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Python and Tkinter Programming Paperback – January, 2000

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Books on graphical user interfaces (GUI) have an unfair advantage over typical computer books. Their contents have immediate positive impact on everything they touch, from the popularity of the underlying language to the careers of the developers they reach. Even mediocre GUI books have a beneficial impact.

John E. Grayson's deeply thought out, maturely written Python and Tkinter Programming does the double service of being a excellent object-oriented GUI book and communicating the standard for Tk-widget-based GUI development to the Python community. The short-term result will be a rapid expansion in the popularity of Python itself; the long-term result will be a new batch of supportable, reusable code.

Grayson begins with a three-line "hello world" variant that works out of the box. He moves quickly to a variety of GUI calculators to exhibit buttons and label widgets. Familiarity with Tk from Tcl/Tk or Perl/Tk is helpful but not essential. The convenient bonus of the Python implementation is its inclusion in the standard Python release, of which the current stable version is 1.5.

Nearly half of the book is dedicated to Tk widget implementations and constitutes a translation of Tk into Python. By itself, it is a good teaching tool for students of Python who already know Tk in one of its other manifestations. Appendices covering build/install issues Python megawidgets and a Tkinter reference manual comprise nearly 40 percent of the book, leaving a brief 15 percent for the introductory tutorial, application building, and performance tuning. A late chapter on threads suggests a broad range of client/server applications, but is too brief to be more than a tease. Throughout the text, code snippets are presented in coherent blocks with annotations sensibly appearing as clearly numbered end notes to those blocks.

Grayson presents cross-platform issues with maturity and candor. While Python for Windows and Macintosh environments is stable, he asserts, the Tkinter module does not have the same global look-and-feel control. Fonts and colors are dictated partially by the platform OS.

The subtle challenge for developers is to develop supportable code in the breakneck boss-pleasing, GUI-driven environment. Grayson's elegant introduction to Tkinter advances the subtext of supportability noticeably farther along. By documenting Tkinter, he will push a group of laggard hackers to learn object-oriented principles. And that may be his lasting contribution. --Peter Leopold

Review

"deeply thought, maturely written...does the double service of being a excellent object-oriented GUI book and communicating the standard..." -- Peter Leopold, Amazon.co.uk

Until now, this level of documentation has not been available to Tkinter programmers.... -- CompBookReview.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; First Edition edition (January 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1884777813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884777813
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Alessandro Bottoni on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Python and TKinter programming" is the kind of book that is very hard to find in a bookstore nowadays. This book is not just a gap-filling, long-awaited tome, full of valuable information regarding a scarcely documented technology. It is a well-designed, carefully edited and clearly written book, too. Since the first pages, it becames clear that Grayson is an expert programmer and a talented technical writer. He does not only demonstrate a complete dominance of the Python and TKinter programming but he also shows an attention for the reader that is rare to see in this world. The whole book, and every single part of it, are carefully designed and written to help the programmer in the learning process and in the everyday work. Also Manning, the publisher, made a very good work with this book, (as with all the book of this series).
Consider to buy this book because:
- It is an exhaustive guide to Python and TKinter programming. No "shadow zones" left.
- It contains 14Mb of working and well written code (available online). You can play and learn from it.
- It is well-organized, carefully edited and clearly written. No struggles to get the info you need.
- It is a first-hand report from the world of real professional programming. No kid tales.
- You get a real understanding of Python and TKinter programming from this book, not a simple, dry description of this language.
The best characteristic of this book is its clear and flexible structure: you are not forced to follow the "flow-of-consciousness" of the author, chapter after chapter (Have you ever read "Programming Python", by Mark Lutz? ). You can easily spot and read the part that most interest you.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Peter Pearson on October 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tkinter gets a too-brief treatment in Grayson's rush to get on to the subject of Pmw, the Python megawidget library, which seems to be the real subject of the book. If you're not going to work in Pmw, most of this book is useless.
The basics of Tk are poorly presented, apparently on the assumption that the reader is already familiar with Tk. The first appendix is devoted to the mapping between Tk and Tkinter, a typical "nugget" being the revelation that the Tk construct "-label string" maps onto the Tkinter construct "label=string", which conveys no useful information in the absence of a complete Tk reference.
Appendix B, a Tkinter reference, has often left me frustrated. It begins with the understandable space-saving device of a list of "Options shared by most widgets," but then continues with "Options shared by many widgets" (why separate?) and "Common widget methods," whose connection with the rest of the appendix is obscure. Studying a widget's entry in Appendix B seldom produces a confident grasp of how to use that widget.
The book is mostly tutorial in form, suited for leisurely reading but frustrating as a reference.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Before I even reviewing this title, I have to come out and admit that this book sits on my desk at work. I keep it within an arms reach whenever working on Python GUIs.
First, I felt that this was a pretty good book as far as the instruction of Tkinter goes. It assumes you have at least a basic understanding of Python, so you may want to learn the language before diving into it. There are three aspects of the book that I think deserve special attention: the examples, special topics covered, an how the book is broken up.
It has no shortage of examples for each of the various widgets, and provides well commented code. The one complaint I have here is that the descriptive comments are all at the end of the code, so I frequently found myself flipping back and forth between the code and the comments.
It also priovides several examples of common situations you may run across: dynamically changing widgets, "smart" widgets, and issues regarding GUI overhead.
The first part of the book concentrates on looking under the hood of Tkinter and learning how to interact with its components and get applications running. The second part of the book spends is more of a textbook on the design of more effective/attractive interfaces.
Secondly, the book is also an above-average reference manual. It has two colored sections that outline all of the widgets in standard Tkinter and Pmw (Python Mega-widgets). I find this especially usefull because once you learn the basics of the Tkinter system, you really only need a manual that reminds you of how to get the right widget you want. I think in the course of using the reference manual I've only found two errors, which is pretty good for around 175 pages of material.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott Gingerich on February 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Grayson has filled a great void in the Python community with this book. The online Tkinter docs are good start, but if you need hints, tips, real code examples that you can download (and there is a ton of it), this is the book. There is a lot of code in this book, and John explains the code section by section in the examples. There are quite a few good Python segments such as optimizing Python, writing extensions, and debugging, but mostly it is as the title states, Python AND Tkinter. I enjoyed seeing John emphasize the importance of well written Python code, and how to do this. Great book.
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