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Paul Evans


Tickit - Terminal Interface Construction KIT


 use Tickit;
 use Tickit::Widget::Box;
 use Tickit::Widget::Static;

 my $box = Tickit::Widget::Box->new(
    h_border => 4,
    v_border => 2,
    bg       => "green",
    child    => Tickit::Widget::Static->new(
       text     => "Hello, world!",
       bg       => "black",
       align    => "centre",
       valign   => "middle",

 Tickit->new( root => $box )->run;


Tickit is a high-level toolkit for creating full-screen terminal-based interactive programs. It allows programs to be written in an abstracted way, working with a tree of widget objects, to represent the layout of the interface and implement its behaviours.

Its supported terminal features includes a rich set of rendering attributes (bold, underline, italic, 256-colours, etc), support for mouse including wheel and position events above the 224th column and arbitrary modified key input via libtermkey (all of these will require a supporting terminal as well). It also supports having multiple instances and non-blocking or asynchronous control.

At the current version, this is a Perl distribution which contains and XS and C implementation of the lower levels (Tickit::Term and Tickit::Pen), and implements the higher levels (Tickit::Window and Tickit::Widget) in pure perl. The XS parts are supported by libtickit, either from the installed library, or using a bundled copy compiled at build time. It is intended that eventually the Window layer will be rewritten in XS and C instead.



   $tickit = Tickit->new( %args )

Constructs a new Tickit framework container object.

Takes the following named arguments at construction time:

term_in => IO

IO handle for terminal input. Will default to STDIN.

term_out => IO

IO handle for terminal output. Will default to STDOUT.


If defined, overrides locale detection to enable or disable UTF-8 mode. If not defined then this will be detected from the locale by using Perl's ${^UTF8LOCALE} variable.

root => Tickit::Widget

If defined, sets the root widget using set_root_widget to the one specified.

use_altscreen => BOOL

If defined but false, disables the use of altscreen, even if supported by the terminal. This will mean that the screen contents are stll available after the program has finished.



   $tickit->later( $code )

Runs the given CODE reference at some time soon in the future. It will not be invoked yet, but will be invoked at some point before the next round of input events are processed.


 $id = $tickit->timer( at => $epoch, $code )

 $id = $tickit->timer( after => $delay, $code )

Runs the given CODE reference at some fixed point in time in the future. The first argmuent must be either the string at, or after; and specifies that second argument gives either the absolute epoch time ($epoch), or the delay relative to now ($delay), respectively. Fractions are supported to a resolution of microseconds.

Returns an opaque integer value that may be passed to "cancel_timer". This value is safe to ignore if not required.


 $tickit->cancel_timer( $id )

Removes a timer previously installed by "timer". After doing so the code will no longer be invoked.


   $term = $tickit->term

Returns the underlying Tickit::Term object.



   $cols = $tickit->cols

   $lines = $tickit->lines

Query the current size of the terminal. Will be cached and updated on receipt of SIGWINCH signals.


   $tickit->bind_key( $key, $code )

Installs a callback to invoke if the given key is pressed, overwriting any previous callback for the same key. The code block is invoked as

 $code->( $tickit, $key )

If $code is missing or undef, any existing callback is removed.

As a convenience for the common application use case, the Ctrl-C key is bound to the stop method.

To remove this binding, simply bind another callback, or remove the binding entirely by setting undef.



Returns the root Tickit::Window.


   $tickit->set_root_widget( $widget )

Sets the root widget for the application's display. This must be a subclass of Tickit::Widget.



Run a single round of IO events. Does not call setup_term or teardown_term.



Calls the setup_term method, then processes IO events until stopped, by the stop method, SIGINT, SIGTERM or the Ctrl-C key. Then runs the teardown_term method, and returns.



Causes a currently-running run method to stop processing events and return.


Paul Evans <leonerd@leonerd.org.uk>