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Complete Python Noob with a Complete Noob Question---Expect Eloquent Noobosity

Jul 15, 2011 at 5:55 AM
Edited Jul 15, 2011 at 9:06 AM


     I am a complete python noob.  I picked up the language as I was browsing a peculiar site for something called MIT OpenCourseWare, which provided a link to a free textbook on Python 2.4.1 using the TKinter shell.  I've been researching the bejeezus out of this program online as I go through the chapters, and I have discovered that, at the expense of a little speed, Python is an absolute beginning computer-programmer's dream, with huge wide-open vista's for expandability.  I'm about halfway through the book, and I began to wonder if there was a particular package or set of tools that would enable me to quickly and easily create Python applications. 

     I was familiar with the Visual Studio Express C# setup, and I knew it had tools.  Which, in subsequent related searches, led me to this site.  So I downloaded the VS Shell, PTVS, and I already had several versions of python installed (including a couple IronPython console applications) and I opened up shell---to discover there were no tools in the ToolBox.  I am grateful knowing that if I knew how to make those tools, it would be a simple matter to upload them into VS Shell and that would be that. . . However there is no corresponding chapter in the book I found for making those buttons and nifty little gizmo's.  I am still looking online for a program that runs in an environment similar to VS and that might have a few pre-fabbed components like it does.  Have found a good few sites that I'm downloading as we speak.  But any advice from those that already know which programs work would be greatly appreciated.



Jul 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Hello again,

     So, after much rooting around in a whole bunch of other sites, websites, and various assorted articles, I simply got fed up with either A) not getting the Toolbox to work after an installation of a previous version or B)being referred to this product or that.  I typed into my wonderful little Google search engine "How to create GUI interfaces in Tkinter."  After discovering just what in the deuce Tcl was (Tool Command Language, for those Noobs out there like me) and why in the world it was linked to Tk (Tk is the widget toolkit, which is just fancy slang for "Windows, menu's, checkboxes, and assorted other "objects" ") I came to the stunning conclusion that Tkinter came pre-loaded with a library for creating said GUI.  Which leads me to wonder why there are so many other libraries in the first place?  It took a couple seconds and one call in a blank script and I had a blank window ready to go.  What gives with all the confusion?  What happened to "There should be one---and only one---obvious way to do it."?

     That said, I am sorry for forcing my ignorance upon those who probably already guessed by the time I posted this how my search might turn out.  Was just looking for a neat, little set of tools that would help me continue learning the fundamentals of computer programming.  Turns out it was under my nose the whole time.  Thank you all again for taking the now wasted time to look at, let alone respond, to my post.  I hope those who are noobs like me coming to download any program like this before they're ready, will instead just type "How to design GUI using Tkinter" into Google, and circumvent the long, drawn out process of self-effacement that I just completed.  When, and only when, you: 1) Learn the basics of Python (turns out the book I found "How to think like a Computer Scientist---Learning with Python" by Allen Downey, Jeffrey Elkner, and Chris Meyers is really good for this---it's free, too, available online and in PDF format), 2) Move on to actual GUI development, and 3)  Outgrow Tkinter's library of widgets, is the only time you should begin investigating IDE's like PTVS (which, if I had gotten the toolbox add-ins to load, would've totally *ROCKED*).



Jul 15, 2011 at 4:25 PM


Unfortunately, the PTVS doesn't have a GUI designer for Tcl/TK. You seem to have found a solution to your problem in the mean time, which is great.

If you install IronPython you can use PTVS's WPF GUI designer to build user interfaces for Windows using Windows Presentation Foundation. This is not as portable as Tcl/TK, but the widget library available is much more featureful.