I teach college classes in Python. I currently teach Intro to Python at two different colleges in Silicon Valley (California).
For about the last two years, I have been working on the development of a new course (and book). The goal is to teach Object-Oriented Programming using Python and Pygame. To this end, I have been working on the development of two packages that implement of a number of common user interface and other elements that my students can use to build Pygame-based games (and other programs). The idea is that if I supply GUI "widgets" and other often-used classes and functions, then my students can concentrate on building the core of their projects. Some of my more advanced students have been using these packages for a while in their final projects of my Intro to Python course, and I look forward to working through the details of how they are built in my new OOP course.
I am announcing them here in the hopes that people will try them out can give me feedback about their usefulness. All code is in Python 3.
There are two packages:
pygwidgets - a number of graphical user interface widgets, each implemented as a class. This package includes:
- Animation - shows a list of images in order with timing
- CustomButton - standard button built from supplied custom artwork
- CustomCheckBox - standard check box built from supplied custom artwork
- CustomRadioButton - standard radio button built from supplied custom artwork
- DisplayText - for displaying text in a window
- Dragger - to drag an image around a window
- Image - displays an image in a window
- ImageCollection - a collection of images, any of which can be displayed at any time
- InputText - a field where the user can type
- SpriteSheetAnimation - animation class that uses a single sprite sheet
- TextButton - standard button built from a string of text
- TextCheckBox - standard check box built from a string of text
- TextRadioButton - standard Radio button built from a string of text
Full documentation is available at: https://pygwidgets.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ One of the main goals was to make the calling sequences of these classes very similar. The package was inspired by "PygButton" written by Al Sweigart. I decided to split that into TextButton (where it builds a button based just on a text string) and CustomButton (where programmers could use their own art, because most of my students are art students). The package grew from there to include other elements as they were requested or I found the need for them in my programs.
pyghelpers - a collection of classes and functions for use with Pygame programs. Classes are:
- CountDownTimer - A timer that counts down from a starting point
- CountUpTimer - A timer that counts up from zero
- Scene - a base class for a scene managed by the SceneMgr
- SceneMgr - allows for a Pygame program to have multiple scenes, and communicate between scenes
- Timer - a simple timer
(additional functions in pyghelpers)
- closeFile - closes an already opened file
- customAnswerDialog - a dialog box built using custom artwork that allows the user to type an answer and select yes/no, OK/Cancel, etc
- customYesNoDialog - a dialog box built using custom artwork that displays a message and allows the user to select yes/no, OK/Cancel, etc.
- fileExists - find out if a file at a given path exists
- openFileForReading - opens a file for reading
- openFileForWriting - opens a file for writing
- readALine - reads a single line of text from an opened file
- readFile - reads the full contents of a file
- textAnswerDialog - a dialog box built from TextButtons (see pygwidgets) that allows the user to type an answer and select yes/no, OK/Cancel, etc.
- textYesNoDialog - a dialog box built from TextButtons (see pygwidgets) that displays a message and allows the user to select yes/no, OK/Cancel, etc.
- writeALine - writes a single line of text to a file
- writeFile - writes to a text file
Full documentation is available at: https://pyghelpers.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
Both packages are available on PyPI. They can be downloaded and installed with pip (I use pip3 because I have Python 2 and Python 3 installed on my system):
pip3 install pygwidgets -U --user
pip3 install pyghelpers -U --user
I have done extensive testing all this with Python 3.6.1 and Pygame 1.9.3 on both Mac and Windows. Some of my students have also done some testing with Python 3.7 and Pygame 1.9.4.
This is my first attempt at doing Python packaging, and to be honest, I found it extremely painful. Because this part was all new to me, I have literally spent months working on the packaging, documentation (ReadTheDocs), git, GitHub, posting to PyPI, etc. But I believe (hope) that it is finally working correctly.
The above commands should install "pygwidgets" and "pyghelpers" into the user's site-packages folder. I use them in my programs by just using a simple import:
The pygwidgets installation also installs the following test program in the user's site-packages folder:
site-packages/pygwidgets/pygwidgets_test/Main_Test_pygwidgets.py <- shows off many of the capabilities of pygwidgets
The pyghelpers installation places two test programs in the user's site-packages folder:
site-packages/pyghelpers_test/DialogTester/Main_DialogTester.py <- demonstrates how to use dialog box code
site-packages/pyghelpers_test/Dodger/Main_Dodger.py <- full game that demonstrates many capabilities of pygwidgets and pyghelpers
an object-oriented version of Al Sweigart's game (with his permission)
I have built a number of small games using these two packages. If people are interested, I could upload more example games.
I typically build/run these programs using either IDLE or PyCharm. I never use the command line for running Python, but if you set your path to these folders, they should run just fine that way too.
I look forward to any feedback.