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Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt (Prentice Hall Open Source Software Development) [Hardcover]

Mark Summerfield
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 28, 2007 0132354187 978-0132354189 1

The Insider's Best-Practice Guide to Rapid PyQt 4 GUI Development

Whether you're building GUI prototypes or full-fledged cross-platform GUI applications with native look-and-feel, PyQt 4 is your fastest, easiest, most powerful solution. Qt expert Mark Summerfield has written the definitive best-practice guide to PyQt 4 development.

With Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt you'll learn how to build efficient GUI applications that run on all major operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and many versions of Unix, using the same source code for all of them. Summerfield systematically introduces every core GUI development technique: from dialogs and windows to data handling; from events to printing; and more. Through the book's realistic examples you'll discover a completely new PyQt 4-based programming approach, as well as coverage of many new topics, from PyQt 4's rich text engine to advanced model/view and graphics/view programming. Every key concept is illuminated with realistic, downloadable examples—all tested on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux with Python 2.5, Qt 4.2, and PyQt 4.2, and on Windows and Linux with Qt 4.3 and PyQt 4.3.

Coverge includes

  • Python basics for every PyQt developer: data types, data structures, control structures, classes, modules, and more
  • Core PyQt GUI programming techniques: dialogs, main windows, and custom file formats
  • Using Qt Designer to design user interfaces, and to implement and test dialogs, events, the Clipboard, and drag-and-drop
  • Building custom widgets: Widget Style Sheets, composite widgets, subclassing, and more
  • Making the most of Qt 4.2's new graphics/view architecture
  • Connecting to databases, executing SQL queries, and using form and table views
  • Advanced model/view programming: custom views, generic delegates, and more
  • Implementing online help, internationalizing applications, and using PyQt's networking and multithreading facilities

Frequently Bought Together

Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt (Prentice Hall Open Source Software Development) + Introduction to Python Programming and Developing GUI Applications with PyQT + Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython
Price for all three: $87.35

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

All the book's examples can be downloaded from the book's web page. (Amazon don't allow URLs so google for "qtrac" to find the page.) Note also that versions of the examples are also available for Python 3.1 and the PyQt's API 2--the book uses Python 2 and API 1, but the differences aren't that great as explained at the bottom of the book's web page.

About the Author

Mark Summerfield works as an independent trainer and consultant specializing in C++, Qt, Python, and PyQt. He was Trolltech’s documentation manager from 2000 to 2004, was the founding editor of Qt Quarterly, Trolltech’s customer newsletter, and coauthored C++ GUI Programming with Qt 3 and C++ GUI Programming with Qt 4.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 648 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1 edition (October 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132354187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132354189
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Summerfield is a computer science graduate with many years experience working in the software industry, primarily as a programmer. He also spent a few years as Trolltech's documentation manager where he founded and edited Trolltech's technical journal, Qt Quarterly. Mark owns Qtrac Ltd.,, where he works as an independent programmer, author, editor, and trainer, specializing in C++, Qt, Python, and PyQt.

All Mark's books are aimed at programmers and others, such as students, scientists, and engineers, who already have some programming experience (how much depends on the individual book). Each solo book has its own page on the Qtrac website from which the source code can be downloaded and that lists the book's errata. All the books are designed to teach technologies that Mark loves and has found to be the best of their kind.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
106 of 108 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth having when time is money December 7, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For any open source programming tool, there are always those who are quick to point out that free online documentation is of excellent quality and that a commercially published book adds questionable value. Indeed, the open process by which open source tools are made, which reveals the why's & wherefore's of the internal workings to anyone who looks, leads directly to the production of excellent online documentation; this is one of the great strengths of open source software. But everyone's needs are different. A college student or free software volunteer often has looser deadlines, less budget, and a more perfectionist attitude than, for example, a non-expert programmer, working in industry, trying to expeditiously solve a specific problem. A book of this genre is intended mainly for the latter audience, whereas the former may be disappointed at spending $50 when a web browser could have done the job. Cash-strapped college students, I know your pain; I used to be one. This book is not a particularly cost-effective study aid. If you live and breathe GUI progamming and can type out GTK2 and wxwidget classes by heart, then this book is probably a waste of time for you.

Having said that, I review this book with a view toward its value to its intended audience: Does buying this book and using it get the job done $50 cheaper, including the value of your own professional time, compared to the best available alternative? My experience is yes.

I am an electrical engineer, but not a programming expert. I have, at various times in my career, flipped bits in assembly language, suffered the rigors of Fortran, and slapped together contraptions in Matlab, VEE, Labview, etc.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great text book October 3, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I needed a book to help me through connecting Python and QT together so that I could write GUI programs in Python. This book definitely did that for me so I am satisfied.

This book is written as a classroom textbook, not as a reference. Part I is on Python programming (the first 100 of 500+ pages). I did not need that but in the context of a textbook it's good to have everything between two covers.

I like the fact that it covers a broad range of material beyond GUI programming including database access and model/view programming. I think I will be digging into it for quite some time.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought "Rapid GUI Programming with Python and Qt" (Summerfield) and "Programming Python" (Lutz) in order to help me write my first Python software application, a program whose development would require an understanding of Python, Qt, PyQt, and relational databases. I found Summerfield's book very useful.

The first few chapters brought me up to speed on Python itself. The chapters which dealt with PyQt were of course the most detailed and the most useful. I found myself getting frustrated with the "Dance of the Seven Veils": the book would touch on a topic briefly, explain how important it was, give an example, then hurry away to cover something else. By the time we got to the meaty, more thoroughly-explored examples, I was confused and slightly lost. Google filled in the gaps, so in the end it was all worth it.

In defense of this book's "A little bit of everything" style, I must point out that a toolkit of Qt's size and complexity cannot be covered thoroughly by a single text, in my opinion anyway. Summerfield took on an impossible task and did a good job.

All things considered, I think that Summerfield's book was worth the money. It rarely leaves my desk and never sits on my bookshelf. That's how useful it is to me.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best PyQt book April 23, 2009
By halwass
Good clear exposition of Qt as used with Python. Qt, a GUI toolkit, seems fairly easy to use (particularly with Python), but is quite large (as needed to provide various convenient features for a broad variety of GUI widgets): hence it's good that this book goes through the numerous features clearly and in detail.

As a bonus, the author assumes no prior knowledge of Python, and spends the first hundred pages on a swift Python tutorial. Of course one can't learn all of Python in a hundred pages, but the author covers the features needed to follow the rest of this book. Moreover, I think it's actually a good introduction to Python, which you will appreciate if either (a) you've used Python but are rusty and need some quick reminders, or (b) you've never used Python (but know another object-oriented language), in which case this should get you nicely started on Python.

Also I should mention that, when I had problems getting Qt and PyQt to install, the author wrote back instantly with useful information. Oh, yeah, I should warn you that, if you're installing on Mac, do not use Python 2.6 or later; PyQt currently has trouble with it. The combination I finally got to work was: Python 2.5.4; Qt 4.4.3; SIP 4.7.9; PyQt 4.4.4. (Of course this information will change over time. Refer to the author's website for updates.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Beginner and Professional March 13, 2008
Format:Kindle Edition
The book contains one of the best Python introductions I've seen so far, which means it's useful even when you don't know Python, yet. After the introduction, you'll love it :)

After that come 19 chapters which are packed with useful information in well digestible bits so the reader won't feel overwhelmed. When you're a professional, you won't waste time finding the information you need and when you're a beginner, you can easily follow every step as the author builds the examples from ground up.

When I started with PyQt, I was a seasoned Python developer but I knew little about Qt. With the help of the book, I could write a complex application using even more complex widgets like QTextEditor (including HTML formatting) in a very short time. Developing was a very nice experience because the book always seemed to contain just the answer that I was looking for.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchased as a gift.
The gift receiver had no complaints so the textbook must have been as required. Service was quick and the book was as described.
Published 21 days ago by Tim D
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I was a beginner. This book gives you a strong through introduction. The structure can be improved. Start with a intermediate level project and explain various parts of the code,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Micah Stevens
4.0 out of 5 stars glad I got this book
Lots of very clear examples. Definately worth getting. Be nice if the binding was lay-flat, but not a terrible problem.
Published 5 months ago by Alex Faveluke
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book
I am new to programming in General and am in the midst of a career change. I was lucky enough to land a job that is willing to invest the time in me to let me learn. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Andrew Yeager
5.0 out of 5 stars Advancing Rapidly with Python and taking the GUI Leap? Here's your...
I can only speak from my personal experience of a rather extended period of independent study of programming languages that possess portability between platforms, extensive modules... Read more
Published 17 months ago by W. Moncure
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tad Pricey But Well Written
If it was available in paperback for less, I would've bought that. Eight More Words Required, Now Three, Two, One
Published 18 months ago by rbl100
5.0 out of 5 stars I credit this book for my current job position
I had gotten a job opportunity that primary required PyQt experience. While I had a pretty decent python background at that point, I had never so much as looked at the Qt framework... Read more
Published on June 3, 2012 by Justin D. Israel
5.0 out of 5 stars Americium Dream help
. this is an excellent gui-programming tutorial;
and, don't underestimate the importance of
the downloadable code samples;
because, the style of this book
is... Read more
Published on May 13, 2012 by Americium Dream Documents
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
This book was my first introduction to GUI programming. At the time that I read it, I was reasonably new to Python. Read more
Published on April 21, 2012 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars This book is subpar for beginners
I was looking for a book that would help me learn to program a GUI based program that I've decided to create. Read more
Published on November 6, 2011 by Nathan Maus
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