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Practical Programming in Tcl & Tk, Third Edition
By Brent B. Welch

Table of Contents
Part VI.  C Programming

Chapter 45. Compiling Tcl and Extensions

This chapter explains how to build Tcl from the source distribution, and how to create C extensions that are built according to the standard Tcl Extension Architecture (TEA).

Compiling Tcl from the source distribution is easy. One of the strengths of Tcl is that it is quite portable and so it has been built on all kinds of systems including Unix, Windows, Macintosh, AS/400, IBM mainframes, and embedded systems. However, it can be a challenge to create a Tcl extension that has the same portability. The Tcl Extension Architecture (TEA) provides guidelines and samples to help extension authors create portable Tcl extensions. The TEA is a result of collaboration within the Tcl user community, and it will continue to evolve.

This chapter starts with a walk through of how Tcl itself is built. This serves as a model for building extensions. There are also some by-products of the Tcl build process that are designed to make it easier to build your extensions. So, if you are an extension author you will almost always want to get started by compiling Tcl itself.

You can find the Tcl and Tk sources on the CD-ROM, and on the web:


Source distributions can be found at the Scriptics FTP site:


The on-line CVS repository for Tcl software is explained here:


If you have trouble with these URLs, please check this book's Web site for current information about the Tcl sources:


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