Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Scilab and TCL-TK

TCL-Tk, TCL is an abbreviation for Tool Command Language and TK is an abbreviation for toolkit. In Matlab, graphical user interfaces GUIs are based on Java language (as I remember), while in Scilab, TCL-TK which is a powerful scripting language is used in Scilab. I admit that TCL-TK in Scilab is not well-documented, and this come from the fact that TCL-TK already has a wealthy documentation in its community site http://www.tcl.tk/ with a lot of examples and sample scripts. Another thing to know that Scilab has no GUI or toolbox to create GUIs using TCL-TK (like Matlab).

From my point of view, TCL-TK is a great scripting language and may be the easiest one to use for creating GUIs, it includes all types of GUI elements (widgets) like buttons, radio buttons, check boxes, scroll bars, scales, canvas (for drawing), labels, entries, combo boxes, and a lot more. It also supports string and math operations and functions. The following capture is just to show the power of TCL-TK GUI (I created this simple GUI using my GUI builder project which is not suitable for proffesional use. By a little help of you we can improve this project).




So, what's new with Scilab ? . The greate thing in Scilab that you can create GUIs in Scilab environment using TCL-TK and exchange data and variables between Scilab and TCL-TK so that you can make Scilab make calculations and plots by clicking a button or scrolling a scale and so on.

The aim of this post is not to show how to use TCL-TK in Scilab, but is to show you that there is a buried treasure inside Scilab. Really, Scilab is very precious.