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9.9 Where to Go from Here

This concludes the GUI section of this book, but is not an end to its GUI coverage. If you want to learn more about GUIs, be sure to see the Tkinter examples that appear later in this book and are described at the start of this chapter. PyMail, PyCalc, PyForm, and PyTree all provide additional GUI case studies. In the next section of this book, we'll also learn how to build user interfaces that run in web browsers -- a very different concept, but another option for simple interface design.

Keep in mind, too, that even if you don't see a GUI example in this book that looks very close to one you need to program, you've already met all the building blocks. Constructing larger GUIs for your application is really just a matter of laying out hierarchical composites of the widgets presented in this part of the text.

For instance, a complex display might be composed as a collection of radiobuttons, listboxes, scales, text fields, menus, and so on -- all arranged in frames or grids to achieve the desired appearance. Pop-up top-level windows, as well as independently run GUI programs linked with IPC mechanisms like pipes, signals, and sockets, can further supplement a complex graphical interface.

Moreover, you can implement larger GUI components as Python classes and attach or extend them anywhere you need a similar interface device (see PyEdit for a prime example). With a little creativity, Tkinter's widget set and Python support a virtually unlimited number of layouts.

Beyond this book, see the documentation and books departments at Python's web site, http://www.python.org. I would plug Tkinter-related texts here, but I suspect that the offerings in this department will expand during the shelf-life of this book. Finally, if you catch the Tkinter bug, I want to again recommend downloading and experimenting with packages introduced in Chapter 6 -- especially PMW and PIL. Both add additional tools to the Tkinter arsenal that can make your GUIs more sophisticated with minimal coding.

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