Welcome to comp.lang.tcl

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Subject: Welcome to the comp.lang.tcl newsgroup (Automatic mail)
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Hello new user,

Welcome to the comp.lang.tcl Usenet newsgroup.

This message is intended to inform you about various sources of information answering many common questions about Tcl/Tk. It will not be automatically emailed to you again, so be sure to store it somewhere on your host. There is no need to reply to this message. This is an informational message without commercial intent.

The latest version of this message.

Before posting a question to comp.lang.tcl, be sure to consult the following resources on your own system and across the internet:

  • The source distribution of Tcl/Tk comes with reference pages for all commands and API functions. If Tcl has been installed properly on your Unix system, you can access the reference pages using the 'man' command. Windows Tcl/Tk comes with a Windows help file.

    On Unix, some Tcl commands have the same name as existing Unix commands (i.e.: file, expr). To ensure that you receive the Tcl man page, you must force man to look in section 'n', the default man section for core Tcl/Tk commands (i.e.: man -s n file, man -S n file, or as is appropriate on your system).

    Another possibility is TkMan, a manpage viewer written in Tcl/Tk by Tom Phelps.


  • A HTML'ized version of the Tcl/Tk man pages is available at

    Developer XChange man pages

  • The Tcl/Tk FAQ answers many common questions, has a big list of books about or related to Tcl/Tk and tons of references to other works using Tcl/Tk. Pointers to FAQs covering special topics (like 'Tcl on Windows') are part of it as well. If you are in search of specific extensions/applications start searching here or one of the archives mentioned later.

    Tcl/Tk FAQ, by Larry Virden.

  • The official Tcl/Tk site on the net is the Tcl Developer XChange, hosted by ActiveState.

    New releases of the Tcl and Tk source, as well as binary versions for some platforms, can be found here, together with information provided by the Tcl-Team at ActiveState and the Tcl Core Team.

  • The sources of many Tcl-related projects (and of Tcl/Tk itself) are now hosted by SourceForge and can be reached either through the

    Tcl Foundry

    or the catalog of

    Tcl projects

  • Announcements of new core releases, external extensions, applications, etc. can be found in the newsgroup comp.lang.tcl.announce.

    This group is moderated, so if you want to post a message there, please send your request to the moderator.

    The newsgroup is archived on the internet at the announce archive.

  • D. R. Hipp maintains a list of individuals and/or companies who claim to have some expertise in Tcl/Tk programming and are willing to work for hire.

    Tcl consultants

Further online resources:

  • The Tcl Developer XChange features a resource center containing information about tcl itself, extensions, books, FAQs, etc.

    Developer XChange resource center

  • ProcPlace, a software developer, and consulting company specializing in Tcl support, maintains the official Tcl/Tk Contributed Sources Archive site, an extensive searchable archive of extensions and applications relating to Tcl.

    ProcPlace archive.

  • Another searchable database of Tcl software available around the internet is maintained by J.M. Ivler.

    Tcl/Tk Resource pages.

  • The 'Tcl'ers Wiki' resource is unique among all else mentioned here because you, the reader are able to edit and expand its content. It is a collaborative environment for the creation of the resources you feel that you need them.

    Tcl'ers Wiki

  • Next, here is a big set of extremely useful WWW pages relating to Tcl. Among them are assistance in resolving common linking problems when building Tcl, a list of frequently made mistakes, notes on migration to Tcl 8.0 and many more.

    Archive, by Cameron Laird

    List of frequently made mistakes: Mistakes.

    Help for linking problems: Unix Builds.

  • Numerous examples and links to other resources, collected by Mike Hopkirk.

    Examples and links.

  • Another site with many links to other resources.

    Yet more links.

  • And even more links.

    Tcl at Yahoo.

    Somewhere in France.

  • The Cetus site maintains link collections for various languages, including Tcl/Tk.

    Tcl/Tk at Cetus

  • Tutorials written by John Ousterhout

    The referenced file is a compressed tar archive containing postscript and powerpoint slides (610K, last updated at Feb 3, 1996).

  • Source code from the article "A Tutorial Introduction to Tcl and Tk" by Graham Mark.

    Example code.

  • The Tcl Cookbook, a free Tcl/Tk tutorial. The document describes the use of Tcl 7.4 and Tk 4.0 across platforms. It is aimed at novice window-based interactive application developers and newcomers to Tcl/Tk.

    The cookbook.

  • A computer aided instruction package covering all of the Tcl features available up to 7.6, and some of the 8.0 features. It is aimed at new users of Tcl with varying levels of computer expertise. It runs on W/95/NT, Unixes and Mac (the latter as of version 0.97 or higher).

    The TclTutor

  • A series of Tcl examples of how to do things which are not necessarily obvious.

    Obtuse Tcl.

  • A tutorial explaining the usage of compiled Tcl extensions (like OraTcl, BLT, ...) in general.

    EXTension USagE tutorial

  • The Tcl Developer XChange provides lists of online tutorials and books about Tcl.

    Developer XChange resource center: Tutorials Developer XChange resource center: Book-list

  • Another hub listing tcl tutorials is provided by Cameron Laird at

    Cameron's tutorial list

  • The people from ArsDigita provide a tutorial for Tcl too, as it is used in their web framework based upon AOLServer.

    ArsDigita Tcl tutorial

General searching on the net:

So, you have exhausted the resources mentioned above, and your question is still unanswered ?

Well, post your question to comp.lang.tcl and numerous individuals around the world will rally to help you. To help us in helping you please consider the following before you start writing:

A more descriptive subject like 'Searching Rule-based interference engine' or 'Problem with fileevent' will have a better chance of drawing a response than a broadcast plea for 'Help!' or 'Newbie needs help'.

We are just a bunch of engineers who want to get the most out of Tcl. Because of that we are more concerned with what you are having trouble with than how much experience you have.

In case of a problem with some code of yours send the code. We don't ask for multi-megabyte sources, or confidential material, but just the snippet exhibiting the faulty behaviour, or some condensed example code that will focus attention immensively. Creating such an excerpt will help you understand the error much better, perhaps well enough to discover the solution for yourself, or at least you will help us diagnose the problem. Trying to guess the reason for some error without code is difficult at best, and impossible in the average case. The usual responses are none, or requests for the code.

Another useful tip - give us some background of what you are trying to do, along with your specific question. Sometimes the '''real''' solution is a different approach to the problem!

See also this

essay about reporting bugs

And now some more formal rulings:

Posting guidelines for comp.lang.tcl

Language is english.

Source code
is ok, if small (around 100-200 lines). It is recommended to mark such posts with LONG.

Well, usually these are not allowed. This includes MIME encoded source, especially as free ftp space is available at ProcPlace.

Anyone wishing to share binaries with the Tcl community can upload them via FTP to the Tcl Contributed Sources Archive (mentioned at the beginning of this message). The address is ftp.procplace.com/pub/tcl/incoming. Though FTP is quick and easy, the reason people are asked to use the web interface is that it provides better cataloging of the package, on the fly. Any questions about uploading to the Archive can be directed to the Tcl/Tk CSA Master.

On the other hand there are things people ask and wait for, such as the reference guide. So, if such posts contain useful information and are posted infrequently, people should not complain. Abuse of the good nature of the newsgroup policies will likely result in cancellation of postings. Nevertheless, cancelling of non-spam postings by someone other than their original poster is not permitted in comp.lang.tcl.

for Tcl related software, books, or even jobs are acceptable as long as they are in context to answering a question and are not of a form letter format and don't become too frequent. The same thing more than once a month is too frequent. Formal announcments should go to comp.lang.tcl.announce.

Job ads
The same as for ads (see above).

In both cases it is recommended to find a FAQ which would be appropriate and have info about your offerings added, as well as to make web pages that not only advertise but provide useful services to the Tcl community.

Another thing: Most readers prefer that postings occur in plain text English without a mirroring text/html attachment. This note is especially important to folks installing a new version of Netscape, the option causing this behaviour is easily forgotten.

And more: When replying to a posting, please be concise in the amount of text that you include as reference. It is seldom necessary to quote more than 6 lines of text. If someone wants more context than that, Google (former Deja.com) and other archives are certainly available. Reducing the amount of text in your reply ensures that people actually see your comments...

Enjoy, the TclTeam

c.l.t. welcome message V 1.24, as of Sep 14, 2002.

© Andreas Kupries
Last update at Sat Sep 14 16:53:00 PDT 2002