tcl  8.6.13
About: Tcl v8.6 (tool command language).
Current stable release.
  Fossies Dox: tcl8.6.13-src.tar.gz  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

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tcl Documentation

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This is the Tcl 8.6.13 source distribution.

You can get any source release of Tcl from our distribution site.

Build Status Build Status Build Status


  1. Introduction
  2. Documentation
  3. Compiling and installing Tcl
  4. Development tools
  5. Tcl newsgroup
  6. The Tcler's Wiki
  7. Mailing lists
  8. Support and Training
  9. Tracking Development
  10. Thank You

1. Introduction

Tcl provides a powerful platform for creating integration applications that tie together diverse applications, protocols, devices, and frameworks. When paired with the Tk toolkit, Tcl provides the fastest and most powerful way to create GUI applications that run on PCs, Unix, and Mac OS X. Tcl can also be used for a variety of web-related tasks and for creating powerful command languages for applications.

Tcl is maintained, enhanced, and distributed freely by the Tcl community. Source code development and tracking of bug reports and feature requests take place at Tcl/Tk release and mailing list services are hosted by SourceForge with the Tcl Developer Xchange hosted at

Tcl is a freely available open-source package. You can do virtually anything you like with it, such as modifying it, redistributing it, and selling it either in whole or in part. See the file license.terms for complete information.

2. Documentation

Extensive documentation is available on our website. The home page for this release, including new features, is here. Detailed release notes can be found at the file distributions page by clicking on the relevant version.

Information about Tcl itself can be found at the Developer Xchange. There have been many Tcl books on the market. Many are mentioned in the Wiki.

The complete set of reference manual entries for Tcl 8.6 is online, here.

2a. Unix Documentation

The doc subdirectory in this release contains a complete set of reference manual entries for Tcl. Files with extension ".1" are for programs (for example, tclsh.1); files with extension ".3" are for C library procedures; and files with extension ".n" describe Tcl commands. The file "doc/Tcl.n" gives a quick summary of the Tcl language syntax. To print any of the man pages on Unix, cd to the "doc" directory and invoke your favorite variant of troff using the normal -man macros, for example

    groff -man -Tpdf Tcl.n >output.pdf

to print Tcl.n to PDF. If Tcl has been installed correctly and your "man" program supports it, you should be able to access the Tcl manual entries using the normal "man" mechanisms, such as

    man Tcl

2b. Windows Documentation

The "doc" subdirectory in this release contains a complete set of Windows help files for Tcl. Once you install this Tcl release, a shortcut to the Windows help Tcl documentation will appear in the "Start" menu:

    Start | Programs | Tcl | Tcl Help

3. Compiling and installing Tcl

There are brief notes in the unix/README, win/README, and macosx/README about compiling on these different platforms. There is additional information about building Tcl from sources online.

4. Development tools

ActiveState produces a high-quality set of commercial quality development tools that is available to accelerate your Tcl application development. Tcl Dev Kit builds on the earlier TclPro toolset and provides a debugger, static code checker, single-file wrapping utility, bytecode compiler, and more. More information can be found at

5. Tcl newsgroup

There is a USENET newsgroup, "comp.lang.tcl", intended for the exchange of information about Tcl, Tk, and related applications. The newsgroup is a great place to ask general information questions. For bug reports, please see the "Support and bug fixes" section below.

6. Tcl'ers Wiki

There is a wiki-based open community site covering all aspects of Tcl/Tk.

It is dedicated to the Tcl programming language and its extensions. A wealth of useful information can be found there. It contains code snippets, references to papers, books, and FAQs, as well as pointers to development tools, extensions, and applications. You can also recommend additional URLs by editing the wiki yourself.

7. Mailing lists

Several mailing lists are hosted at SourceForge to discuss development or use issues (like Macintosh and Windows topics). For more information and to subscribe, visit here and go to the Mailing Lists page.

8. Support and Training

We are very interested in receiving bug reports, patches, and suggestions for improvements. We prefer that you send this information to us as tickets entered into our issue tracker.

We will log and follow-up on each bug, although we cannot promise a specific turn-around time. Enhancements may take longer and may not happen at all unless there is widespread support for them (we're trying to slow the rate at which Tcl/Tk turns into a kitchen sink). It's very difficult to make incompatible changes to Tcl/Tk at this point, due to the size of the installed base.

The Tcl community is too large for us to provide much individual support for users. If you need help we suggest that you post questions to comp.lang.tcl or ask a question on Stack Overflow. We read the newsgroup and will attempt to answer esoteric questions for which no one else is likely to know the answer. In addition, see the wiki for links to other organizations that offer Tcl/Tk training.

9. Tracking Development

Tcl is developed in public. You can keep an eye on how Tcl is changing at

10. Thank You

We'd like to express our thanks to the Tcl community for all the helpful suggestions, bug reports, and patches we have received. Tcl/Tk has improved vastly and will continue to do so with your help.