ANN: Thinking in Tkinter

Stephen Ferg steve at
Tue Sep 10 21:25:58 EDT 2002

"Steve Holden" <sholden at> wrote in message news:<V57f9.77078$l_4.29066 at>...
> "Stephen Ferg" <steve at> wrote in message
> news:b16e4ef7.0209090552.3ad7691b at

> The problem, from a learner's point of view...
> Steve Holden  

Thanks!  An excellent answer.

And I think it puts a finger on what I'm trying to do in "Thinking in
Tkinter" in contrast to other explanations of Tkinter that I've

Most other introductions to Tkinter programming would start by
explaining how to use "command", on the grounds that it is simpler to
use, and will get you up and running faster.  A quicker way to get a
learner productive.  A perfectly reasonable approach.

What I wanted to do, though, in "Thinking in Tkinter" was more of an
explanation of the basic concepts that you need in programming with
Tkinter.  From that standpoint, I think it is better to explain about
binding -- that is, binding widgets, events, and callback handlers --
by explaining "bind()".  Then, once the basic concepts are explained,
I can note how "command" can be used as a labor-saving technique.

As you say, "it's rather like teaching someone to drive by explaining
the mechanical details of the steering and engine."  Maybe a good
example would be, "it is sort of like teaching someone to drive by
explaining the details of the differential".  It is possible to
explain the techniques of say, driving on slippery road surfaces -- or
getting out of ditches when you're stuck -- without explaining how the
differential works.  But if you know how the differential works, you
will better understand why you should -- or shouldn't -- do certain
things in certain situations.

I guess what I'm saying is that this kind of explanation gives you
more than just techniques.  It gives you an organizing set of deeper
concepts -- a mental model -- within which the techniques make sense.

That's the kind of explanation of Tkinter that I'd like to read. 
"Thinking in Tkinter" will never be the book that I'd like to read.  I
don't have the time to do that.  But I'd like it to cover a few of the
most basic points, in the way that such a book would cover them.  I'm
not saying that that kind of approach is better.  Only that it might
be a better approach for certain folks with certain learning styles.

... My apologies for the verbosity!

Anyway, Steve, thanks for your very helpful answer.  You're a good
explainer.  I'm going to go to Amazon right now and order a copy of
"Python Web Programming"!

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