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Exploring Expect: A Tcl-based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs (Nutshell Handbooks) [Kindle Edition]

Don Libes
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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.


Written by the author of Expect, this book explains how this part of the UNIX toolbox can be used to automate TelNet, FTP, PASSWD, RLOGIN and other interactive applications. Based on TCL (tool control language), Expect lets the user automate interactive applications that have previously been extremely difficult to handle with any scripting language.


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4.0 von 5 Sternen A completely different tool 17. Juli 2000
Expect is completely unlike any other tool I have ever used. Think of any language you've used and how long it would take to: write a program that can update 1000 user passwords on 20 different machines; make two chess programs play each other; connect two users to the same shell program and type at the same time; allow you to rewrite the command arguments to any command line tool?
Expect really does make all these things trivial. It takes a lot of patience to master this tool though; Tcl is a very unforgiving and terse language. I've done things in Expect that I never thought were possible: I scripted Minicom (a modem term program that uses ncurses) to answer a phone after 7 seconds, and either: receive a zmodem file or send a login prompt. Then hang up the modem and wait again. Try that in a shell or systems language!
It's unfortunate that Expect is such a radically different beast and takes so long to understand; every person running regression tests or doing systems administration will benefit from this book. While it may not be great for just "looking up" things, search Usenet for all of the author's posts (comp.lang.tcl) and his answer is almost always, "This is on page XXX of the book." Because the book really does cover everything Expect does!
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Badly organized, verbose, frustrating. 24. November 1998
This is about the hardest-to-use computer language book I've ever encountered. Its "conversational" tone reads like a ceaseless wandering monologue. Frequently Libes introduces a new concept, and proceeds to meander into philosophy, opinion, history, advanced uses, and problems encountered therein. It is *much* too long; it's badly organized; it's useless as a reference manual. I would pay big bucks for ANY other book on Expect, but unfortunately there doesn't appear to be one. Libes created a very powerful and useful tool, but he doesn't write well, IMHO.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wish all books were this well-written 14. April 2000
This book is terrific. Libes writes very smoothly. Everything is answered and just at the right time - whenever I was wondering about a point, I would turn the page and find my question to be the next topic covered!
I really thought Expect was a simple-minded thing. Then I had a question about how to do something. I was bemoaning my problem one day when a coworker thrust this book into my hand and said "Read it!" Wow - not only did it have my exact scenario as an example but now I see Expect can do so many more cool things. I originally thought Expect was just good for telnet. But Libes shows examples applying it to all sorts of other programs. The breadth of the examples alone is incredible. It's obvious that Libes has really been around and poured all his wisdom and experience into this book.
I also liked the special command and variable index (the book calls it "Appendix") which is a 2nd index that takes you directly to where each command and option and variable is definitively described. There is also a third index of just the examples - some of them are useful in their own right (apart from demonstrating some concept). Between these and the regular index, it is always easy to find things later.
I wish all tech books were written this well.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A decent treatment of Expect 29. Februar 2000
Von S. Funai
Exploring Expect is a decent book on the topic. I suspect that most Expect users are also Linux users, and there is a "figure it out on your own" attitude in that community which is reflected in this book. The reader is given just enough information to figure it out on his own. That is, the information is not in 'for Dummies' format, but it isn't as clear as most would like, either. Also, I think the reader will more easily understand the text if he or she has experience in Unix/Linux and C programming.
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