Mastering Perl/Tk Paperback – 4 Feb 2002
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Perl is well-known as a language for server-side scripting, but Mastering Perl/Tk shows Perl developers how to build cross-platform client applications with rich graphical interfaces. Tk stands for toolkit and was developed by John Ousterhout as a graphical extension to his Tcl scripting language. Perl/Tk fully integrates Tk into Perl, and supported platforms include Unix, Windows and Mac OS. This authoritative guide teaches Perl/Tk from scratch, but readers are assumed to have existing skills in Perl itself.
After a brief introduction, the authors get quickly into nitty-gritty detail. The starting point is geometry management, which controls the size and position of graphical widgets. The book goes on to describe the available widgets in depth, including chapters on buttons, listboxes, text widgets, scales, and more. Frames, windows and menus are fully explained. With the foundations in place, the second half turns to advanced topics such as creating custom widgets, binding to events, image manipulation, pipes and sockets, and Web programming. Appendices list options and default values for each widget, and give complete program listings for the examples.
Readers of Mastering Perl/Tk will be impressed by its attention to detail. The authors also demonstrate the power of the Perl/Tk combination, with examples such as embedding OpenGL output in a Tk window, or fetching and displaying live content from the Web. It is an excellent resource for any Perl developer.--Tim Anderson
" a useful tutorial and reference for both the novice and experienced Perl programmers...." -- Darryl Nishamura, Biotech Software and Internet Report, Vol 3, Number 3, 2002
"....Mastering Perl/Tk is truly a value-add above and beyond on-line reference material...." -- Bill Cunningham, Linux Journal, March 2002
A useful tutorial and reference for both the novice and experienced Perl programmers. -- Darryl Nishamura, Biotech Software and Internet Report, Vol 3, Number 3, 2002
If you want to learn more about GUI programming in Perl, Mastering Perl/Tk will be a valuable addition to your library. -- Bill Cunningham, Linuxjournal.com, March 2002
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As you might expect, Perl/Tk is a set of Perl bindings for Tcl/Tk and the Tk.pm module provides a whole host of widgets which you won't find in a standard Tcl/Tk distribution, and the book covers them all in detail. Better still, from my point of view, prior knowledge of Tcl/Tk isn't a prerequisite although a basic grasp of the techniques is useful. Prior knowledge of Perl *is* essential, and this book is aimed squarely at intermediate to advanced programmers.
My current job requires me, amongst other things, to write GUIs for existing code, and I switched to Perl/Tk mainly to avoid having to hack on rather old and crusty Tcl code. Reading the book cover-to-cover isn't necessary and any competent Perl programmer will be able to get results fairly quickly just by looking up the bits s/he needs - I had a basic but functional GUI up and going inside a working day, for example, and a bit of extra hacking with the book as a reference guide had the whole thing looking rather more professional shortly after.
One of O'Reilly's better efforts, up there with the Camel Book and the Cookbook, and worthy of a place on any Perl programmer's bookshelf.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you AREN'T a new programmer... in most cases you should be using a different language than PERL. Good chance one of the others will allow you to do what you want with more automated assistance.
Textual content is written in a teaching context.
In the examples there are a lot of things being done implicitly, and comments are lacking. This defeats much of the teaching functionality of the textual content that references to the examples.
The custom widget section, is some of the most disorganized technical writing I've seen. Things that should be footnotes are left as content. In my copy of chapter 14, if you were to couple the X'd out superfluous language with the pencil notes in the margin used to decipher the remaining text (after referencing _Programming Perl_, the POD and usenet) you would nearly equal the content of the author.
They appear to have been stretching for length like a freshman year term paper, Noted by the 75 pages of options tables in the rear that are redundant to the core widget option tables in the front, or otherwise straight out of the POD.
This book leaves a lot of room for a competing title. There is however none at this time to my knowledge. Therefore buy it anyway, if you plan on working heavily in Perl/Tk.
To use the word "Mastering" in the title is begging criticism. If you are looking for a definative work, this isn't it. But it is available, and will get you through the first half of your head scratching while developing with Perk/Tk.