Caktus Developer Dan Poirier reads Creating GUI Applications with wxPython on his mobile device

I enjoyed working through the book Creating GUI Applications with wxPython by Michael Driscoll, learning various techniques for programming GUI applications in Python using wxPython.

This book is not intended to be a beginners' tutorial. The first chapter is titled "An Intro to wxPython," but it's very basic. I think anyone with a few simple wxPython apps under their belt would have no trouble with this book, but as a complete beginner to wxPython, I struggled a bit. Again, the book is not intended for complete beginners, so that's my fault.

Of the book's 14 chapters, 12 are dedicated to example applications, one per chapter. So these are not toy applications — some of them are small, but all are complete and useful as-is, and all of the code is provided. But the code isn't just dumped for you to try to figure out — it's presented in small sections, in a logical order, with an explanation of each part.

The first application is an image viewer that opens a dialog to let you pick an image file, then displays it. It's a good choice for a first example. The functionality is useful but not at all complicated, so you can focus on the boilerplate common to wxPython applications and how to put together a few widgets into a working application.

From there, the applications gradually get more involved, including a calculator, a database editor, a tarball creator, a tool to search for NASA images, and even an XML editor.

Some of the chapters introduce useful third-party wxPython add-ons, like ObjectListView which is much better than the built-in ListView.

The final chapter is about distributing your application using pyInstaller. Including this was a good decision. As a Python developer I'm happy to pipx install application, but if you're building applications with wxPython, your target users are quite likely not experienced Python developers, and a simple way to distribute and install your application is important if you want it to be used.

If you're going to build applications with wxPython, I recommend taking a look at this book and if possible, working through the examples. I'm sure you'll learn a lot. There are links to purchase digital or paper copies at the author's blog.

Disclosure: The author, Michael Driscoll, provided a digital copy of his book for review. However, the author was not involved in the writing of this review and all opinions are my own.

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