I want to briefly describe how to use the book’s examples here. In general, though, please see the following text files in the examples distribution directory for more details:
README-root.txt: package structure notes
PP2E\README-PP2E.txt: general usage notes
PP2E\Config\setup-pp.bat: Windows configuration
PP2E\Config\setup-pp.csh: Unix and Linux
Of these, the
README-PP2E.txt file is the most
informative, and the
contains all configuration file examples. I give an overview here,
but the files listed give a complete description.
If you want to see some Python examples right away, do this:
Install Python from the book’s CD-ROM (see http://examples.oreilly.com/python2), unless it is already installed on your computer. On Windows, click on the name of the self-installer program on the CD and do a default install (say “yes” or “next” to every prompt). On other systems, see the README file (the gzipped source distribution on the CD can be used to build Python locally).
Start one of the following self-configuring scripts located in the top-level
Examples\PP2E directory on the CD (see http://examples.oreilly.com/python2). Either click
on their icons in your file explorer, or run them from your system
prompt (e.g., DOS console box, Linux Xterm) using command lines of
script-name (you may need to use the full
python if it’s not on your system):
Launch_PyDemos.pyw: the main Python/Tk demo
Launch_PyGadgets_bar.pyw: a Python/Tk utilities
Launch_PyGadgets.py: starts standard Python/Tk
LaunchBrowser.py: opens web examples index in
Launch_* scripts start Python programs
portably and require only that Python be installed -- you
don’t need to set environment variables first or tweak the
PP2E\Config setup files to run them.
LaunchBrowser will work if it can find a web
browser on your machine, even if you don’t have an Internet
link (though some Internet examples won’t work completely
without a live link).
If installing Python isn’t an option, you can still run a few Python web demos by visiting http://starship.python.net/~lutz/PyInternetDemos.html with your browser. Because these examples execute scripts on a server, they tend to work best when run live from this site, rather than from the book’s CD.
To help organize the new examples, I’ve provided a demo
PyDemos.pyw, in the top-level
PP2E directory of the examples distribution.
Figure P-1 shows PyDemos in action on Windows after
pressing a few buttons. The launcher bar appears on the left of the
screen; with it, you can run most of the major graphical examples in
the book with a mouse click. The demo launcher bar can also be used
to start major Internet book examples if a browser can be located on
your machine (see the following launcher description).
Besides launching demos, the PyDemos source code provides pointers to major examples in the distribution; see its source code for details. You’ll also find Linux automated build scripts for the Python/C integration examples in the top-level examples directory, which serve as indexes to major C examples.
Figure 1. The PyDemos launcher with pop-ups and demos (Guido’s photo reprinted with permission from Dr. Dobb’s Journal)
I’ve also included a top-level program called
PyGadgets.py, and its relative
PyGadgets_bar.pyw, to launch some of the more
useful GUI book examples for real use instead of demonstration
(mostly, the programs I use often; configure as desired). Figure P-2 shows what
looks like on Windows, along with a few of the utilities that its
buttons can launch. All of the programs are presented in this book
and included in the examples distribution. Most gadgets require a
Python with Tkinter support, but that is the default configuration
for the standard Windows port on the book’s CD (see http://examples.oreilly.com/python2).
To run the files listed in the prior paragraph directly, you’ll
need to set up your Python module search path (see the top-level
PP2E/Config/setup* files for hints). But if you
want to run a collection of Python demos from the book and
don’t want to bother with setting up your environment first,
simply run the self-launching utility scripts in the
PP2E directory instead:
These Python-coded launcher scripts assume Python has already been
installed, but will automatically find your Python executable and the
book examples distribution, and set up your Python module and system
search paths as needed to run the demos. You can probably run these
launch scripts by simply clicking on their names in a file explorer,
and you should also be able to run them directly from the
book’s CD-ROM (see http://examples.oreilly.com/python2). See the comments at the top of
Launcher.py for more details (or read about
these scripts in Chapter 4 ).
Many of the browser-based Internet examples from the book can also be found online at http://starship.python.net/~lutz/PyInternetDemos.html, where you can test-drive a few Python Internet scripting examples. Because these examples run in your web browser, they can be tested even if you haven’t installed Python (or Python’s Tk support) on your machine.
The PyDemos program also attempts to launch a web browser on the
major example web pages by starting the
LaunchBrowser.py script in the examples root
directory. That script tries to find a usable browser on your
machine, with generally good results; see the script for more details
if it fails. Provided
LaunchBrowser can find a
browser on your machine, some demo buttons will pop up web pages
automatically, whether you have a live Internet connection or not (if
not, you’ll see local files in your browser). Figure P-3 shows what the PyInternetDemos page looks like
under Internet Explorer on Windows.
Of special interest, the
getfile.html link on
this page allows you to view the source code of any other file on the
book’s site -- HTML code, Python CGI scripts, and so on; see
Chapter 12 for details. To summarize, here is what
you’ll find in the top-level
directory of the book’s examples distribution:
Button bar for starting major GUI and Internet examples
Starts programs in non-demo mode for regular use
Button bar for starting PyGadgets on demand
Starts PyDemos and PyGadgets programs using
Launcher.py to autoconfigure search paths (run
these for a quick look)
Used to start programs without environment settings -- finds Python, sets PYTHONPATH, spawns Python programs
Opens example web pages with an automatically located web browser, either live off the Net or by opening local web page files; if started directly, opens the PyInternetDemos index page
There are also subdirectories for examples from each major topic area of the book.
In addition, the top-level
directory contains Python-coded command-line utilities for converting
line-feeds in all example text files to DOS or Unix format (useful if
they look odd in your text editor), making all example files writable
(useful if you drag-and-drop off the book’s CD (see http://examples.oreilly.com/python2), deleting old
pyc bytecode files in the tree, and more.
Again, see the distribution’s
README-PP2E.txt file for more details on all
The book examples distribution can be found on the CD-ROM that accompanies this book. See the CD’s top-level README file for usage details, or browse the CD’s example root directory in your favorite file explorer for a quick tour.
In addition to the book examples, the CD also contains various Python-related packages, including a full Windows self-installer program with Python and Tk support (double-click and say “yes” at all prompts to install), the full Python source code distribution (unpack and compile on your machine), and Python’s standard documentation set in HTML form (click to view in your web browser).
Extra open source packages such as the latest releases (at the time of publication) of the SWIG code generator and JPython are also included, but you can always find up-to-date releases of Python and other packages at Python’s web site, http://www.python.org.
 All the demo and launcher scripts are written portably but are known to work only on Windows 95/98 and Linux at the time of this writing; they may require minor changes on other platforms. Apologies if you’re using a platform that I could not test: Tk runs on Windows, X11, and Macs; Python itself runs on everything from handheld PDAs to mainframes; and my advance for writing this book wasn’t as big as you may think.