Gdbtk: Can Tcl/Tk 8.3 replace bundled tcl/tk/itcl/tix

Jim Ingham
Mon Jul 24 13:35:00 GMT 2000

Also sprach Chan Shih-Ping Richard:

> Can a system Tcl/Tk8.3 replace the bundled tcl/tk/itcl/itk/tix?
> Can you 
> ./configure --with-tclconfig=SYSTEM_TCL --with-tkconfig=SYSTEM_TK \
> --without-itcl --without-itk --without-tix
> and still get a reasonable(sane)  gdbtk/insight?

First off, the fact that Insight relies on a non-standard version of Tcl/Tk
is a known problem.  I am pretty sure that the Red Hat folks are working to
remove as many of the hacks as possible, and figure out some dynamic ways to
add in the others.  But I don't know the status of this work...

However, even when that is done, you will still need some Tcl extensions to
make Insight work, and this is not likely to change (that would be against
the Tcl philosophy, which encourages the use of side packages to make the
Tcl enviromnent richer without overburdening the core.)

For instance, without Itcl & Itk, Insight will get nowhere.  It makes heavy
use of Itcl to structure the code and (insert favorite OO panacea buzzwords
here...)  This could not be changed without completely rewriting the Insight

Tix is used for the Hierarchical Table view in the Variables window.  We
have been slowly trying to remove dependence on Tix, since it is not
supported.  We were, when I left Red Hat, down to this hierarchical table.
However, we will have to replace it with another Hierarchical Table widget,
since Tk doesn't provide one on its own, and I don't think that the Tcl only
ones will scale well for this purpose.  The most likely candidate is the
hiertable that comes with BLT.

> Are itcl/itk/tix really necessary anymore with a recent
> Tk/Tcl 8.3?

So the short answer to this is a definite yes for Itcl & Itk, and currently
yes for Tix, but the plan was to replace it with BLT soon.


Jim Ingham                       
Apple Computer

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