Noel Rappin Writes Here

Playing in the Sandbox

Posted on December 14, 2006


This message showed up in the Manning Sandbox forum for wxPython In Action.  After saying some nice things about the book, the poster has some suggestions:

I would love to see an advanced volume covering topics such as XRC, using XML to define a screen layout; creating custom widgets…  internationalization, and a full chapter or more expanding on chapter 5 “Creating your blueprint.” I find that… program organization is most important yet little seems to be written about it, for any programming language…. A book that illustrates solutions to design problems using patterns, Python, and wxPython will help many people…

Thanks for the kind words.  I’m thrilled that you found the book helpful.

There are about three or four things that I regret not being able to include in the book.  XRC is definitely on that list – I think that XML or other GUI description languages are going to be increasingly important.  (Also on the list: multimedia and how to distribute your finished program).

These all got pushed out of the book over space considerations.  We were something like 75 pages over budget as it was.  Owing to some communication issues, nobody realized that we were that far over our page count until the pages were already written, and while it wasn’t a problem to get them approved, it did mean that we didn’t push forward into other topics.

There are no current plans for a second book, although it’s not out of the question that we’d fill a gap or two with an article on line somewhere.  (To be clear, there are no current plans for that, either).  Frankly, sales are not high enough for a publisher to seek us out for a second book at this point, especially since an advanced book would, almost by definition, sell fewer copies than the original.  That’s not a knock on the sales, which seem to be roughly in line with publisher expectations, just a comment on the size of the potential market.

As for a patterns/program organization book for Python, I’d love to write one.  For one thing, it’d give me a chance to rant at length about the finer points of architecture and class structure.  I’ve been known to have an opinion or two on the topic.  The main problem would be selling it.  My sense is that it’s rather hard to sell a general-topic programming book compared to one that’s tied to a specific tool or product.  This would especially be true for a relatively small market like Python. 

Still, that’s what blogs are for, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some interesting thoughts on those lines here.



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