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Automating regular manual procedures

Do you want to automate a process that you normally run manually? If the process runs from a terminal window (or can be, even if you normally use a GUI), then have a look at Expect. With Expect, you spawn the process you want to automate, then programatically send inputs to it and expect responses. Very neat, very clever.

Expect is an extension of the Tcl language which gives you full capabilities of processing the results that you get back from the automated process, making conditional decisions and running loops based on the results returned.

If you want to run Expect through a GUI, you can do so using the Tk extension to Tcl, and if you want to run it via a Web interface, that's very practical too as you can run Tcl and Expect from your web server.

(written 2005-04-21, updated 2006-06-05)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
T211 - Tcl/Tk - What is Expect? Why use it?
  [4678] Expect with Ruby - a training example to get you started - (2016-05-18)
  [4405] Backup procedures - via backup server - (2015-01-24)
  [3572] Adding Expect on top of Tcl - what is it and where can I get a training course to learn about it? - (2012-01-08)
  [3286] Should we cover expect and/or Tk on our public Tcl courses? - (2011-05-11)
  [3009] Expect in Perl - a short explanation and a practical example - (2010-10-22)
  [2489] Parallel Pinging, using Python Threads or Expect spawn lists - (2009-11-02)
  [2474] Using Tcl and Expect to automate repetitive jobs - (2009-10-24)
  [1602] Automating processes through Expect - (2008-04-05)
  [1531] Expecting a item from a list of possibles - (2008-02-04)
  [1469] Curley brackets v double quotes - Tcl, Tk, Expect - (2007-12-12)
  [1411] Buffering of inputs to expect, and match order - (2007-10-27)
  [1409] What is Expect? - (2007-10-26)
  [1174] Installing Tcl and Expect on Solaris 10 - a checklist - (2007-05-02)
  [1173] Cheat Sheet / Check list for Expect maintainers - (2007-05-02)
  [435] Expect for Windows - (2005-09-04)


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