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Exploring Expect: A Tcl-based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs [Paperback]

Don Libes
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 45.99
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Book Description

Dec 11 1994 1565920902 978-1565920903 1

Expect is quickly becoming a part of every UNIX user's toolbox. It allows you to automate Telnet, FTP, passwd, rlogin, and hundreds of other applications that normally require human interaction. Using Expect to automate these applications will allow you to speed up tasks and, in many cases, solve new problems that you never would have even considered before.

For example, you can use Expect to test interactive programs with no changes to their interfaces. Or wrap interactive programs with Motif-like front-ends to control applications by buttons, scrollbars, and other graphic elements with no recompilation of the original programs. You don't even need the source code! Expect works with remote applications, too. Use it to tie together Internet applications including Telnet, Archie, FTP, Gopher, and Mosaic.

Don Libes is the creator of Expect as well as the author of this book. In Exploring Expect, he provides a comprehensive tutorial on all of Expect's features, allowing you to put it immediately to work on your problems. In a down-to-earth and humorous style, he provides numerous examples of challenging real-world applications and how they can be automated using Expect to save you time and money.

Expect is the first of a new breed of programs based on Tcl, the Tool Command Language that is rocking the computer science community. This book provides an introduction to Tcl and describes how Expect applies Tcl's power to the new field of interaction automation. Whether your interest is in Expect or interaction automation or you simply want to learn about Tcl and see how it has been used in real software, you will find Exploring Expect a treasure trove of easy-to-understand and valuable information.


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Product Details


Product Description

From the Publisher

Written by the author of Expect, this is the first book to explain how this part of the UNIX toolbox can be used to automate Telnet, FTP, passwd, rlogin, and hundreds of other interactive applications. Based on Tcl (Tool Command Language), Expect lets you automate interactive applications that have previously been extremely difficult to handle with any scripting language.

About the Author

Don Libes is married to Susan Mulroney, a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Sue performs research in the area of kidney growth and development. Their well-hydrated daughter, Kenna, has two lovely kidneys.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing book for an essential topic March 8 2007
Format:Paperback
Reading this book it appears that expect has wonderful promise. However the book does not have the type of examples that are complete and lead to understanding. Many times I wished I could just type in a complete example to see the subject in action. Most often the code is incomplete and would require a lot of extra coding to get a working example. For those of us that have limited time to spend on reworking examples this is a royal pain in the gazoo. Hear Hear to the idea posted earlier, that there should be an "expect cookbook". Buy this book because it is the only one available. I can truely say this book manages to be both a blessing and a CURSE.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice reference to have March 18 2004
Format:Paperback
The good thing about this book is that it gives one a basic back ground of TCL before delving into Expect which, makes it an excellent "quick" reference book to have on the shelf. The only drawback I can really think of is that it is not extensive as it should be to make it an exhaustive reference guide.
Nice book. Worth the money you pay.
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2.0 out of 5 stars No other choice June 12 2003
Format:Paperback
If you are a beginner and you survived using this book, consider it as an accomplishment. This book is quite difficult to understand, it takes a lot of testing. Even a short example cannot quite explained by the author properly. The way the author explains something he thinks that all the audience are like John Ousterhout.

This book gave me a headache browsing back and forth looking for some answers. However, I will give Don Libes a 2* because of the effort. Too bad there is really no alternative out there. Once I learned Expect from trial and errors and more headaches I can probably write a better one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars No other choice June 12 2003
Format:Paperback
If you are a beginner and you survived using this book, consider it as an accomplishment. This book is quite difficult to understand, it takes a lot of testing. Even a short example cannot quite explained by the author properly. The way the author explains something he thinks that all the audience are like John Ousterhout.
This book gave me a headache browsing back and forth looking for some answers. However, I will give Don Libes a 2* because of the effort. Too bad there is really no alternative out there. Once I learned Expect from trial and errors and more headaches I can probably write a better one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Anticipate a long and painful reading session May 13 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought the book because I needed to create a script with Expect quickly, and nothing on the web really took me step-by-step through what I needed to do. Well, the book is disorganized and anything but to-the-point. I ended up spending a lot of time extracting the essentials, and I had to go on the web for supplementary material anyway! But, as others have noted, there's not much else out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Your only alternative, buy it.... Nov. 22 2002
Format:Paperback
This is one of the worst books, written about one of the worst programming languages. The information is scattered and difficult to harvest. Understanding this book and writing code in Expect is a huge headache. However, if you don't buy the book, forget about ever writing reasonably complex programs in Expect. I rated the book five stars because, while not a good book by any standard, it is infinitely better than having no reference at all (which is perhaps why it is so difficult to find information about Expect on the web). It's well worth the [money], but expect to spend some time learning about Expect.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I 'Expect'ed more from this book Aug. 20 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book ranks right down there with so many of O'Reilly's Books. It has a terrible index, examples that bear no resemblance to anything at all real-worldish, and simple problems/solutions are ignored entirely. Too bad there are so few alternatives.
Enter "Expect TCL" into a Google search and you'll come up with some
valuable info that you'll need to compliment this lousy book from
O'Reilly.
Then get yourself a good book on TCL also.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Its time for Expect Cookbook May 15 2002
Format:Paperback
Expect is a life saver in our unix environment and Don Libes has done a great service to the sysadmins of the world by developing this tool. If I could rate expect, it would get five stars and Libes would get a metal for making my job easier. However, for the book, three stars for poor organization (and everything else previously mentioned by a frustrated reviewer from Boston). I get so frustrated paging back and forth in the book, holding the index with one finger, trying to find the little code snippits I need to do the job. The book starts off well enough and there are wonderful techniques which I have been able to adopt, but as the book proceeds, and the examples get more complex, the explanations wane. How 'bout it, you exepect experts, is anyone out there willing to develop the "Expect Cookbook"?
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