Tix Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Legal Issues

General Questions About Using The Tix Library

Question About Porting to Specific Platforms/Software

Porting from Tix 3.6 to Tix 4.x

Legal Issues

[L.1] Is Tix free software?

ANSWER: Tix is distributed under the same license as Tcl/Tk (a.k.a. BSD style license). Application developers can freely redistribute Tix along with their products.

We will continue to provide free technical support and maintainence for Tix. However, to recover the development costs, we would appreciate financial supports for the Tix user community. If you like Tix and would like to make a donation to the Tix Project, please send mail to xpi@xpi.com.

General Questions About Using The Tix Library

[G.1] What does the "-disablecallback" option do?

ANSWER: Many Tix widgets have both a -value option and a -command option. Any modification of the -value will cause the -command callback to be executed. Sometimes this is undesirable. For example, calling "config -value" inside the callback procedure will cause the callback to be re-entered and thus an infinite recursion.

The -disablecallback can be used to advoid this problem. When this option is set, the -command callback will not be executed even if the -value of a widget is changed. Therefore, if you need to modify the -value of a widget inside its callback, do this:

    proc my_callback {w} {
	$w config -disablecallback true
	$w config value blah
	$w config -disablecallback false
If you find this too troublesome, you can call the command tixSetSilent:
    proc my_callback {w} {
	tixSetSilent $w blah

[G.2] How do I set the width of the entry subwidget inside the tixControl widget?

ANSWER: You can use the option database or the -options flag to set the configuration options of the subwidgets. E.g:

option add *TixControl*entry.width 10
tixControl .c -options {
   entry.width  10

[G.3] What is the "setslient" method?

ANSWER: This is an obsolete method. You could use it to achieve the same effect as the -disablecallback option. selsilent used to be a widget command for the ComboBox, Control, etc. It has been removed since Tix 4.0a4 and replaced by the tixSetSilent command. Please note that tixSetSilent is not a widget command but an external procedure.

[G.4] Is there a Tix interface builder in the works?

ANSWER: Yes. But I don't know when it will be finished. (probably in 96).

[G.5] Can you tell me about the syntax of tixForm

ANSWER: Please see the file man/Form.html or man/Form.n.

[G.6] I am not using the tixForm geometry manager, but it is giving me errors about TixForm. What happened?

ANSWER: When you get error messages like this:
 (TixForm) Error:Trying to use more than one geometry
           manager for the same master window.
           Giving up after 50 iterations.
Most likely, the problem is when using tixLabelFrame widgets, you packed to the wrong frame:

This is WRONG:

   tixLabelFrame .d
        button .d.b
        pack .d.b 
This is the correct way:
   tixLabelFrame .d
        set f [.d subwidget frame]
        button $f.b
        pack $f.b
        pack .d 
Remember you don't pack directly into a TixLabelFrame widget. Instead, you should pack into its frame subwidget.

[G.7] How do I generate the tclIndex file for Tix?

ANSWER: Tix tclIndex files cannot be generated using the standard auto_mkindex procedure. You must use the tixindex program in the tools/ subdirectory in the Tix distribution. The syntax is
 tixindex *.tcl

[G.8] Can I ignore the default arguments passed by the various -command and -broeswcmd options?

ANSWER: You can use the tixBreak command. For example:
 tixFileSelectDialog .c -command "puts foo; tixBreak" 

[G.9] What does tixWidgetDoWhenIdle do?

ANSWER: It does the same thing as tixDoWhileIdle (and "after -idle"). The difference is it takes its second argument as the name of a widget and executes this command only if the widget exists: i.e.:
  tixWidgetDoWhenIdle tixComboBox::Update $w blah blah ..
will execute tixComboBox::Update only if $w exists. $w may be destroyed after tixWidgetDoWhenIdle is called but before an idle event happens.

[G.10] Why isn't such a feature in Tix? Will it be implemented?

ANSWER: Generally requests for new features are welcomed. You can send your requests to tix@xpi.com and we'll be happy to hear from you.

We can't guarantee to implement the requested features immediately. Usually it depends on how important the features. If the feature is requested by more people, it will usually get done faster. However, some frequently requested features probably won't be imlemented. Usually these features are cosmetic changes and:

Some examples are:

[G.11] Who are using Tix in their software?

ANSWER: I have compiled a list of softwares that use Tix. See http://www.xpi.com/tix/software.html. (These are only the ones that I have heard of, either from the authors themselves or from the TCL FAQ. There should be more of them).

[G.12] I am using a DirList widget. When the user clicks on an item, the procedure of my -browsecmd gets called twice. However, I just want it to be called once.

ANSWER: The -browsecmd procedure is triggered by three types of events: <1>, <ButtonRelease-1>, and <B1-Motion>. When the user clicks on an entry, a <1> and a <ButtonRelease-1> event will happen in rapid session, which causes your -browsecmd procedure to be called twice.

A crude fix for this problem is to ignore all the <ButtonRelease-1> events. You can find out the event that triggers the -browsecmd procedure by the tixEvent command. Here is an example:

    tixDirList .c -browsecmd Browse

    proc Browse {args} {
	if {[tixEvent type] == "<ButtonRelease-1>"} {
	# ....
However, the above solution is not perfect. For example, if the user clicks down the button at entry one, drags it over entries two and three and release it on top of entry three, the following events may be caused:

  1. <1> on entry one.
  2. <B1-Motion> on entry two.
  3. <ButtonRelease-1> on entry three.

Therefore, if you use the above method, the browse event on entry three will be lost!

To devise a better solution, it's better to understand the basic design conventions of a Tix-based GUI. Suppose we have a list of entries displayed in a listbox (or DirList, or HList). When the user clicks on an entry, the GUI usually responds by displaying a "detailed view" of the entry. For example, if we put a list of file names in a listbox, when the user clicks on a file name, we display the contents of the file in a text window. If the user then clicks on another file name, the text window will load in the contents of the new file.

Now what happens if the user clicks on the same entry twice? Do we reload the contents of the file into the text window? This is usually unnecessary, inefficient and probably not what the user wants to do. The Tix convention is, when the user clicks on the same entry again, the detail view is not updated. If the user wants to force an update (e.g, the user knows the file's contents has been changed and wants to see the new version), he or she can double-click on the entry and the application will respond by redisplaying the detail view (reloading the file).

To implement this policy, the Browse procedure should be modified as the following:

    proc Browse {args} {
	global currentView

	set ent [tixEvent value]
	if {$ent == $currentView} {
	    # We have already displayed the detailed view of $ent.
	} else {
	    set currentView $ent
	    DisplayDetail $ent

Question About Porting to Specific Platforms/Software

[P.1] The configure script gave me strange errors.

ANSWER: The problem may be you have several operating systems sharing the same file system. Some people encounter error messages like this:
# ./configure --prefix=/usr/vendor/tcl
loading cache ./config.cache
checking for a BSD compatible install... /usr/bin/installbsd -c
checking for ranlib... ranlib
checking how to run the C preprocessor... cc -E
checking for unistd.h... ./configure[603]: "${ac_cv_header_$ac_safe+set}": bad
The problem is at line 2, configure loaded in ./config.cache, which may have been created by a different operating system, with settings only usuable for that operating system. To get around this, you should type
make distclean
make all

[P.2] Does Tix 4.1 work with Tk 4.1

ANSWER: Yes, just enable the "Tk 4.1 ..." option in the setup program. It will also compile Tix in a dynamic lobrary.

[P.3] Does Tix work with Incr Tcl 2.0?

ANSWER: Yes just enable the "Itcl 2.0 ..." option in the setup program. Make sure you have ITcl 2.0 installed. Beta versions will *NOT* work. Also make sure you have installed the source tree of ITcl 2.0 in the same directory where you install the Tix source tree.

[P.4] How do I get Tix to work with Expect?

ANSWER: From Paul Schmidt (kuato@netcom.com):
I have integrated Tcl7.4, Tk4.0, Expect-5.19 and Tix4.0 on Linux 1.2.13 (ELF) and Solaris 2.4. It isn't too hard. For an expectk+Tix binary you need to add a call to Tix_Init in exp_main_tk.c. If you can find the call to Tk_Init then just cut&paste and replace it with Tix_Init. Do the same if you want a Tk+Tix window shell in TkAppInit.c. Worked like a charm. If you have any problems just holler.

[P.5] Solaris 2.4: Filenames in FileSelectBox are chopped off.

ANSWER: Problem:
With Tix4.0a7 (and also with Tix4.0a6) on Solaris 2.4, when running the widget demo, in tixFileSelectBox, in the two scolling lists (for Files an Directories), some of the file and directory names have their first 2 letters chopped off. And some files are repeated.
Solution: tixwish has some conflicts with /usr/ucblib/libucb.so.1 and you should not linke it tixwish (you don't need it). Here is a solution provided by Charles L Ditzel (charles@hanami.cyberspace.com):
To fix the problem I was having, all I did was:
   unsetenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH
   set my PATH to something basic like:
   removed config.cache
   make clean
and now it works!! Must have been something in my old PATH or LD_LIBRARY_PATH that was causing it to pick up /usr/ucblib/libucb.so.

[P.6] Do I still need libXpm?

ANSWER: No, now Tix has its own XPM file reader. You no longer need libXpm.

[P.7] I get a coredump as soon as tixwish starts up.

ANSWER: Try to get a backtrace of the stack when the core dump happens (with a debugger, for example). If the core dump happens right inside the call to Tk_ConfigureWidget() inside the file tixInit.c, then the problem is because you compiled libtk.a and libtix.a with different versions of the Th header file tk.h. Delete all the .o files from the src directory of Tix, fix the Makefile so that now you can compile libtix.a with the same tk.h that you used to compile libtk.a.

Porting from Tix 3.6 to Tix 4.x

[X.1] What happened to the tixInit command?

ANSWER: You don't need to use it anymore. It is provided in Tix 4.x only for backward compatibility.

[X.2] How do I set the schemes and fontsets in Tix 4.x?

ANSWER: You can set the color schemes and fontsets using the standard X resource database (.Xdefaults file). You can add these two lines in the user's .Xdefaults file:

	*TixScheme:   Gray
	*TixFontSet:  14Point 
If you want to switch color schemes and fontsets during run time, you can issue the following commands:
	tix config -scheme Gray -fontset 14Point
Please read the tix manual page for more details

[X.3] How do I choose the default TK color schemes and fontsets? Tix is messing up the colors of my existing programs.

ANSWER: Add these two lines in your .Xdefaults:

	*TixScheme:   TK
	*TixFontSet:  TK 

[X.4] I want the old bisque look of Tk 3.6. tk_bisque doesn't work.

ANSWER: The Tix widgets are not compatible with tk_bisque. If you want a bisque-ish look you can add to your .Xdefaults file the following line:
	*TixScheme:   Bisque

Last modified Sun Jan 19 22:34:16 EST 1997 --- Serial 853731293