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Cross-Platform GUI Programming with wxWidgets F Second Printing Used Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131473812
ISBN-10: 0131473816
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This book is the best way for beginning developers to learn wxWidgets programming in C++. It is a must-have for programmers thinking of using wxWidgets and those already using it."

—Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Software and the Open Source Applications Foundation

  • Build advanced cross-platform applications that support native look-and-feel on Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and even Pocket PC

  • Master wxWidgets from start to finish—even if you've never built GUI applications before

  • Leverage advanced wxWidgets capabilities: networking, multithreading, streaming, and more

  • CD-ROM: library of development tools, source code, and sample applications

  • Foreword by Mitch Kapor, founder, Lotus Development and Open Source Application Foundation

wxWidgets is an easy-to-use, open source C++ API for writing GUI applications that run on Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and even Pocket PC—supporting each platform's native look and feel with virtually no additional coding. Now, its creator and two leading developers teach you all you need to know to write robust cross-platform software with wxWidgets. This book covers everything from dialog boxes to drag-and-drop, from networking to multithreading. It includes all the tools and code you need to get great results, fast. From AMD to AOL, Lockheed Martin to Xerox, world-class developers are using wxWidgets to save money, increase efficiency, and reach new markets. With this book, you can, too.

  • wxWidgets quickstart: event/input handling, window layouts, drawing, printing, dialogs, and more

  • Working with window classes, from simple to advanced

  • Memory management, debugging, error checking, internationalization, and other advanced topics

  • Includes extensive code samples for Windows, Linux (GTK+), and Mac OS X

About the CD-ROM

The CD-ROM contains all of the source code from the book; wxWidgets distributions for Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, and other platforms; the wxWidgets reference guide; and development tools including the OpenWatcom C++ compiler, the poEdit translation helper, and the DialogBlocks user interface builder.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Julian Smart has degrees from the University of St. Andrews and the University of Dundee. After working on model-based reasoning at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, he moved to the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute at the University of Edinburgh, where he founded the wxWidgets project in 1992. Since starting Anthemion Software in 1996, Julian has been helping other companies deploy wxWidgets, and he sells tools for programmers, including DialogBlocks and HelpBlocks. He has worked as a consultant for various companies including Borland and was a member of Red Hat's eCos team, writing GUI tools to support the embedded operating system. In 2004, Julian and his wife Harriet launched a consumer product for fiction writers called Writer's Café, written with wxWidgets. Julian and Harriet live in Edinburgh with their daughter Toni.

Kevin Hock has degrees from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in Computer Science and Accounting and has taught courses at Miami in both Java and client-server systems. In 2002, he started work on an instant messaging system and founded BitWise Communications, LLC, in 2003, offering both professional and personal instant messaging. During the course of developing BitWise using wxWidgets, Kevin became a wxWidgets developer and has provided enhancements to all platforms. Kevin lives in Oxford, Ohio.

Stefan Csomor is director and owner of Advanced Concepts AG, a company that specializes in cross-platform development and consulting. In addition to being a qualified medical doctor, he has more than 15 years of experience in object-oriented programming and has been writing software for 25 years. Stefan is the main author of the Mac OS port of wxWidgets.


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; F Second Printing Used edition (August 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131473816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131473812
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Cross-Platform GUI Programming with wxWidgets" from Bruce Perens' "Open Source Series" is the first and only book covering cross platform development using wxWidgets. wxWidgets is "a first-class, open source response to the need for portability in an increasingly heterogeneous computing world". It is a very mature library with over 13 years of active development behind it. Although primarily a C++ library, wxWidgets has language bindings for Python, Perl, Basic, Lua, JavaScript, Java, Ruby, Eiffel, C#, Haskell, and Euphoria and many of the techniques taught in this book could easily be adapted to any of these languages (provided you can read and understand C++). The authors--Julian Smart, Kevin Hock, and Stefan Csomor--are three of the primary developers of wxWidgets with Julian being the founder of wxWidgets.

Before I get into the actual review, please note that this book is for people who have a decent grasp of C++. You won't need to know advanced features such as templates and exceptions but having a decent understanding of memory management, pointer logic, OOP, and inheritance is highly recommended. You will not learn C++ while reading this book as it forgoes detailing language features that are used. Having an understanding of event based programming would be useful but is not required. I'd also like to note that I (the reviewer) have over two years of full-time, professional experience with wxWidgets and am an occasional patch contributor.

The book starts off at a fairly fast pace. I was worried they were glossing over too many details but many things I felt were lacking were covered in sufficient detail in later sections. It does not baby your intellect like far too many programming books do in the first few sections.
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The Good:

This is (currently) the only book on wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows). The book is packed with information. All of it relevant, all of it covering as much as they could cram into one book and not make it into a tome so heavy that you couldn't lift it. As a reference book it excels in that it does present everything you need in order to get up and running.

The Bad:

As a reference book - it is not as well laid out as many of the other reference books I've read and/or bought. Many of the standard methods to present data are not used. That is to say: In most reference books a section is well delineated whereas in this book the terms and explanations for those terms are not separated in such a way that it is obvious to the reader that they have stopped talking about one subject and begun another. For example:

Page 121:

Use Check to toggle a check or radio item on or off, passing the menu item identifier and a boolean value. Use IsChecked to get the checked status.

Delete deletes a menu item specified by identifier or by wxMenuItem pointer....

In other books the above would appear as:

Check Used to toggle a check or radio item on or off,

passing the menu item identifier and a

boolean value.

Example: ......

IsChecked Used to get the checked status.

Example: .......

Delete This deletes a menu item specified by an identifier

or by the wxMenuItem pointer....

And so on...

This isn't a big complaint but it does make the book hard to read sometimes. Especially when you have thirty or forty specialized words. You wind up hunting for where the words are that you need in order to do anything.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book pretty disappointing. It covers very little more than the online manual and most of the examples are total cop outs. They either tell you to just review the example that comes with wxWidgets or offers a really terse example that more than likely doesn't really show anything.

For example, I was really hoping that this book would show me how to print a custom drawn window (or even something like a listview). Instead its printing example show how to use the high level functions, but then says that the developer needs to add most of the real printing logic to their own code themselves (and of course shows not even the slightest example of this). Gee, thanks a lot!

All in all, I saw nothing new in this book that I haven't read on their website. The author makes a point that this book is not a reference, but I have to add that it isn't much of a "here's how to do this" book either. It's more of a PR book showing the merits of wxWidgets and an intro book for novices who don't have access to their website, rather than a useful example or reference book to help out those already using this library.
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Format: Paperback
This book was co-authored by the creator of wxwidgets (Julian Smart). This raises the spector of a great deal of promise and peril. Promise because as the creator, he knows his creation better than most and so can lead you through the more arcane sidestreets, peril because as the creator he is too close to his creation and can assume his readers know his creation too well and thereby make many assumption, so explanation becomes about 'reminding' not exposition. He navigates these waters reaosnably well.

The CD contains a great deal of useful software (but don't expect too much accessible guidance on how to use it with wxwidgets-> particularly the open source software-> minGW, open watcom, etc...which is very ironic! since we are using open source because it is open source and wxwidgets is open source...but there seems to be little attempt at really working say minGW studio and wxwidgets together, event though minGW studio was built with wxwdigets-> minGW studio even contains a option to make a wxwidgets projects ->but that doesn't work. Left hand and the right hand aren't working toegther too well so it seems...but I digress)

However be aware that you may need to be familiar with the ins and out of you respective compiler to use wxwidgets. Compare this with C++ GUI Programming with Qt 3(isbn: 0131240722) and you'll notice an obvious difference. The QT book provides first up a walk through of how to compile not only their examples but your own. You are told how to set paths, how to build, etc. This book shows you how to compile their samples, but leaves you hanging with you own (perhaps we are supposed to modiy theirs??). They do talk about visual studios (old and .
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