tDOM Overview -
Introduction and download information


tDOM combines high performance XML data processing with easy and powerful Tcl scripting functionality. tDOM should be one of the fastest ways to manipulate XML with a scripting language and uses very little memory in the process (for example the DOM tree of the XML recommendation in XML (160K) needs only about 450K in memory)! The tDOM project was started by Jochen Löwer. It is currently maintained by Rolf Ade.

tDOM contains:

and some more.


The tDOM specific source files come with the Mozilla Public License Version 1.1.

For the Expat XML parser package license see the file COPYING in the directory expat of the source distribution. In short, it's a liberal Open Source license.


The documentation is included into the source distribution (in HTML and man page format) and the Windos binary distribution (in HTML format). Alternatively, find the Table of Contents here on the web site.


The latest tDOM source release is tDOM-0.8.3 (967k gzip tar archive)

tDOM-0.8.2 is also avaliable as win32 DLLs (267k zip archive, 2007-08-14)

tDOM is included into ActiveStates ActiveTcl (a 'batteries included' binary Tcl/Tk distribution, avaliable for several plattforms) as well as into Daniel Steffen Tcl/Tk Aqua (a 'batteries included' binary distribution of the Mac OS X native Tcl/Tk)

Bernard Desgraupes provides Mac binaries for OS X as well as for Mac Classic (OS 8/9).

If you want to use a tDOM Starkit, there are either Chuck Ferrils tdom.kit (it supports Linux, FreeBSD and MS Windows) or the tcl extension collection kitten.kit, which also includes tDOM.


The tDOM GitHub respository is available at


Bugs, issues, enhancement requests, and other concerns can be reported on the GitHub issue tracker at

Mailing List

The place for tDOM related discussions and questions is the tDOM mailing list. See for the archive and subscribing information.

Further Readings

Beside this overview and the included documentation there are a few other articles and papers with information about tDOM.

tDOM - A fast XML/DOM/XPath package for Tcl written in C
This pdf document (1800 kByte, 19 pages) was written by the tDOM author Jochen Löwer on the occasion of his talk about tDOM at the First European Tcl/Tk User Meeting (15. Juni 2000) in Hamburg/Harburg. This paper treats tDOM Version 0.5a2 and is therefor a little bit outdated. But it's still the best available introduction into tDOMs architecture.
tDOM - Update
This pdf document includes the sheets of Jochen Löwers talk about tDOM held at the Second European Tcl/Tk User (7. Juli 2001). This talk was an "update" to Jochens talk at the First European Tcl/Tk User Meeting and therefor reflects the news and changes since 0.5a2 up to 0.63.
A high-performance Tcl-scripted XSLT engine
This IBM developerWorks article by Cameron Laird gives an short overview over some of tDOMs features, compares the parsing and DOM building speed of tDOM with some popular Java implementation and features a 'dual level' design of building applications using XML technologies glued together with scripting.
XSLT Powers a New Wave of Web Applications
This LinuxJournal article by Cameron Laird gives a short high level introduction into XSLT. The article presents its examples in terms of the tDOM engine.