Mon 11 Nov 2013
There aren’t very many Tkinter books in existence, which is something I’ve always found a little odd as it is the GUI toolkit that is included with Python. Basically you have Grayson’s Python and Tkinter Programming from 2000 or Roseman’s Modern Tkinter for Busy Python Developers from 2012. I reviewed the latter here, if you’re interested. There are other books that include Tkinter programming (like Core Python or Programming Python), but those texts are not Tkinter focused books. This brings us to 2013′s release of Tkinter GUI Application Development HOTSHOT by Bhaskar Chaudhary, the 3rd book about Tkinter in the last 13 years! Today, you can read my review of this interesting book.
Full disclosure: Packt Publishing asked me to be a technical reviewer of this book, so I received a free copy after the review process was finished.
Here’s the quick review for those of you without a lot of time:
- Why I picked it up: Technically, I didn’t as I received it as “payment” for helping edit the book, but I would have picked it up just because there are so few Tkinter books and I find GUI programming a fascinating subject.
- Why I finished it: The book has lots of fun fully-functional applications, so I kept reading just to see what the author would come up with next.
- I’d give it to: Programmers that want to jump into GUI application development feet first – this book has lots of good examples of applications without the spaghetti code!
You can get this book in paperback, epub, mobi, or PDF.
The book is split up into Projects instead of chapters. There are 7 projects and two appendices. The first project is basically an introduction to Tkinter. The second one is creating a simple text editor, like Notepad. Project 3 covers a programmable drum machine. In project 4, you learn how to create a Chess game. For project 5, you create an audio playing application. Project 6 is a drawing application kind of like Paint. The last project chapter actually covers several mini projects, from creating a screen saver, to building a game, to graphing and several other fun activities.
Being a technical reviewer of the book and then reviewing the book from the standpoint of the reader can be difficult. Packt likes to hire international programmers to write their books and that tends to end with mixed results. Some of the books end up being really good and others falter or fail entirely because of the language gap. In this case, while English is obviously not the author’s first language, he did a pretty good job overall. This book teaches its readers how to use Tkinter by example. This is not a book for Python beginners, but it is a good book for Tkinter beginners and Tkinter intermediates.
I personally really enjoyed learning how to make the various applications and games. The variety and creativity are evident and I was surprised how short the programs ended up being. I think I liked the drum machine project the best just because of how unique it was and also because I’ve been a big fan of electronic music for long time. The chess game was also really interesting in how the author structured the program and set up its logic.
Even if I hadn’t been one of the people who helped the author with this book, I believe I would have been happy with my purchase. There’s just so many neat ideas here. When I was reading the chapters I was constantly thinking about how I would like to try this idea or that one in wxPython or PySide to see how they would compare. So if you are looking for some ideas for your first GUI project, regardless of which toolkit you normally use, I would recommend this book. I would also recommend it to anyone wanting to learn Tkinter.
Tkinter GUI Application Development HOTSHOT
by Bhaskar Chaudhary
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