Book Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk


Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk is one of the better-known introductory texts on Tcl and Tk.

See Also

fourth edition
published in June ,2003.
second edition


Author: Brent Welch


A few general remarks on the book appear in Book Review: Practical Programming in Tcl and Tk, 4th ed. (alternate ) ,by Cameron Laird ,2003-07.

Peter Flynn writes, "It's very good, but it's light on Tk, and spends too much time for my taste on what Knuth called 'borderline cases and special parameters' and too little time on basic examples."

peterc 2009-02-16: This is an excellent book for a programmer of other languages who wants to get stuck into Tcl/Tk. It assumes some familiarity with basic programming concepts though (for me, a good thing; less of the book is wasted explaining the basics of what a variable is, etc) and this may make it a little less approachable for complete novices (well, those who have no Internet access or ability to use a search engine [L1 ] to find more information, anyway).

Anyhow, suffice to say, if your budget only stretches to one book, I'd recommend this one. Yep, it's currently missing discussion of Tile, but, if you learn how to use Tk from this book, you'll be able to pick up and use Tile immediately.

RLH 2009-02-16: I have this book. It is excellent. It would be another nice book to be updated for the new feature sets.

I bought this book to learn Tcl/Tk, I graduate with an MIS major, and I am mainly trying to prepare myself to be a descent developer. I looked in many programming language, read several chapters from several books on several different programming language. I saw the need to focus on one language to try to move forward with my career and skill record. I picked Tcl/Tk. I think it offers a nice balance between being an interesting language that can help me develop application in different domains, and thus opens many opportunities for me.

This book was really disapointing for me. I read some of the chapters available online, and I remember I was satisfied by what I saw in the first chapter and the regex chapter. I book table of content is huge around 50 chapters that covers every aspect of Tcl. And I still drewel as I skim through it from time to time.

But the content of some chapter is disappointing. The author keeps refering to other part of books, in way that keeps you wondering and annoyed, you never feel you have your feet firm on the ground if you know what I mean. If don't want to read chapter 16 when I am still in chapter 6, and if I need to, then maybe the topics sequence is not the best, which I think it is. I feel the next edition need to include less references to other parts of the book.

Another more important thing that annoyed me, is that its seems that author is just presenting the information rather than explain the information, I want the author to talk to me more, to tell me stories, show me case studies, tell me about his real life experience. After I read the first three chapter parts in the Tk section, I still feel hollow, I still feel I don't know how things fit together, how widgets depends on each other. I think the author needed to offer an overview of the widgets prior to explain them or giving example. A few diagrams, annotated screenshots, more annotated screenshots.

The book is comprehensive, very comprehensive, and one in a small list. And I also haven't read all the chapters yet, so maybe I'll change my mind later.