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About Tcl/Tk Versions

The following table summarizes the differences among the recent Tcl/Tk releases.

Tcl/Tk 8.6.3 is the currently recommended release.

Tcl/Tk 8.6

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Tcl/Tk 8.6 is the latest stable release of Tcl/Tk.

Tcl 8.6 is highly compatible with previous Tcl versions. See the list of features and improvements in Tcl/Tk 8.6.

Tcl/Tk 8.5

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Tcl/Tk 8.5 is the previous stable release of Tcl/Tk.

Tcl 8.5 is highly compatible with previous Tcl versions. See the list of features and improvements in Tcl/Tk 8.5.

ActiveState's Tcl Dev Kit supports 8.5 to provide a comprehensive set of development tools for the entire range of Tcl developers.

Tcl/Tk 8.4

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Downloading Tcl/Tk 8.5.17 or newer is recommended

Tcl 8.4 is highly compatible with Tcl 8.3 through Tcl 8.1. Users of those versions should have no troubles upgrading. It introduces new core widgets, significant performance enhancements, numerous command enhancements and improved 64-bit integer and file system support, among other things. It was several years in development.

The Tcl Dev Kit builds on Tcl 8.4 to provide a comprehensive set of development tools for the entire range of Tcl developers.

Tcl/Tk 8.3

Downloading Tcl/Tk 8.5.17 or newer is recommended

In Tcl/Tk 8.3 we have added many new features to Tk based on the Dash patch and Img patch from Jan Nijtmans. There are several new features added to Tcl as well. The main 8.3 page has more details.

Tcl 8.3 is highly compatible with Tcl 8.2 and Tcl 8.1. Users of those versions should have no troubles upgrading.

Tcl/Tk 8.2

Downloading Tcl/Tk 8.5.17 or newer is recommended

In Tcl/Tk 8.2 we have updated the build process to the new Tcl Extension Architecture (TEA). This includes the use of the cygwin make and autoconf process on the Windows platform, although we continue to use VC++ compiler.

The new features are primarily at the C-level APIs to support new extensions. Most notable is the Tcl_StackChannel API that lets the you add compression and encryption processing modules to Tcl I/O channels. There are also new regular expression C APIs to support Expect.

Tcl 8.2 is essentially identical to Tcl 8.1 for the Tcl script writer. We have significantly improved the performance of the string command. We also eliminated minor bugs left over from the 8.1 release.

Tcl/Tk 8.1

Downloading Tcl/Tk 8.5.17 or newer is recommended

Tcl/Tk 8.1 was a major overhaul of Tcl/Tk. Tcl/Tk 8.1 features new support for Unicode and internationalized applications. It also adds thread-safety to the C implementation, and an all new regular expression package from Henry Spencer that adds Advanced Regular Expressions of the kind found in Perl 5.

If you are a Tcl script writer, Tcl/Tk 8.1 is compatible with Tcl 8.0. If you are a C extension author, then you may have some work to do to bring your application up-to-date with the new C APIs added in this release.

Since 8.2 fixes many bugs that are found in 8.1 and is basically identical to 8.1 for script writers, we recommend that everyone use 8.2 in preference to 8.1

Tcl/Tk 8.0

Download Tcl/Tk 8.0.5

Tcl/Tk 8.0 was a widely used release. Its last patch release was 8.0.5, although many mirror sites still distribute 8.0.2 (also known as 8.0p2). Tcl 8.0 added an on-the-fly byte-code compiler and Tk 8.0 added improved cross-platform look and feel. Tk 8.0 added a menubar facility and a platform-neutral font naming system.

Tracking Tcl/Tk Develpoment

The source code history for Tcl, Tk and several related software packages is managed by Fossil and is browseable on the web at core.tcl.tk. This site gives you access to the very latest code updates, as well as historical snapshots of previous releases back to 8.0.3. If you are making modifications to the Tcl/Tk core, this is the best way to keep your changes up-to-date.

Web Browser Plugin

The web browser plugin enables Tcl/Tk inside the browser, just like Java. Version 2 is based on Tcl 8.0 and version 3 is based on Tcl 8.4. It imposes security restrictions on what a Tcl script can do inside the browser, although this is configurable by tuning the security policies. There is more information on the Plugin Home Page.

Past Tcl/Tk Releases

Some applications may require older versions of Tcl/Tk. These are available for download at SourceForge. Due to changes in the computing world since their release, you may find many old releases will no longer build or run on current computing platforms.