An assessment of Tkinter and IDLE

Kevin Walzer kw at
Mon Aug 31 15:52:13 CEST 2009

On 8/28/09 8:11 PM, r wrote:
> On Aug 28, 5:48 pm, Mark Roseman<m... at>  wrote:
> (snip)
>> Thewww.tkdocs.comsite is 'language neutral' - currently the tutorial
>> covers Tcl, Perl, Ruby and yes Python, and allows you to switch between
>> any of those languages (or show all of them).
> True, however the coverage is incomplete. I would back this site if we
> can get a complete coverage of all widgets in the Python language.
> +0.1

Are you certain the site is incomplete? Its coverage of the basic Tk and 
Ttk  widgets is spectacular. . Its coverage of layout techinques and 
best practices for organizing complex interfaces with Tk is also 
extremely valuable. I wish this site had been around when I was learning 
Tk five years ago. I've looked at just about every Tk and Tkinter 
tutorial site out there, and this one surpasses them all. Mark 
Roseman--a professional, independent software developer whose commercial 
products almost all incorporate Tk into their GUI's--has spent a couple 
of years putting together this site with input from various users and 
developers (myself included). It's now an absolutely indispensible 
resource for beginners and more experienced developers.

The reason the site does not cover 'all widgets in the Python language' 
is threefold:

1. It's a site about Tk, a tookit that has Python bindings and bindings 
to other languages also (Ruby, Perl, Tcl, etc.).
2. It omits additional Python-specific, Tkinter-based widget sets such 
as PMW, Tix, etc. because once you understand the basics of Tk, then 
grokking these other megawidget sets (which all build on top of Tk) 
should be pretty straightforward.
3. Finally, 'all widgets in the Python language' gets into other tookits 
as well, which is obviously unfeasible for a website.

If the site by itself isn't enough for you, or is a bit too basic in its 
coverage of Python techniques, then there are other options. Couple the 
TkDocs site with effbot's more advanced walk through the various Tkinter 
classes, and perhaps one or two of the other Tkinter-specific tutorials, 
and you'll have learned a lot. But I think the TkDocs site is essential, 
especially in its more advanced discussion of how to put together an 
attractive, polished user interface with Tk. Tk has a long-standing 
reputation of being the toolkit of choice for quick, simple, ugly 
interfaces, and the other resources I've mentioned do nothing to to 
change this. The practices that Mark Roseman discusses will allow one to 
eventually put together a UI that matches anything that the other big 
toolkits (wxPython, PyQt, PyObjC, PyGtk, etc.) can do.

Hope this helps,

Kevin Walzer
Code by Kevin

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