BLT is a toolkit offering
The toolkit is mostly written in C.
As of 2016, BLT the official version is 2.4z, which is not compatible with Tk 8.5 or 8.6. BLT's graphing facilities are unparalleled, and this has led at least three groups to attempt to fork some or all of BLT, and port it to Tk 8.5 or 8.6. See the section "See Also" below.
(1) The RBC Toolkit: Refactored BLT Components includes the "winop" image scaling command, data vectors, and graph/barchart/stripchart widgets for developing graphing applications in Tcl/Tk
(2) TkBLT: part of the ds9 project, TkBLT is a BLT library updated for Tcl 8.6, TEA-compliant and supporting Windows and Mac.
TkBLT includes only the Graph and Barchart Tk widgets, and the Tcl Vector command.
What: TkBLT Where: http://sourceforge.net/projects/tkblt/ Updated: 09/2015 (v3.0) Contact: [email protected] (William Joye)
BLT-2.5 appears to include the whole of BLT, with some changes to the API. It does not claim to be TEA-compliant, or to work with Tcl/Tk 8.6.
What: (unofficial) BLT-2.5 Where: http://sourceforge.net/projects/wize/ (most up-to-date files) http://pdqi.com/w/pw/pdqi/Wize/Blt (most information) Updated: 03/2011 (v2.5.3) Contact: Peter C MacDonald [PCM]
The BLT extension can be downloaded from SourceForge at [1 ]. You can download source code or Windows binary installers for several Tcl/Tk versions there.
You might not want to get the latest version from the BLT cvs at sf.net though. It appears, to at least LV, that the code in the CVS won't compile on machines other than X86...
Note that the tcltk.com URLs below are temporarily out of order. Also note that BLT 2.4v is compatible with Tcl/Tk 8.3.4, and BLT 2.4z, released in October 2002, is compatible with Tcl/Tk 8.4.
Official BLT Toolkit Distribution
What: BLT toolkit Where: http://sf.net/projects/blt/ http://www.tcltk.com/blt/ (tcltk.com still offline) http://www.tcltk.org/blt/slides.pdf (tcltk.com still offline) ftp://tcltk.sourceforge.net/pub/tcltk/blt/BLT2.4z.tar.gz http://www.jessikat.demon.co.uk/ http://jfontain.free.fr/blt-2.4z.spec http://jfontain.free.fr/blt-2.4z-1.i386.rpm http://jfontain.free.fr/blt-2.4z-1.src.rpm http://purl.oclc.org/net/nijtmans/BLT_PATCHES.gz ftp://ftp.tcl.tk/pub/tcl/mirror/ftp.procplace.com/sorted/packages-8.0/devel/blt24utb.exe https://www.tcl-lang.org/ http://sf.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=18616&release_id=59918 http://prdownloads.sf.net/blt/BLT2.4x-for-tcl8.4a3.patch Description: Library of Tcl and Tk extensions. Includes a a table geometry manager (table), 2D x/y chart (graph), barchart (bargraph), a new floating point value data structure (vector), spline computation support (spline), busy widgets (busy), background executation with support for dealing with stdout, stderr, and process status (bgexec), drag and drop support (drag&drop), hypertext (htext), read and write bitmap commands (bitmap), minor window manager interfaces (winop), and several useful debugging commands (watch and bltdebug). It also includes an eps canvas item which allows you to embed encapsulated PostScript files into the canvas. BLT recently included BLTlite - a Tcl only version of its library including the bgexec, spline, tree, vector, bltdebug, and watch commands. BLTlite is automatically used when a Tcl application does a package require for BLT without having Tk available. BLT 2.4 supports Tk 8.x and has been compiled (by various people) on both Unix/Linux and Windows platforms. The blt-dev majordomo mailing list is now available for subscription at mailto:[email protected] It will cover BLT development issues. The sensus site has a port of the latest BLT version to Windows NT 4.0 SP3. The jessikat site has compiled BLT for Win32 using VC++6.0. Guy Jennings mailto:[email protected] reports getting a useful portion of BLT 2.4a to compile on the Macintosh. The multimania and free.fr site files are files used to build RedHat rpm files. Note that the rpm files were build using Tcl/Tk 8.4a1. The chello site has a set of patches that adds full stubs support, fixes blt initialization, fixes config file problems, etc. The neosoft .exe happens to be a version of Tcl/Tk 8.3.1 built with Stubs and BLT 2.4u on Windows. Linux RPMs can be found at the bitwalk site. Windows binaries can be found at the SF.net showfiles url. The multimania and free.fr site files are files used to build RedHat rpm files. Note that the rpm files were build using Tcl/Tk 8.4a1. The chello site has a set of patches that adds full stubs support, fixes blt initialization, fixes config file problems, etc. The ProcPlace .exe happens to be a version of Tcl/Tk 8.3.1 built with Stubs and BLT 2.4u on Windows. BLT binaries for Windows can be found by searching the site https://www.tcl-lang.org . The above version specific URLs may very well be out of date when you visit from here. BLT 2.4z is the latest version of BLT available. Updated: 04/2003 Contact: mailto:[email protected] (George A. Howlett) mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] (Carl Roth)
The below example is from Pareto with BLT
BLT is (mostly) documented in a number of HTML files that come with the distribution. TclTk.free.fr [3 ] has the HTML docs online [2 ] and also covers some screenshots from the BLT example code. But there is also a treasure trove of information in the presentation file 'slides.pdf' in the Files section of the SourceForge project.
Look also at the tcl library files distributed with BLT. These contain some amazingly useful procs that wrap the BLT commands, and are not documented in the HTML pages or in slides.pdf. Some (but not all) of these procs are used in the demo scripts. For an example, see "Blt_ZoomStack" below.
Printed documentation can be found the (older) BOOK Tcl/Tk Tools. This is an excellent reference to BLT with many examples. The BOOK Tcl/Tk in a Nutshell also covers a full chapter on BLT with a very extensive index to all commands.
Recent versions of BLT comes in two flavours. Using BLT without Tk will lead to loading BLTlite containing commands that are useful in Tcl only:
promt> tclsh % package require BLT 2.4 % info commands blt::* ::blt::tree ::blt::crc32 ::blt::bltdebug ::blt::bgexec ::blt::spline ::blt::vector ::blt::watch oading Tk before loading BLT will get you the graphical parts too: prompt> tclsh % package require Tk 8.4 % package require BLT 2.4 % info commands blt::* ::blt::hiertable ::blt::table ::blt::hierbox ::blt::graph ::blt::vector ::blt::spline ::blt::beep ::blt::ted :: blt::bitmap ::blt::crc32 ::blt::cutbuffer ::blt::dnd ::blt::watch ::blt::barchart ::blt::tabnotebook ::blt::tree ::blt::drag&drop ::blt::bltdebug ::blt::treeview ::blt::container ::blt::busy ::blt::tabset ::blt::stripchart :: blt::winop ::blt::htext ::blt::bgexec
So be sure to use the correct sequence of loading the packages, just in case ... There are also versions of BLT compiled into Tcl/Tk. They are called bltwish and bltwish24.
Since BLT is not yet stubs-enabled, you can not use BLT in starkits. One alternative is dqkit which is a "Batteries Included" starkit containing BLT. The other alternative is FreewrapPLUS. Freewrap is a wrapper to build stand-alone executables. The two nice projects are currently the only way for Windows and Linux to get a single-file deployment with BLT included.
The sourceforge project has a version 3.0 in the cvs which eventually will be stubs-enabled, if finished. If it can be finished, it should be very long time ahead, consider no new version has been released for the last 8 years.
BLT is available for Linux (and other X Windows based Unix systems) (as a source tar.gz, so you can compile for other unixes too) and Windows on the sourceforge page [9 ]. Binary releases for Linux are available with certain Linux distributions (SuSE for example). There is also a release for MacOS X as part of the fink project [8 ]. This version is for X11, not for Aqua and will only run with the Tcl/Tk version provided by fink (currently 8.4.7). The only part that currently runs with the Aqua GUI is BLTlite (version 3.0) deployed with the TclTkAquaBI distribution. Another (perhaps better supported) MacOS X version is part of MacPorts (former DarwinPorts). Also this version is for X11 but uses the newer Tcl version 8.4.16. The newest version of DarwinPorts (1.6.0), however, uses Tcl 8.5 and BLT will not build then. The workaround is to install an older port [7 ]. See also this thread on the DarwinPorts mailing list: [6 ]
How to raise and lower (graph) elements: The BLT author George Howlett explains: [http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&frame=left&th=c1a843b8c6b89355].
KJN: The proc Blt_ZoomStack manages zooming for the graph widget. Add one line of code to your graphing script
and then you can zoom in by selecting areas of the graph with the mouse, and zoom back out by right-clicking. The old graph limits are stored in a stack, so you can zoom in as many times as you like, and then zoom back out through the same sequence of views.
On W2K, using BLT2.4z, I get the following error:
(bin) 6 % Blt_ZoomStack .g1 invalid command name "Blt_ZoomStack" (bin) 7 %
Any insights? Thanks.
UK: Blt_ZoomStack sits together with other utility procs in <blt_dir>/graph.tcl
Bryan Oakley 2005-06-10: I'm both amazed and disappointed in the BLT graph widgets.
Amazed, in that every time I have an idea to enhance a graph I'm working on, there seems to be an option just for that purpose (multiple axis, zooming, etc). I think it would be a wonderful addition to the core to include such a rich widget. The vector datatype is also quite useful.
Disappointed in that the documentation is incomplete. There seems to be several undocumented features; for example, the widget options -bottomvariable, -topvariable, -data, -datacommand, -barmode, and probably others. Create a stripchart and do .stripchart configure and you'll see several things that don't seem to appear in a man page.
Also, one of the examples shows that it's possible to put the legend into a separate window, but there is no documentation on that feature. That seems like a really useful feature.
Fortunately, one can read the "slides.pdf" file, read the documentation, and scour through the included demos and release notes to find enough information to get the job done.
That being said, BLT rocks. I've long been a fan of bgexec and am now a huge fan of the graph widget and vector datatype.
What: BLT toolkit vector addon Where: http://wsd.iitb.fhg.de/%7Ekir/BLTvectorRead.patch Description: Patch to add ability to read binary data to BLT 2.4e and f. Updated: 08/1998 Contact: mailto:[email protected] (Harald Kirsch) What: Win32 Tcl and Tk patches (jessikat) Where: http://www.jessikat.demon.co.uk/ Description: A variety of patches to Tcl and Tk for Win32s. There are patches for wm activate bug, memory debug support, listbox justify, cursor, panics, and tkCanvWind. Also on this page are patches and ports of a variety of extensions and applications such as DDE, tclStruct, BLT, otcl and a clock application. Tiled widgets problematic, bgexec/busy not working, drag&drop ok with dde. Also a small balloonHelp (blnhlp) package is available here as well. Rotating text didn't make it, nor did drag and drop. Also find a general dll caller for the Intel win32 platform which creates a namespace called dll containing the dll routines that can be called. Contact tested with VC++ 6.0 and Tcl 8.0.4. It relies on the way MSC 4.0. Site also has a crypt dll. Updated: 04/1998 Contact: mailto:[email protected] What: [incr Tk] Lannet Widgets Where: ftp://ftp.tcl.tk/pub/tcl/mirror/ftp.procplace.com/sorted/packages-7.6/devel/graphics/itcl_LW-1.0.tar.gz Description: Set of itcl widgets for various bells and whistles, written while programmer was working at Lannet Ltd., Israel. Basically PD. Requires TkPixmap, BLT, and itcl. Works with tcl 7.6, should work with 8.x too. The contact does not support it anymore. Updated: 10/1998 Contact: mailto:[email protected] (Mark Sterin) What: [incr Tk] table listbox widget Where: ftp://ftp.tcl.tk/pub/tcl/mirror/ftp.procplace.com/sorted/packages-7.6/devel/tablelist-1.1.tar.gz Description: An itcl table widget based on the Tk Listbox. Also includes checkbuttons or radiobuttons in table format. Also requires BLT. Latest version supports Tk 4.0, while the older version supports Tk 3.4. Updated: 10/1998 Contact: mailto:[email protected] (Allan Brighton)
MG 2006-06-19: I just downloaded the Windows binary of BLT for Tcl/Tk 8.4 from SourceForge. Trying to run it gives me the error "c:\windows\system32\autoexec.nt. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the applciation." as though the installer was a 16-bit application. (I'm trying to run it on XP.) Anyone else had this problem, or know of a way around it?
As of late 2006, BLT is not a likely candidate for inclusion in ActiveTcl in the foreseeable future. One of the things that makes BLT a tough sell is it not using TEA as a framework. There may be other issues as well.
I'm attempting to build BLT 3 on SPARC Solaris 2.8 using Sun's C compiler and using Tcl/Tk 8.5.3 as the base. I'm constantly running into compile problems. For instance, I finally figured out that I needed to --disable-stubs, and then, I had to edit src/bltGrElem.c and src/bltGrElem.h so they no longer made references to an anonymous union. Now I'm trying to tell BLT configure not to access the Xft libraries, etc. I tried '--without-Xft (as well as the lower case of this). configure says "WARNING: Unrecognized options: --without-Xft".
Anyone worked out this part of the maze?
YG: BLT and TCL8.5 TK8.5 is an utter mess. Someone needs to fix it properly. However, I have managed to get the CVS version as of 3 Sept 2008 to build. First, use
./configure --enable-shared --enable-symbols
as your configure line. Then hack the code in bltCoreInit.c and bltExtInit.c and change all instances of EXACT to !EXACT. Remove the #ifndef libXFT if that causes you problems. Compile -- I used icc which works fine apart from a ton of warnings and remarks pointing out the bad code within BLT. This produced something I can use in my application. This is a very dirty hack.
Hope that helps.
ejredwoodcityca 2009-11-27 10:24:35:
I have used BLT for years. Excellent package. I just got a windows 7 (64) machine. Although BLT is a 32 bit app extension, it should run. However, the setup executable is a 16 bit (available from sourceforge) will therefore will not install on w7! (Incidently, the Tcl8.4 binary distribution from sourceforge is also a 16 bit application with the same problem.)
The ActiveTcl distribution will install on windows 7, but for their own reasons, they do not provide a BLT distribution. Any ideas about where to get a 32bit installer version of BLT2.4z? Thanks.
BRN - 2012-02-29 17:01:16:
BLT 3.0 compiled using MINGW and working for Tcl8.5.11
I have downloaded BLT3.0 source and compiled using MINGW gcc with Tcl8.5.11 libraries. It is currently working now for Tcl8.5 version.
Martyn Smith Could you let us know where you found BLT3.0 or upload somewhere your source for others to use/update ?
KJN This may be a reference to TkBLT, which is at v3.0 (see "See Also", above)