Demonstrating Starkits

In the course of my consulting, I often have the opportunity to demonstrate Starkits to people and wanted to document a few steps that show their power and flexibility. I try to get someone else to actually drive the keyboard, since I want to emphasise just how easy the process is. I start by getting them to visit the Starkit Distribution Archive [L1 ], and from there to the Tclkit Download page.

I first show a download of the UPX compressed version of tclkit, then the Wikit Starkit - wikit.kit -and get the victim^Wuser to drag/drop one on the other. They see how easy it is to get started with just two files, but then I show Wikit running in "httpd" mode - once they realise that it contains a full web server - tclhttpd - (even on Windows) it blows them away.

Next I grab another Starkit, typically tkvnc - to emphasise that once you have Tclkit it is a small incremental download to get a lot of functionality.

Then, I go to the Fractal Mountains page on the wiki and cut/paste this code into a running tclkit console. This also tends to make people sit up and take notice - cutting and pasting a graphical application isn't something one sees every day :-)

Finally, I talk about Starpacks and get them to download the Wikit Starpack - just to emphasise that you can "seal" the application and interpreter for safe keeping.

And, of course, I try to remember to mention that this fits on a single floppy :-)

stevel - April 11, 2003

Steve Blinkhorn makes jaws drop with tclhttpd-as-a-starkit-on-a-floppy-with-the-exe-and-the-entire-website-plus-code.

Postlude - if you want to burn some bandwidth, try downloading the complete Tcler's Wiki from , gunzip it and invoke wikit on it using

 wikit -httpd 8100 /path/to/data/wikit

where 8100 can be any reasonable Internet Port.

Access it locally using the following URL


As at April 14, 2003 wikit.gz is around 5.4Mb but, even so, being able to serve this locally on a Windows box is worth demonstrating - stevel

And if you want to stay up to date with your local copy, you can: wikit -update will update all the latest changes from the daily snapshot archive -jcw (this is one way, and -httpd mode opens in r/o mode, no edits...)

Another approach if you've already got Tclkit on your system. Go to the Starkit archive at and "right click" on a selected Starkits and run them using Tclkit. Some of the games make good examples (e.g. spirograph, flagman, etc) and they download quite quickly. Depending on your platform, either "right click" and then choose "open with ..." to specify Tclkit, or perhaps first register Tclkit it as the command to run files with the .kit extension.

stevel - May 31, 2003