wxPython 2.8 Application Development Cookbook by Cody Precord review by Tony Cappellini
At long last another book dedicated to wxPython application development is finally published. The author is an active member of the wxPython users list and quite often posts answers to problems people are having with wxPython. He is more than qualified to write a book on the subject. Additionally, he has written Editra; a well-known editor which uses the wxPython framework. wxPython has matured over the years, the documentation has also gotten better and a lot of experienced users can be found on the wxPython users list. That said users still stumble over various issues making their programs work. Books like this one will quickly find their way to the hands of wxPython users in need.
As with most software cookbooks, a problem is stated then the solution in source code is listed, followed by an explanation of how the code works. This book delivers the same format and in a concise and clear manner. Each problem-solution set is short enough to avoid loosing the reader and printed in an easy to read style. Most of the source listings are kept short. This makes it easy for the user to see an entire program (or enough of it) at a glance. I dislike source listings which droll on for pages at a time. They are hard to follow, and after a few pages the overall picture is easy to loose. This book has none of that.
The book is 293 pages long, broken into 12 Chapters. There is very little introductory material, and that’s great. I very much dislike books which contain 30% or more of material that I have in other books or online resources. Authors and publishers should pay attention to this.
The preface tells you the expected prerequisites as opposed to wasting precious book space and your money, telling you about what you need to know before reading this book. Again, no chapters are wasted on introductory material already published in other books. There is simply no fluff in this book, it’s meat and potatoes all the way.
The book takes you from a brief introduction to wxPython all the way to threading and wxPython application distribution. There are even a few pages on Apple events, events that are specific to the Mac OS. Since I’m going to be working on a Mac very soon, I’m glad to have this information.
As I was reading the code and explanations, I found several features which I want to add to my standard wxPython application skeleton. The LoggerMixin in Chapter 9 is an example of something I hadn’t thought about, but can use in just about every program I write. The fact that it is designed as a mixin means it should easily work in any program with little or no changes.
I have no negative comments about this book. I wish it would have been available when I was first learning wxPython. I highly recommend this book to everyone who has had difficulty with wxPython. Tell your fellow wxPython users too. They will be glad you did.