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wxPython in Action [Paperback]

Noel Rappin , Robin Dunn
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: £31.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Mar 2006 1932394621 978-1932394627 1
Because they are often large and complex, GUI programming tool kits can be hard to use. wxPython is a combination of the Python programming language and the wxWidgets toolkit, which allows programmers to create programs with a robust, highly functional graphical user interface, simply and easily. wxPython combines the power of an exceptionally complete user interface toolkit with an exceptionally flexible programming language. The result is a toolkit that is unique in the ease with which complex applications can be built and maintained.

wxPython in Action is a complete guide to the wxPython toolkit, containing a tutorial for getting started, a guide to best practices, and a reference to wxPython's extensive widget set. After an easy introduction to wxPython concepts and programming practices, the book takes an in-depth tour of when and how to use the bountiful collection of widgets offered by wxPython. All features are illustrated with useful code examples and reference tables are included for handy lookup of an object's properties, methods, and events. The book enables developers to learn wxPython quickly and remains a valuable resource for futurework.

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wxPython in Action + Wxpython 2.8 Application Development Cookbook
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Product details

  • Paperback: 620 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (23 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932394621
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932394627
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 636,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Noel Rappin is a senior software engineer at Motorola and has extensive Python experience. He has a Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied educational software and user interface design. Noel co-authored the book Jython Essential.


Robin Dunn, the creator and maintainer of WXPython has been working in the software industry for 18 years on a wide variety of applications. He discovered both wxWindows and Python in 1995 while looking for a cross platform toolkit and has never (willingly) looked back. Robin was awarded the ActiveState Programmers Choice Award at the 2002 O'Reilly Open Source Convention. Robin also worked for the Open Source Application Foundation, improving wxPython for use in their flagship product, Chandler.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A model textbook for GUI development 16 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read many textbooks on GUI frameworks over the years and most have been very dull or very complicated (and often both!). This book manages to be both readable and clearly informative. I've been playing with wxPython for several years but never quite "got it" until I read this book. Finally the pieces all fit together and the rationale made sense. There are some inconsistencies in the toolkit but the book is honest about those and simply warns you that they exist and how to work round them. The early part is a fast paced tutorial and the second two thirds form a fairly comprehensive reference. Particularly noteworthy are the chapters on layout managers and graphics programming. There is also good coverage of printing, something that is notoriously tricky in cross-platform toolkits where the underlying mechanisms can vary widely. Highly recommended and if you intend to use wxPython seriously then you need this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very good indeed 5 Mar 2008
By jr
An excellent place from which to start. Made my life much easier and made my first app much better architected and designed. I used wxpython only as a prototyping tool. Very good it was though.
One thought. You can buy the pdf e-book for less from the publishers site.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book on Pythons main GUI toolkit ! 15 Sep 2010
This year I decided to take the plunge and try to learn how to program GUI interfaces. As I'd been learning Python for a couple of years on and off I looked at the available options - which seemed mainly to be just four - Tkinter, PyGTK, PyQt and of course wxPython.

I discounted Tkinter as it is frequently said to not be good enough for large programming projects, and PyQt because it isn't Open Source and briefly looking at the license details put me off straight away.

I then tried to find information on PyGTK and wxPython. PyGTK is probably a good option but doesn't have any books on the subject and the online documentation can be a bit confusing at times - its a pity that someone who knows PyGTK hasn't written a book on it yet !

Even though the wxPython book was written four years ago and therefore doesn't necessarily include full details of the current version (v2.8.11 at the time of writing) I decided to try the book. And I am very glad that I did - it turned out to be one of my best programming book purchases for some time. It is easy to follow (assuming that you know Python and object oriented programming) and has good examples for many if not most of the things which you are likely to want to use for GUI programmimg.

It has very good sections on creating Frames, text windows, menus, drawing to the Screen Device Context, Buffered Device Contexts where necessary to avoid constant redrawing of the screen, all the standard button and widget types, printing, many types of sizers to automatically arrange your widgets without having to know exactly where they all are on the screen, dialogs (I couldn't believe how easy it was to use the standard File Chooser dialog !
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To put this review in context, I ought to say that I have been a software engineer for over 40 years, most of it spent on mission- and safety-critical systems. That means that I'm accustomed to using strongly-typed programming languages and industrial-strength verification tools. I got this book because I have to prototype a GUI for the configuration and programming tool for an industrial safety controller. Python seemed like a good choice of language for the prototype ...


Python is fine for knocking up quick scripts but, IMO, an accomplished disaster for GUIs. The problem is that Python lets you use variables before declaring them. This ultimately means that type checking tends to get done at execution time. Combine this with the object-oriented features that GUI tool kits use and you get, as I found, the absurd situation where changing the *value* of an argument to one function call can affect the *number* of arguments required by another. This confirmed me in my view that, with exceptions you could count on a badly mutilated hand, OO languages are designed by the retarded for use by the brain-damaged. So I switched to using Visual Basic, which is at least better tooled and better documented for GUI building. For my purposes it is a lesser among heinous evils.

OK, I'll get some flak for the preceding remarks, but so what? Ultimately it's one of software engineering's perennial culture wars. I am in the camp that favours languages that make it easy to get critical things right and prove them correct. It seems to me that most of the OO camp favours languages that enable you to do big things easily but does not much care about the rigour of verification required for really critical systems.
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