- 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: 29 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#689,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #599 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Languages & Tools > Python
- #780 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Object-Oriented Design
- #1638 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Software Design, Testing & Engineering > Software Development
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Python and Tkinter Programming Paperback – January, 2000
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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
"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
Top customer reviews
Not a bad book for GUI programmers. The only drawback is at the beginning of the book where the examples start, the examples are quite complex, well beyond "hello world" fundamentals of some programming language books, and if one is not comfortably familiar with Tk, there's some catch up reading to do.
This book presents both tkinter and mega-widgets. Though the basic content for tkinter widgets looks complete, I have not yet determined if the author slighted tkinter widgets for pmw. If both are covered adequately, then pmw is a bonus.
The information may be out-of-date. This will be a problem with any book that was written more than a couple of years past.
If you purchase this book, purchase it from the publisher, where you can get it and the ebook for about the same price as the cheapest used book advertized on Amazon. I typically purchase the hardcopy because my study habits require the active use of pencils and highlighters to mark and annotate important material. I recommend purchasing the ebook for searches and because the hard copy has many typesetting errors, primarily the overlaying of characters. I did not see this problem in the ebook.
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.
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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