Tag Archives: wxPython

Creating a GUI Application for NASA’s API with wxPython

Growing up, I have always found the universe and space in general to be exciting. It is fun to dream about what worlds remain unexplored. I also enjoy seeing photos from other worlds or thinking about the vastness of space. What does this have to do with Python though? Well, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a web API that allows you to search their image library.

You can read all about it on their website.

The NASA website recommends getting an Application Programming Interface (API) key. If you go to that website, the form that you will fill out is nice and short.

Technically, you do not need an API key to make requests against NASA’s services. However they do have rate limiting in place for developers who access their site without an API key. Even with a key, you are limited to a default of 1000 requests per hour. If you go over your allocation, you will be temporarily blocked from making requests. You can contact NASA to request a higher rate limit though.

Interestingly, the documentation doesn’t really say how many requests you can make without an API key.

The API documentation disagrees with NASA’s Image API documentation about which endpoints to hit, which makes working with their website a bit confusing.

For example, you will see the API documentation talking about this URL:

  • https://api.nasa.gov/planetary/apod?api_key=API_KEY_GOES_HERE

But in the Image API documentation, the API root is:

  • https://images-api.nasa.gov

For the purposes of this tutorial, you will be using the latter. Continue reading Creating a GUI Application for NASA’s API with wxPython

wxPython 4 and PubSub

The Publish-Subscribe pattern is pretty common in computer science and very useful too. The wxPython GUI toolkit has had an implementation of it for a very long time in wx.lib.pubsub. This implementation is based on the PyPubSub package. While you could always download PyPubSub and use it directly instead, it was nice to be able to just run wxPython without an additional dependency.

However, as of wxPython 4.0.4, wx.lib.pubsub is now deprecated and will be removed in a future version of wxPython. So now you will need to download PyPubSub or PyDispatcher if you want to use the Publish-Subscribe pattern easily in wxPython.

Installing PyPubSub

You can install PyPubSub using pip.

Here’s how to do it:

pip install pypubsub

PyPubSub should install quite quickly. Once it’s done, let’s find out how to use it! Continue reading wxPython 4 and PubSub

How to Distribute a wxPython Application

Let’s say you finished up a wonderful GUI application using wxPython. How do you share it with the world? This is always the dilemma when you finish an amazing program. Fortunately, there are several ways you can share your code. If you want to share your code with other developers, than Github or a similar website is definitely a good way to do. I won’t be covering using Git or Mercurial here. Instead what you will learn here is how to turn your application into an executable.

By turning your code into an executable, you can allow a user to just download the binary and run it without requiring them to download Python, your source code and your dependencies. All of those things will be bundled up into the executable instead.

There are many tools you can use to generate an executable:

You will be using PyInstaller in this tutorial. The main benefit to using PyInstaller is that it can generate executables for Windows, Mac and Linux. Note that it does not support cross-compiling. What that means is that you cannot run PyInstaller on Linux to create a Windows executable. Instead, PyInstaller will only create an executable for the OS that it is ran on. In other words, if you run PyInstaller on Windows, it will create a Windows executable only. Continue reading How to Distribute a wxPython Application

Creating a Calculator with wxPython

A lot of beginner tutorials start with “Hello World” examples. There are plenty of websites that use a calculator application as a kind of “Hello World” for GUI beginners. Calculators are a good way to learn because they have a set of widgets that you need to lay out in an orderly fashion. They also require a certain amount of logic to make them work correctly. For this calculator, let’s focus on being able to do the following:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division

I think that supporting these four functions is a great starting place and also give you plenty of room for enhancing the application on your own. Continue reading Creating a Calculator with wxPython

Less than 2 Days to Go on wxPython Book Kickstarter

My latest book, Create GUI Applications with wxPython, is coming along nicely. I just wanted to let my readership know that the Kickstarter for it is coming to a close in a little less than 2 days.

If you’d like to get a copy at a cheaper price than it will be when it is released in May later this year, the Kickstarter is really the way to go. You can check out the current table of contents in this post from last week.

Thanks for your support!

Table of Contents for Creating GUI Applications Book

We are coming into the last week of the Kickstarter and I thought I would give you all a quick update. I finished writing up the chapter on creating a calculator today and got started on chapter 7.

Creating GUI Applications with wxPython

I also wanted to let you know what the current table of contents looks like right now:

  • Chapter 1 – Intro to wxPython
  • Chapter 2 – Creating an Image Viewer
  • Chapter 3 – Enhancing the Image Viewer
  • Chapter 4 – Creating a Database Viewer
  • Chapter 5 – Database Editing with wxPython
  • Chapter 6 – Calculator
  • Chapter 7 – Archiver (tarball creation utility)
  • Chapter 8 – MP3 Tag Editor
  • Chapter 9 – XML Editor
  • Chapter 10 – NASA Image Downloader / Search Tool
  • Chapter 11 – PDF Merger / Splitter

There will also be a chapter on creating executables and installers for your application and a couple of appendixes.

Thanks so much for your support!


Creating GUI Applications with wxPython Kickstarter

I am pleased to announce my latest book project, Creating GUI Applications with wxPython which I am running a Kickstarter campaign for.

Creating GUI Applications with wxPython is a book that will teach you how to use wxPython to create applications by actually creating several mini-programs. I have found that while learning how the various widgets work in wxPython is valuable, it is even better to learn by creating a simple application that does something useful.

The code in this book will be targeted for Python 3 only using wxPython 4.

Creating GUI Applications with wxPython cover

For more information, please check out the Kickstarter.

wxPython: Changing Custom Renderers for Columns / Rows

The wxPython GUI toolkit has a very rich and powerful Grid widget that I have written about previously on this blog. It allows you to create sheets of cells similar to those in Microsoft Excel.

There is also a neat mixin that allows you to apply a custom renderer to the labels on the columns and rows of the grid.

Let’s take a look at that and see how it works:

import wx
import wx.grid as grid
import wx.lib.mixins.gridlabelrenderer as glr
class MyGrid(grid.Grid, glr.GridWithLabelRenderersMixin):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kw):
        grid.Grid.__init__(self, *args, **kw)
class MyColLabelRenderer(glr.GridLabelRenderer):
    def __init__(self, bgcolor):
        self._bgcolor = bgcolor
    def Draw(self, grid, dc, rect, col):
        hAlign, vAlign = grid.GetColLabelAlignment()
        text = grid.GetColLabelValue(col)
        self.DrawBorder(grid, dc, rect)
        self.DrawText(grid, dc, rect, text, hAlign, vAlign)
class MyPanel(wx.Panel):
    def __init__(self, parent):
        wx.Panel.__init__(self, parent)
        grid = MyGrid(self, size=(100, 100))
        grid.CreateGrid(numRows=10, numCols=10)
        for col in range(0, 10, 3):
                col+0, MyColLabelRenderer('#e0ffe0'))
                col+1, MyColLabelRenderer('#e0e0ff'))
                col+2, MyColLabelRenderer('#ffe0e0'))
        main_sizer = wx.BoxSizer(wx.VERTICAL)
        main_sizer.Add(grid, 1, wx.EXPAND)
class MyFrame(wx.Frame):
    def __init__(self):
        wx.Frame.__init__(self, None, title='Custom Grid Renderers')
        panel = MyPanel(self)
if __name__ == '__main__':
    app = wx.App(False)
    frame = MyFrame()

Let’s break this down a bit. You will notice at the top of the code that we need to import the Grid widget separately in wxPython. We also need to import a mixin called GridWithLabelRenderersMixin. We subclass the Grid class and add in the mixin and then initialize both.

Next we create a subclass of GridLabelRenderer, which is also from the mixin. This allows us to create a spacing Draw method that will give us the ability to apply different colors or fonts to the labels in our Grid. In this case, I just made it so that we could change the color of the text in the labels.

The last piece of code that we are interested in is in the MyPanel class where we actually instantiate the Grid and change the color of the background of the labels in the columns. Here is what the grid ended up looking like:

wxPython Grid widget with colored columns
Custom Grid Column Renderers

Wrapping up

The wxPython toolkit has dozens of pre-built widgets that you can use to create cross-platform user interfaces. The wxPython demo has a much more involved example than this article does that you might also find interesting. If you haven’t given wxPython a try, you really should go get it. It is pip installable from PyPI and compatible with Python 3.

Black Friday / Cyber Monday Sale 2018

This week I am putting my 2 most recent self-published books on Sale starting today through November 26th.

ReportLab – PDF Processing with Python is available for $9.99:

JupyterLab 101 is available for $9.99:

You can also get my book, wxPython Recipes, from Apress for $7 for a limited time with the following coupon code: cyberweek18.

Python Interviews is $10 right now too!

wxPython: How to Open a Second Window / Frame

I see questions relating to the title of this article a lot. How do I open a second frame / window? How do I get all the frames to close when I close the main application? When you are first learning wxPython, these kinds of questions can be kind of hard to find answers for as you aren’t familiar enough with the framework or the terminology to know how to search for the answers.

Hopefully this article will help. We will learn how to open multiple frames and how to make them all close too. Let’s get started! Continue reading wxPython: How to Open a Second Window / Frame