Perl is arguably the most popular scripting language in use today. It is used for a wide variety of tasks, including file processing, system administration, web programming, and database connectivity. Early Perl users had to be content with command-line interfaces or full-screen interfaces using Curses or similar systems, but the splitting-off of the Tk widget library from the Tcl language opened a whole new world to Perl. Perl programmers could now easily create graphical interfaces for their programs using Tk's flexible and friendly widget set and, with little effort, those programs could be made to work across Windows and Unix platforms.
The Tk module gives the Perl programmer full access to the powerful Tk widget set. This rich and diverse library, like Perl itself, makes the easy things easy and the hard things possible. Easy things include designing graphical interfaces with Buttons, Checkbuttons, Menus, and text entry fields—all of which you will learn about in the first half of this book. The second half of the book contains more advanced topics, such as creating custom widgets, interprocess communication, images, animation, and key bindings. The goal of this book is to take you from Tk neophyte to Tk expert.
This book evolved from the book Learning Perl/Tk by Nancy Walsh (O'Reilly). While the response to that book made it clear that there were many avid and loyal Perl/Tk users, readers also let us know that they wished the book showed advanced techniques, covered some nonstandard widgets, and included more extended examples of Perl/Tk programming.
So Nancy teamed up with Steve Lidie, already a seasoned Perl/Tk programmer and author, and together they doubled the size of the book and changed its title to befit its expansion. The baby emu on the cover of Learning Perl/Tk grew into the adult emu on the cover of this book. Programmers who are new to Perl/Tk can still learn from this book, but as the title says, this book will also turn you into a master.
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