PyLan a GTD todo application written in python and PyGTK – part three

PyLan three

Hello welcome to the long-time-coming third article in this tutorial. I apologize to everyone (anyone?) that was waiting for it. I have been very busy as of late and have had much of my time taken up by a few other python projects, that I hope to be able to show you all soon.

If you want to follow along with the code in detail, and have not done so already, you should read part one and part two of this series.

Python GTD pyGTK

You can download the full source to this tutorial here.

This tutorial will teach you the following things:

  1. How to construct a simple theme engine, or at least how I would, hopefully it will give you some ideas!
  2. How to display icons in a gtk.TreeView
  3. How to catch the selection event in a gtk.TreeView.
  4. How to enable or disable widgets.
  5. How to remove the selection from a gtk.TreeView if the user clicks on the gtk.TreeView but not on a tree item.

Continue reading PyLan a GTD todo application written in python and PyGTK – part three

PyLan a GTD todo application written in python and PyGTK – part two

PyLan two

This is part two of the PyLan tutorial series, if you want to follow along with the code in detail, and have not done so already, you should read part one of this series.

In this tutorial I will go over the following items:

This tutorial is organized into the following sections:

  1. The GUI
  2. The todo.Task Object
  3. Adding a todo.Task object
  4. Showing the Calendar window
  5. Editing todo.Category and todo.Task items
  6. Pango markup in the gtk.TreeView
  7. Conclusion

Python GTD pyGTK

You can download the full source to this tutorial here.

Continue reading PyLan a GTD todo application written in python and PyGTK – part two

PyLan a GTD todo application written in python and PyGTK – part one


All right, many of you have probably heard of, or read, David Allen’s book Getting Things Done if not it’s a pretty interesting book about how to organize the things in your life.

As I was reading it I thought that a simple todo list could be created using Python and PyGTK pretty easily, so I decided to create the application and write a tutorial surrounding it. Since the actual application is quite large I have decided to break it up into a series of tutorials, each highlighting a few specific tasks. The full goal of this series is to show everything that is required when creating a python/PyGTK based application, for the GUI setup all the way to distribution.

These tutorials assume that you have a basic knowledge of python and PyGTK. If you have not already done so it is recommended that you take a look at some of my previous PyGTK based tutorials as I will be glossing over much of that which is explained there:

PyLan – part one

Python GTD pyGTK

So the application that we will be creating will be called PyLan, pronounced: plan. In brief it will be used to create a tree of tasks that can be organized into categories and subcategories.

You can download the full source to this tutorial here.

Part one of this tutorial will introduce you to the idea of the application and create the basic shell for it. It will outline the following:

Continue reading PyLan a GTD todo application written in python and PyGTK – part one

Creating a GUI using Python, WxWidgets, and wxPython

After putting off this tutorial for as long as I possibly could (I’m not sure why) I have finally decided to buckle down and learn how to use WxWidgets using the WxPython Python bindings.


Getting WxWidgets and WxPython installed on my Debian Linux computer was as simple as installing the python-wxgtk2.6 Debian package. If you have any problems installing wxPython on your computer I suggest that you follow the instructions in the wxPython FAQ. Or you can follow the Getting Started instructions on the wxPython wiki.

Setting up the Window

Now that you have WxWidgets and WxPython installed it’s time to write a quick wxPython application. Start up your favourite python editor and enter the following:

[code lang=”python”]
#!/usr/bin/env python

import wx

if __name__ == “__main__”:
app = wx.App()

Save the file as, or whatever you would like. You can run the file if you want but you won’t actually see anything. The first thing that you will notice is that we import wx, this will import wxPython into your program.

The next thing that we do is create a wx.App and then call it’s MainLoop function, which starts the main GUI event loop. Here is a description of the wx.App class from the wxPython documentation :

The wx.App class represents the application and is used to:

  • bootstrap the wxPython system and initialize the underlying gui toolkit
  • set and get application-wide properties
  • implement the windowing system main message or event loop, and to dispatch events to window instances
  • etc.

Every application must have a wx.App instance, and all creation of UI objects should be delayed until after the wx.App object has been created in order to ensure that the gui platform and wxWidgets have been fully initialized.

Normally you would derive from this class and implement an OnInit method that creates a frame and then calls self.SetTopWindow(frame).

Notice the last little instruction there:

Normally you would derive from this class and implement an OnInit method that creates a frame and then calls self.SetTopWindow(frame).

So that is our next step, derive a class from wx.App and override the OnInit member:

[code lang=”python”]
#!/usr/bin/env python

import wx

class wxHelloApp(wx.App):
“””The wx.App for the wxHello application”””

def OnInit(self):
“””Override OnInit to create our Frame”””
frame = wx.Frame(None, title=”wxHello”)
return True

if __name__ == “__main__”:
app = wxHelloApp()

Now instead of creating a wx.App we create a wxHelloApp that is derived from a wx.App. All that the wxHelloApp does is override the OnInit() function. In that function it creates a wx.Frame (from the wxWidget docs):

A frame is a window whose size and position can (usually) be changed by the user. It usually has thick borders and a title bar, and can optionally contain a menu bar, toolbar and status bar. A frame can contain any window that is not a frame or dialog.

When we create the frame we set its parent to be nothing, and it’s title to be “wxHello”. If you run the file now you will be greeted by the following:

Python wxPython

Continue reading Creating a GUI using Python, WxWidgets, and wxPython

WordPy 0.2 – Using XML to Save and Load Data

All right, so we have our base WordPy application running, so let’s try to extend it a bit more by letting you load and save blog posts to and from an xml file. Please note that this tutorial simply shows one method of saving and loading data using xml, there are many different methods and this method was chosen for its simplicity.

If you are unfamiliar with the first WordPy tutorial you should probably read it fist in order to have a better understanding of some of what happens in this tutorial.

You can download the complete code for this tutorial here.


The first thing we need to-do is open up the wordpy glade project and make some changes:

  1. We’ll start off by adding another item to our VBox in Glade. You can do this by holding down shift and clicking on the WordPy window until you see the GTKVBox come up in the properties window. Then simply change it’s size value from 4 to 5.
  2. In the empty space add a menu bar. Then on the Packing tab of the menu bar’s properties set the position to be zero, so that the menu is at the top of the window.
  3. Then edit the menu so that only the File, Edit, and Help menu’s remain.
  4. Add handlers to each of the files menu items: on_file_new, on_file_open, on_file_save, on_file_save_as

GLADE Window PyWine

The Code

That’s it for editing the GUI, now we have to go and edit the code. The first step is to connect all of the menu events with our code:

[code lang=”python”]
dic = {“on_wndMain_destroy” : self.quit
, “on_btnBold_clicked” : self.on_btnBold_clicked
, “on_btnItalic_clicked” : self.on_btnItalic_clicked
, “on_btnLink_clicked” : self.on_btnLink_clicked
, “on_btnBlockQuote_clicked” : self.on_btnBlockQuote_clicked
, “on_btnDel_clicked” : self.on_btnDel_clicked
, “on_btnIns_clicked” : self.on_btnIns_clicked
, “on_btnImage_clicked” : self.on_btnImage_clicked
, “on_btnUnorderedList_clicked” : self.on_btnUnorderedList_clicked
, “on_btnOrderedList_clicked” : self.on_btnOrderedList_clicked
, “on_btnListItem_clicked” : self.on_btnListItem_clicked
, “on_btnCode_clicked” : self.on_btnCode_clicked
, “on_btnMore_clicked” : self.on_btnMore_clicked
, “on_btnSettings_clicked” : self.on_btnSettings_clicked
, “on_btnpost_clicked” : self.on_btnpost_clicked
, “on_file_new” : self.on_file_new
, “on_file_open” : self.on_file_open
, “on_file_save” : self.on_file_save
, “on_file_save_as”: self.on_file_save_as}

[code lang=”python”]
def on_file_new(self, widget):

def on_file_open(self, widget):

def on_file_save(self, widget):

def on_file_save_as(self. widget):

Continue reading WordPy 0.2 – Using XML to Save and Load Data

IronPython Hello World Tutorial

As some of you may have heard IronPython 1.0 has been released. If you don’t’ know what IronPython is, it’s:

a new implementation of the Python programming language running on .NET. It supports an interactive console with fully dynamic compilation. It is well integrated with the rest of the .NET Framework and makes all .NET libraries easily available to Python programmers, while maintaining full compatibility with the Python language.

The cool thing about IronPthon is that it also works with the Windows Presentation Foundation which will be released when Windows Vista is released and available for Windows XP and Windows Vista.

I thought that this was pretty interesting so I thought I’d try playing with it and write a quick tutorial.


For this tutorial you need the following:

For this tutorial I has assumed that you have installed IronPython to:



Once you have everything installed load up Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (MEID from now on) or sparkle as it used to be called and close the Welcome Screen. You might notice that MEID is very slow, on my system the program just seems to c-r-a-w-l, but it does allow you to do some pretty neat things.

After it has finished loading and clearing the Welcome screen you should be left with a blank canvas. The canvas is too large for the Hello World program we’re creating so resize the canvas until it has reached a suitable size.

Then with the canvas selected, select the Background item in the Appearance pallet and set the background of the canvas (our window) to something suitable using the colour picker below. I selected a nice dark shade of green.


Continue reading IronPython Hello World Tutorial

Extending our PyGTK Application

In this tutorial we are going to extend our PyWine application to allowing you to edit the items that you have added to the list and save an load the wine lists you create so that you don’t have to keep entering them in all the time.

You can download the complete code for this tutorial here.

If you are not familiar with the PyWine application or with working with Glade and PyGTK I suggest you read my first two tutorial on the subject:

The GUI – Glade

The first thing that we are going to do is open up out PyWine glad project and add an edit button to our toolbar:

  1. Make space for the Edit button by selecting the toolbar and settings its size property to 2.
  2. Add a Toolbar Button in the newly created empty space.
  3. Call the button btnEditWine, set its label to be “Edit Wine”, and its icon to be the stock Edit icon. Next add a handler for the clicked event.
  4. We’re going to change the menu up a little bit, instead of a menu that says Add | Wine, we are going to set the menu up to read Wine | Add and Wine | Edit. Do this just like we did in the previous PyWine tutorial and make the Wine | Edit clicked handler the same function as your btnEditWine button’s clicked event handler.

GLADE Window PyWine

Continue reading Extending our PyGTK Application

Writing a Custom Widget Using PyGTK

One of the things that I wanted to add to my simple PyWine application was an easy way for people to rate their wine. There were lots of different ways to do it but since I was looking for a tutorial to write I decided that I wanted to do it the way that you rate songs in iTunes. If you’ve never used iTunes before, you can rate songs on a sliding scale from zero to five using stars. It basically functions like a slider or a Horizontal Scale except that when drawing it’s not a line, it’s a row of stars.

Python PyGTK Windows

The full source for this tutorial can be downloaded here.

The three the most useful links that I found on this subject were: A song for the lovers, the writing a widget turotial on the PyGTK website, and the example in the PyGTK cvs.

The skeleton of the following code will be mostly based off of the example, but since this example will try to accomplish a bit more there will be some extra code. In order to understand this tutorial better I suggest you give a couple of reads.

The starting point is a file names which starts off with some rather standard python stuff:

[code lang=”python”]
#!/usr/bin/env python

import gtk
import gobject
from gtk import gdk
raise SystemExit

import pygtk
if gtk.pygtk_version < (2, 0): print "PyGtk 2.0 or later required for this widget" raise SystemExit [/code]
Continue reading Writing a Custom Widget Using PyGTK

Building an Application with PyGTK and Glade

After working with PyGTK and Glade for my first tutorial, I decided to write another more complex tutorial but I couldn’t think of a topic (Note: If you have any suggestions for any tutorials or posts I’d love to hear them) so I decided to work on creating a simple application and hopefully useful topics would arise from there.

The idea I came up with (which will hopefully be simple) is to create a program that will allow me to keep track of the different types of wine that I drink and how much I like them. It’s something I’ve wanted to write for a while so I thought it would be good to combine learning PyGTK and doing it.

I’m going to call the project PyWine. The full source and Glade file for this tutorial can be found here

The first thing to do is start a new Glade project in the projects directory called PyWine. Create a new Window, call it “mainWindow,” and set the title to be “PyWine”. Then add a handler to the destroy signal just like in the first tutorial.

Next I add a Vertical Box to the Window with 4 rows, (from top to bottom) one row for a Menu bar, one row for a Toolbar, one row for a Tree or List View, and the final row for a Status Bar. Name the Tree View “wineView”

Python Glade

Continue reading Building an Application with PyGTK and Glade

Creating a GUI using PyGTK and Glade

After spending some time creating a GUI using TKinter and having it be pretty easy, but getting frustrated by how linked my code and the GUI was, I decided to look into creating a GUI using another toolkit. After looking around at the options for a while I settled on using PyGTK and Glade

The reason I decided upon using these two technologies is because they are cross platform and using GLADE satisfies my wish to separate the code form the GUI.

If you’ve never heard of Glade before, it’s “a User Interface Builder for GTK+ and GNOME”. It generates XML files which describe the desired GUI.

I’ll let the pyGTK website describe what PyGTK is:

PyGTK provides a convenient wrapper for the GTK+ library for use in Python programs, taking care of many of the boring details such as managing memory and type casting. When combined with PyORBit and gnome-python, it can be used to write full featured Gnome applications.

So there you go, I’m writing this on my freshly installed Debian system. If you are running Debian, or a Debian based distribution getting PyGTK and Glade is pretty simple:
apt-get install python-gtk2 python-glade2

Now lets create our first simple GUI, this is what you will be greeted with when you first start GLADE:

Python RSS Reader

Continue reading Creating a GUI using PyGTK and Glade