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1.1 Introduction

GCL-TK is a windowing interface for GNU Common Lisp. It provides the functionality of the TK widget set, which in turn implements a widget set which has the look and feel of Motif.

The interface allows the user to draw graphics, get input from menus, make regions mouse sensitive, and bind lisp commands to regions. It communicates over a socket with a `gcltksrv' process, which speaks to the display via the TK library. The displaying process may run on a machine which is closer to the display, and so involves less communication. It also may remain active even though the lisp is involved in a separate user computation. The display server can, however, interrupt the lisp at will, to inquire about variables and run commands.

The user may also interface with existing TCL/TK programs, binding some buttons, or tracking some objects.

The size of the program is moderate. In its current form it adds only about 45K bytes to the lisp image, and the `gcltksrv' program uses shared libraries, and is on the order of 150Kbytes on a sparc.

This chapter describes some of the common features of the command structure of widgets, and of control functions. The actual functions for construction of windows are discussed in 2. Widgets, and more general functions for making them appear, lowering them, querying about them in 3. Control.


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