Two Years with TkMan: Lessons and Innovations
Or, Everything I Needed to Know about Tcl/Tk I Learned from TkMan
Thomas A. Phelps
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Computer Science Division
University of California, Berkeley
Among Tcl/Tk applications, TkMan is unusual. Whereas Tcl was written
to glue together C functions, TkMan is written entirely in Tcl. And
TkMan is the beneficiary of years of battle testing by 1000s of users
on every flavor of UNIX. The extreme position created by the demands
of this large, diverse audience and the (self-imposed) limitation of
remaining strictly within Tcl brought to the fore a severe set of
implementation issues, and provoked a variety of solutions ranging
from general methods to a low-level bag of tricks with regard to
speeding up Tcl scripts, exploiting Tcl as its own scripting language,
configuring applications and interoperating with other tools.
Although developed to meet these particular, extreme requirements,
most of the resulting solutions can be broadly applied, and this paper
shares this lore with the aim of helping other authors develop
elegant, efficient and robust Tcl/Tk-based applications.
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