As we discussed in Chapter 2, Perl was created by Larry Wall back in 1987. It is an extremely fast, interpreted scripting language that combines some of the best features of a variety of other languages, Perl is especially good at expression handling, scanning and manipulating text, and performing system management tasks.

Although some programmers prefer Perl and some prefer Tcl, everyone loves Tk. As we mentioned earlier, Tk was originally available only for Tcl, but in 1995, Nick Ing-Simmons (following up from Malcolm Beattie’s initial work at Oxford University) removed Tk’s original intrinsic need for Tcl and produced a much more portable set of code. He made this code directly acessible to many more languages, and it became known as pTk (portable Tk). As an encore, he wrapped this ported code in Perl, creating the Perl module. Thus, another open source star—Perl/Tk—was born.

Perl/Tk is an excellent scripted alternative to Tcl/Tk. If you’ve decided that the Perl DBI application interface is a good bet for quickly prototyping useful Oracle database tools and applications, then you’ll find that one of the best ways of wrapping them up is within a Perl/Tk GUI program. Aided and abetted by a growing army of evangelists (including the indefatigable Stephen Lidie), Perl/Tk has flowered into an amazing collection of widgets, fulfilling virtually every widget collector’s desire. Ing-Simmons’ development of the Tk800 port (encompassing Win32’s look-and-feel), combined ...

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