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.TH tclreadline n "@TCLREADLINE_VERSION@" "Johannes Zellner"

.\" (C) 1999 by Johannes Zellner
.\" FILE: "/diska/home/joze/src/tclreadline/"
.\" LAST MODIFICATION: "Fri Aug 20 15:01:22 1999 (joze)"
.\" (C) 1998, 1999 by Johannes Zellner, <>
.\" $Id$
.\" ---
.\" tclreadline -- gnu readline for the tcl scripting language
.\" Copyright (C) 1999  Johannes Zellner
.\" This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
.\" modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
.\" as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
.\" of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
.\" This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
.\" but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
.\" GNU General Public License for more details.
.\" You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
.\" along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
.\" Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.
.\" <>,

tclreadline \- gnu readline for the tcl scripting language

.TP 6
\fB::tclreadline::readline\fP \fIcommand\fP [\fIoptions\fP]


The \fBtclreadline\fP package makes the gnu readline available
to the scripting language tcl. The primary purpose of the package
is to facilitate the interactive script development by the means
of word and file name completion as well as history expansion
(well known from shells like bash).

Additionally tclreadline can also be used for tcl scripts
which want to use a shell like input interface. In this case the
\fB::tclreadline::readline read\fP command has to be called explicitly.


The advantage of \fBtclreadline\fP is that it uses the callback
handler mechanism of the gnu readline while it processes tcl
events. This way X events from a wish gui will processed as
well as events from the \fPtclreadline\fP line interface.


\fBtclreadline\fP is basically a shared library and a few tcl scripts
which are accessed with the tcl package require command. Therefore
\fBtclreadline\fP should work with all common extensions like
\fBblt, itcl, itk, tix ...\fP.



If you want to use \fBtclreadline\fP as a line interface
for developing tcl scripts, you probably don't have to read
this section.

The following list will give all commands, which are currently
implemented in the shared lib (e.g.
Additional commands were introduced in a startup script
\fBtclreadlineSetup.tcl\fP, which lives in the tclreadline
installation directory.
(typically something like /usr/local/lib/tclreadline ..)
These commands are primarily for internal use and not documented here.

Note that all commands reside in the namespace \fB::tclreadline::\fP.

.TP 5
\fB::tclreadline::readline add\fP \fIstring\fP
adds a string to the completer. If the string contains white
spaces, each of the words will be completed consecutively when
hitting <Tab>. Example:

    ::tclreadline::readline add "button pathName ?options?"

typing but<Tab> will complete to button. Hitting <Tab> again
will complete to "button pathName".  ...

.TP 5
\fB::tclreadline::readline complete\fP \fIstring\fP
returns 1 if \fIstring\fP is a complete tcl command and 0 otherwise.

.TP 5
\fB::tclreadline::readline initialize\fP \fIhistoryfile\fP
initialize the tclreadline interface and read the history from
the \fIhistoryfile\fP. On succes an empty string is returned.
This command has to be called before any other tclreadline commands.

.TP 5
\fB::tclreadline::readline read\fP \fIprompt\fP
prints the \fIprompt\fP to stdout and enters the tclreadline event
loop. Both readline and X events are processed. Returns the
(eventually history-expanded) input string.

.TP 5
\fB::tclreadline::readline write\fP \fIhistoryfile\fP
writes the history to the \fIhistoryfile\fP. This command is called
automatically from the internal routine ::tclreadline::Exit.

.TP 5
\fB::tclreadline::Print\fP [\fIyes / no\fP]
turns on or off the default behavior of tclsh to print the result of
every command. This is turned on by default, so it will just behave
as the tclsh w/o tclreadline. Turning off might be useful, when reading
binary data for example. If \fB::tclreadline::Print\fP is called w/o
arguments, it just returns the current setting.

.TP 5
enter the tclreadline main loop. This command is typically called from
the startup resource file (something .tclshrc, depending on the interpreter
you use). \fB::tclreadline::Loop\fP will normally not return.




The global variable \fBtclreadline_version\fP holds the version number
of the tclreadline package.


the \fB.tclshrc\fP file in the HOME directory, which
is read on tclsh startup. Alternatively, the name of this initialization
file might be \fB.wishrc\fP ... depending on what interpreter you use.
These files should typically contain something like

    if {$tcl_interactive} {
        package require tclreadline

which will enter the tclreadline main loop.

the \fB.tclsh-history\fP file in the HOME directory. On startup
commands will be read from this file. On exit, the readline history
is written to this file. Note that if you abort tclsh with <cntrl-c>
no history is written. For the future it is planned to set up a signal
handler, which will write the history on <ctrl-c> before exiting.

the \fB.inputrc\fP file in the users HOME directory. This file
is used normally for all programs which use the gnu readline (e.g.  bash).
The `global' readline settings there will be valid also for
\fBtclreadline\fP. Additionally the .inputrc might hold conditional
settings for the implementation name \fBtclreadline\fP. Example of 
some lines in your .inputrc:

    $if tclreadline
    "\C-xp": "puts $env(PATH)"

For further documentation please refer to the gnu readline documentation.



The official \fBtclreadline\fP web site at:

.RS 4

Johannes Zellner, <>
Magnus Eriksson <>,
Les Johnson <>,
Harald Kirsch <>,
Christian Krone <>,
Larry W. Virden <>

David Engel <>, <>

This version of \fBtclreadline\fP is still a development version.
Pretty a lot of features and ideas are not implemented yet. The
reason for this is the lack of time and manpower.
So you are welcome to modify and contribute to the code.
If you have suggestions, please let me know.