BOOK Tcl and Tk Programming for the Absolute Beginner

Author: Kurt Wall

Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1st edition (October 12, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1598634380

ISBN-13: 978-1598634389

Book Description

Tcl/Tk is enjoying a resurgence of popularity and interest in the computing community due to the fact that it is relatively easy to learn, powerful, fast, permits rapid development, and runs on all computing platforms. Until now, there has not been a guide book available that teaches Tcl/Tk to those with little or no programming experience. Covering the newest versions of Tcl and Tk, Tcl and Tk Programming for the Absolute Beginner teaches beginning and novice programmers concepts such as loops, conditional execution, input and output, and events, and shows readers how to implement these concepts using the grammar and syntax of the Tcl language. As part of the for the absolute beginner™ series, the book teaches all the concepts through the creation of simple computer games. Not only will this “learn by doing” approach provide you with an instant sense of accomplishment, but it’s also a fun way to learn. Plus, in addition to learning Tcl and Tk, you’ll also learn the basics of computer programming, so you’ll have a solid foundation from which you can confidently jump to other programming languages.

RLH 22 February 2008 - There is a review on Amazon and it got 1 star. That is a shame. (2008-10-22) There is another review that says the Tk section is pretty good. I sent an email to Amazon about it not working so well with programming books in general and this book in particular. I am actually liking the book though. apparently is a way to order this book.

ro -- Great to see another Tcl/Tk book! Even if it's not perfect, at least it's in print.

RLH I have it in my Safari account. So maybe I will do a chapter by chapter here for others to know. If you don't like it just delete it all. :-)

This book is based on the Tcl/Tk 8.4 series. The type/font (and maybe this is a Safari bookshelf thing) should have been a little more code friendly. I have to look a little harder than I should to differentiate between {( and ;: characters.

Chapter 1: This is the overview and installation chapter. This chapter shows a short Tcl/Tk "clock" program and it goes through installing Tcl/Tk on Linux, OSX and Windows. I thought it was pretty thorough. The clock code example cited should really have included "package require Tk" because a new user will get an error running the code straight from the console.

Chapter 2: This chapter is all about running Tcl scripts. It did a good job of explaining the myriad ways you can run a Tcl script on the 3 platforms.

LV I sure wasn't impressed by Amazon's book details. Here's the list of key phrases for the book

Key Phrases - Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs): (learn more) 
text widgets, royal flush, nsew grid, possessing remarkable gifts, grid columnconfigure, valid coordinate form, abel widget, grid rowconfigure, canvas widget, flush stdout, tmap object, text widget, message widget, radi obutton, scroll bar widget, external padding, gets stdin, foreach color, command substitution, expr command, frame widget, score button, geometry manager, entry widget, code directory
Key Phrases - Capitalized Phrases (CAPs): (learn more) 
Tcland Tk Programmingforthe Absolute Beginner, Ace King Queen Jack, Everywhere Strings, Doing Mathematics, Ace of Hearts, Attribute Description, King of Diamonds, Listbox Widgets, Writing Tcl Procedures, Hello World, Option Description, Any Unicode, Window System, Base Refers, Set Color, Ace of Clubs, Modify Block, Clubs Diamonds Hearts Spades, Understanding Tk Programming, King of Hearts, Ace of Spades, Del Items, Understanding the Code Block, Two Pair, Show Source

Now, perhaps these are relevant phrases to the book - but phrases like possessing remarkable gifts seems unlikely to lead someone to the book. Most of these look like dead ends to me...

RLH Ugh, yeah those are bad. Going through the book I can already see where some of that is coming from but blech for Amazon. I sent Amazon an emails telling them that that probably isn't a good way to do programming books in general and that book in particular.

LV Interestingly enough, I just started reading this book to see what the deal is. So far, I found the how to install ActiveTcl chapter ... interesting . ActiveState should take a look, since they are referenced in it.

As I took a look, when I hit page 26 in the chapter "Running Tcl Programs", and see the author explaining tcl_prompt2, my first reaction was why is he bothering with this? This question was quickly followed by a Huh?? when I read the paragraph that begins Even though I don't use tclsh interactvely very often [...]