to probe for insects, mollusks, and small crustaceans in mud or dirt. They are strong fliers and swimmers and most prefer living in the wetlands near fresh or salt water, marshes and swamps. They are very sociable and gregarious birds who nest in large colonies and travel in flocks. When flying, all members of the flock alternate wing beats with gliding at approximately the same rate.
Fossils indicate that ibises have existed for about 60 million years, and records of human interaction with ibises dates back 5,000 years. In ancient Egypt the ibis was revered as the embodiment of Thoth, god of wisdom and scribe of the gods. They are frequently depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics, and cemetaries of mummified ibises have been discovered.
Today, the most widely distributed of all ibis species is the glossy ibis. The glossy ibis is the last species of ibis known to exist in Europe and has spread to Africa, parts of Asia, and the Americas. The most common species in the Americas is the white ibis, which has gradually spread northward and is now found as far north as Maine. Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book, (and Hanna Dyer designed the CD label) using a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. The cover layout was produced with Quark XPress 3.3 using the ITC Garamond font. Whenever possible, our books use RepKover™, a durable and flexible lay-flat binding. If the page count exceeds RepKover's™ limit, perfect binding is used. The inside layout was designed by Nancy Priest and implemented in gtroff by Lenny Muellner. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were created in Macromedia Freehand 7.0 and screen shots were created in Adobe Photoshop 4.0 by Robert Romano. This colophon was written by Clairemarie Fisher O'Leary.