Updated 2018-05-12 03:30:01 by pooryorick

Disambiguation  edit

ActiveTcl (Frankinet)
an unrelated project

Description  edit

ActiveTcl, by ActiveState is a distribution of Tcl and Tk, coupled with a repository (conceptually similar to CPAN, as used by Perl, or the various Linux distribution package repositories). It started out as a Batteries Included effort to bring together in one binary distribution a variety of Tcl extensions

ActiveState offers the ActiveTcl in 3 variations
Community Edition
a freely-available version of the latest release for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Business Edition
offers commercially-available access to archival versions and binaries for Solaris, HP-UX and AIX, as well as support.
Enterprise Edition
offers commercially available enhanced support, indemnification and custom builds.

Some packages that are available in other editions of ActiveTcl are not available in the Community Edition, and there are some packages, e.g. Snack, in the 32-bit Community Edition that are not available in the 64-bit Community Edition. There doesn't seem to be any official list of the difference in available packages between editions.

Licensing  edit

See license-agreement

Current Versions  edit

  • ActiveTcl 8.6.7
  • ActiveTcl 8.6.6
  • ActiveTcl 8.5.19
  • ActiveTcl 8.5.18

Contents  edit


Currently, the distribution of ActiveTcl 8.6 (approx. 220 MB) includes [fill in the details here]


As of the 8.5.x releases (approx. 210 MB), you get the Tcl/Tk 8.5.x core, a number of extensions, as well as additional tools such as

  • Teacup, a client of the TEApot repository system, with which you can install the remainder of the extensions.

Documentation  edit

ActiveState online documentation for Tcl
a convenient and easy-to-read layout
ActiveTcl 8.4
ActiveTcl 8.5
ActiveTcl 8.6

Resources  edit

The ActiveState Tcl mailing lists
including archives for a number of popular lists.
Tcl Solutions: ActiveTcl, Tcl Dev Kit, Komodo IDE for Tcl, Tcl Training and Consulting
links to product info, downloads, IDE's and development kits, and training

Obtaining  edit

an alternative location for the Community Edition downloads.


A few extensions are available only through the TEApot.

Notes  edit


ActiveTcl sometimes uses sources (along with other extensions) directly from the package's CVS repository, which may not correspond to an exact "official" release. There are also a number of Tcl packages which no longer make official releases, pointing people to their CVS (svn, whatever) repositories when they want the source code.

Threading / Thread-enabled

  • In ActiveTcl 8.5 the Tcl core is thread-enabled for all platforms.
  • In ActiveTcl 8.4 the Tcl core is thread-enabled for Windows and OS X only.

Trouble-Shooting  edit

When reporting problems under ActiveTcl, make use of
% parray activestate::config

% parray activestate::ActiveTcl

which both provide you with information about the specific build number, date the build occurred, platforms, etc. These arrays should be available in both the tclsh and the base-tcl (or base-tk) that is bundled in ActiveTcl.

Related  edit

Other products offered by ActiveState are
Tcl Dev Kit
aka Tcl Developer's Kit. Based upon TclPro, a commercial product, including a variety of useful developer tools, and works with whatever ActiveTcl it finds.
Expect for Windows
an up-to-date port of Expect to Windows for Tcl 8.4, now a part of ActiveTcl for Windows.
ActiveTcl Pro Studio
a commercial bundle of Komodo, Tcl Dev Kit, Expect for Windows and a subscription to ActiveState's ASPN (ActiveState Programmers Network).

Questions and Answers  edit

Can Tcllib be updated through Teacup?

LV: Certainly teacup can update - if the newer items are available within the teapot repository you specify. If the repository owner hasn't updated to contain the latest version, then you can't update that way. In theory, you could also download and build yourself, and then install it somewhere for tcl to find.

How does ActiveTcl Business Edition impact what parts of ActiveTcl one will be permitted to freely access via teacup?

JH: The commodity platforms still have free access. The big iron platforms require a Business Edition license to run ActiveTcl.

IL: Is there someplace where someone can retrieve earlier distros of ActiveTcl?

JH: Earlier versions of ActiveTcl are available via Business Edition.

I've just started playing with TCL and I have a REAL newbie question. I have two machines; one has ActiveState's tcl batteries included dist and the other machine I compiled myself from source. Question is why is it that with the ActiveState dist I can go to my command line and just type the name of script (e.g helloworld.tcl) and it runs, however, on the machine where I compiled the sources i have to use the tclsh84 shell from the command line to get it to run. Did I do something wrong when I compiled and installed the sources myself?

MG: Depends on several things, the most important of which is probably which OS you're using. But on Windows, at least, the ActiveTcl installer associates the .tcl file extension with wish automatically (and may well do on other platforms).

LV Most tcl scripts start with a line similar to:
#! /bin/tclsh

or perhaps
#! /bin/sh

and some additional lines to find tclsh.

It sounds to me like the ActiveState tclsh is being found in your path, while the one that you are building is being installed in a directory that either isn't in your path, or at the very least, isn't being found FIRST in your path.

Recently on comp.lang.tcl someone asked how to install ActiveTcl on Linux. A rough outline of the steps are:

  • Download the appropriate tar.gz file
  • Extract the contents using "gtar xfz ActiveTcl.whatever.the.numbers.and.words.are.tar.gz" (where you would replace "whatever.the.numbers.and.words.are" with the actual information in the file name you downloaded.
  • Change directory (via cd) to the newly created ActiveTcl.whatever.the.numbers.and.words.are folder
  • Read the README text file in that folder
  • Execute the install.sh application in that folder.
  • The application will begin providing you with information and asking you questions.
  • Probably the most important question will be the second question (the first question being "do you accept this license"). This is the question of where ActiveTcl should be installed. The location to provide needs to be one which either your account can create, or in which your account can create files.

MHo 2010-02-05: I could not find the activestate-html-help-files for ActiveTcl any more. Maybe I am blind.

IDG: Seems to be there at http://downloads.activestate.com/ActiveTcl/releases/ - better hidden than before...

MHo 2013-01-19: How should we install - first uninstall 8.5, then install 8.6, or can we install 8.6 on top of 8.5 without uninstalling first?

AK 2013-01-21 18:17:33: Both ways, uninstalling, then re-installing, and over-install are possible. In case of the latter the installer should detect the existing lib/teapot and ask for advice on how to handle it (keep as is, overwrite, merge). One thing the over-install is not so good at is later removal of 8.5. The 8.6. uninstaller overwrites the 8.5 one. On the third hand, removing by deleting the directory is mostly ok too, leaving only the start-menu entries behind.

[TJ] 2013-02-20 22:10:11: I am using teacup to install a missing package. However, the "teacup list" generated the following error message on Windows 7:
0 entities found

Problems which occurred during the operation:
* http://teapot.activestate.com : 
        Error in constructor: Not a repository: Index database
        Read access is denied

The home directory is H:, which synchronizes with a network driver.

Any one can help me? Thanks.

AK 2013-02-21 01:15:40: The message of 'Read access is denied' seems to be pretty clear. Something thinks that it has no read permissions for the file, and thus using the index fails.

You could try to 'teacup cache off'. That puts teacup into a mode where it ignores the local INDEX cache and does everything over the network. That makes it slower, of course.

Note "teacup help cache" for the integrated help on the command.

See Also  edit

Getting Tcl/Tk
Installing Tcl/Tk on Ubuntu
ActiveTcl 8.5 Help Documentation