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Learning the Korn Shell

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A.3 wksh

UNIX System Laboratories released wksh, the Windowing Korn shell, in late 1992. It's a full Korn shell, completely compatible with the version this book describes, that has extensions for graphical user interface (GUI) programming in the X Window System environment. It runs on System V Release 4 (SVR4) and SunOS UNIX systems.

wksh supports the OPEN LOOK and OSF/Motif graphical Toolkits by making their routines available as built-in commands. This allows programmers to combine the Korn shell's strength as a UNIX systems programming environment with the power and abstraction of the Toolkits. The result is a unified environment for quick and easy development of graphics-based software.

There are various GUI development tools that allow you to construct user interfaces with a graphics-based editor rather than with programming language code. But such tools are typically huge, expensive, and complex. wksh, on the other hand, is inexpensive and unbeatable for the smoothness of its integration with UNIX-it's the only such tool that you can use as your login shell! We recommend it highly to systems programmers who use X-based workstations and need a rapid prototyping tool.

To give you the flavor of wksh code, here is a script that implements the canonical "Hello World" program by displaying a small window with that text in it. The code, taken from the wksh manual, should hold no surprises for X and Motif programmers:

#!/usr/bin/wksh -motif
XtAppInitialize TOPLEVEL hello Hello "$@"
XtCreateManagedWidget L 1 label $TOPLEVEL labelString:"Hello World"
XtRealizeWidget $TOPLEVEL

For more information on wksh, contact:

UNIX Systems Laboratories, Inc.
190 River Road
Summit, NJ 07901
Phone: (800) 828-UNIX or (908) 522-6000.

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