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labltk for tk 8.4 BETA release
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Date: 2007-05-12 (09:20)
From: David Teller <David.Teller@e...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] labltk for tk 8.4 BETA release
That's a very good initiative.

In my mind, a few other things are missing in LablTk.

* Ease of installation.

 At the moment, beginners who wish to use LablTk under Windows (or who
are pressed to do this by, say, their teacher) must first find and
install the correct version by inferring the location of the installer
from an erroneous link hidden in the fine print of the documentation of
LablTk [1].

 As Tk is so important, i'm not sure why Tk is not bundled with OCaml's
Windows version. I suggest either bundling it or at least providing an
(up-to-date) link from OCaml's official download page [2]. 

* Documentation

 At the moment, LablTk has virtually no documentation. The page in the
manual is barely an overview and suggests reading the documentation of
Tcl/Tl. Which is all fine and good, except that it doesn't help with
types, I can't for the life of me remember how I found out that type
~~  color ~~ is actually a polymorphic variant ~~ `Color of string ~~
and beginners who learn OCaml as their first or second programming
language will never manage that much. 

 I suggest including a LablTk tutorial, perhaps inspired of [3] and
actually ocamldocumenting the .mli .

* Other libraries

 Ok, I might be asking a lot, but I personally consider that Graphics is
half-useless without CamlImages. I also consider that LablGl is a good
way to demonstrate the power of OCaml to students and perhaps to bring
them to something like game programming in OCaml. It requires CamlImages
for textures. The list could continue with LablGtk and plenty of others
but these two would be my personal priority. 

 Consequently, in my mind, both should be easy to install at the same
time as OCaml, which is not the case at the moment. Again, under Linux,
that's not much of a problem. Under Windows (and perhaps Mac OS X), it
is very much so.

 I don't suggest providing a package manager under Windows and I do know
about GODI but I also know that students will never be bothered to
install GODI. What I do suggest is just either adding inside OCaml's
Windows installer the option to add "extension libraries", with a short
description of what each extension does, or providing links to binary
installers from OCaml's download page.

What do you think ?


[1] http://caml.inria.fr/pub/docs/manual-ocaml/manual042.html
[2] http://caml.inria.fr/ocaml/release.en.html
[3] http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/class/sp07/cs421/resources/labltk/

On Fri, 2007-05-11 at 22:56 -0400, Jeffrey Loren Shaw wrote:
> Dear Ocaml-ers, 
> I've updated labltk to use some new widgets and commands that are available 
> in Tk 8.4. 
> get the ocaml 3.10 beta release
> extract the ocaml beta archive
> replace otherlibs/labltk with the one from the following link
> http://www.msu.edu/~shawjef3/labltk-8.4-BETA1.zip 
> configure, make world, make install 
> This is a BETA release, meaning that I believe I've implemented all the new 
> features, but I haven't tested them much. 
> Here are my additions to the changelog: 
> 2007-05-11 (*BETA release from shawjef3@msu.edu*)
>  ----------
> *labltk now requires Tk 8.4
> *added spinbox widget
> *added TkConsole module
> *added labelframe widget
> *added panedwindow widget
> *added functions tk_textCopy, tk_textCut, tk_text_Paste to the text widget
> *Removed CamlTk
> *Removed tkanim (depended on Camltk)
> *Removed Frx (Depended on Camltk)
> *Removed examples_camltk (Depended on Camltk) 
> Please note that this is an unofficial release. I'm not affiliated with the 
> ocaml development team. 
> Enjoy!
> Jeff
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