Updated 2014-07-14 23:40:22 by clif

Academic Press re-brands the second edition of BOOK Tcl/Tk for Real Programmers under the title above.

As of fall 2003, it's Elsevier (!) which now owns distribution [1].

Authored by Clif Flynt.

Is this book now available?

CF Yes - the book has been out since June 2003. I took a few copies to Tcl-2003-E and sold several copies at Tcl'2003 US.

LV What do you people who own this book think of it? Does it meet your expectations? I did a little technical editing of the drafts, though I haven't seen a finished copy of it yet. But it seemed to me to provide an alternative to the Welch book if that book overwhelms the reader. This [2] review, published in September 2003, takes more words to say the same.

Another question relating to the book - would you consider this book to provide adequate information to teach a traditionally trained programmer how to write good GUI applications, even if they had no previous GUI development experience? No--no programming book does that. There's a lot that can go wrong with GUIs. So, what should a person in that position read? Well, ...

Joe Mistachkin I own the book. I've read quite a bit of it. Very good all-around coverage. It seems to be geared toward people just getting started rather than the "reference manual" style of Brent's book (which I happen to have all 4 editions of).

EKB 24 April 2005 -- I also own the book and have read long bits of it. I agree with Joe Mistachkin that the coverage is good. While it's true that it doesn't have the feel of a reference manual, I find it to be complimentary to Brent Welch's book (of which I have the 3rd edition). I sometimes find myself with both books open at once. Also, it is very useful to me as a mid-level Tcl programmer, especially the coverage of packages and megawidgets. I also appreciate the review of supporting tools.

About writing good GUI applications... I think it would need coverage of user interface design to help people write good GUI applications, and this book doesn't cover that. On the other hand, most books about programming languages don't. I would suggest complimenting this book with one on user interface design.

That being said, I think I can say something on this topic, from my own experience. Some time ago I had been happily writing command-line programs in C and fell into despair when I saw the Windows API for GUI apps. Borland and C++ and Owl came to a partial rescue, but it was Tcl/Tk that saved me! I learned about it from a short section in a book on Linux programming tools. Looking at Clif Flynt's book, I would say that all the information is there that I would have needed to get me started when I made that switch. Also, the motivating section on using Tcl/Tk as a RAD tool would have helped to orient me. But I could suggest one more argument to be added at the start of the book, the parable of "The Sad GUI Programmer" (who mixed up his GUI and backend code) and "The Happy GUI Programmer" (who cleanly separated his Tcl/Tk front-end GUI from his backend code). The parable appears on page 264 in Book Effective Tcl - Writing Better Programs in Tcl and Tk. Wrapping Tcl/Tk around a command-line program may not be elegant or au courant, but it works for me!

Clif Flynt 23 November 2012 -- The third edition of this book is now available. I reworked a few sections and added chapters on TclOO, handling multiple processes with events and threads, using dicts and some of the new 8.6 commands. The new cover is light green, instead of the Medieval look of the second edition.

CliC 4 Jan 2014 -- Clif, does your publisher also handle the e-book publication? I was on Amazon looking to buy this in an electronic version, and a few of the commenters lamented poor formatting in the Kindle (e-book) version. I guess I'll stay with dead tree form for now, and see if I can use the Kindle "loaner" function to see if things are as bad as the reviewers say.

Clif Flynt 14 Jul 2014 -- The publisher did the ebooks without any input or confirmation from me. The first Kindle editions were utter crap, and I complained a bunch. The Amazon reviews say that they have improved. I don't know whether the other ebook formats are good or bad.