|Perl Monk, Perl Meditation|
in praise of poor old Tkby zentara (Archbishop)
|on Feb 18, 2014 at 11:05 UTC||Need Help??|
You know, when I first started programming, about 20 years ago, I thought Perl/Tk was the ticket. Finally something which allowed you to make your own GUI's without having to resort to buying Microsoft software. It worked great, and still works great.
In the meantime, other GUI toolkits, such as the short-lived Gtk, Gtk2, and currently Gtk3, and others such as Wx and KDE have come along. But they are always changing so fast, to incorporate such great new features as semi-transparencies, gradients, and whatever new themeing engines they might want compatibility with.
So, I look back at Tk, knowing that for the most part, all my scripts still run pretty much as I wrote them way back when. It is simple, and stable. My newer Gtk2 scripts, may not convert without some work, to Gtk3. Additionally, the docs for Gtk3, Wx and ( KDE ) Qt GUI's are hard to come by.
But just look at the Tk code base. It needs no pre-requisite libs to be installed, and is a very small module compared to the GUI potential, which it contains. In days of heightened security over code safety, Tk is an easy to module to deal with. Additionally, if you do need transparency and all the matrix operations like rotations, the Tk::Zinc module works great. It is now somewhat abandoned code, but the module still works, and it used to be used as the air-traffic display driver for some French airports. So you know it isn't junk software. It comes with a nice pdf manual, documenting all it's features.
It is kind of funny to me, that the entire drive to make more advanced toolkits, was so that the themeing engine of the host computer would decide how the window app would look. Many like the simplicity of Tk's ability to individually set each widget's colors and fonts with a few simple lines, like -bg=>'#112233', instead of needing a special style section to overide the system's style settings.
Anyways, I still reach for Tk whenever I need a GUI app. It is suitable for almost all small custom tasks. I would even trust it for digital guages and controls.
... and it's way easier to write code for, than any other toolkit out there
I'll bet Perl/Tk will still be around after Gtk5 and Wx99 are come and gone. :-)