These past few days I realised I’m a bit rusty on my appication programming, having mainly programmed scripts and websites for quite a few years. I decided I wanted to go back to the good old Visual Basic days, but if possible without VB. Since wxPython is apparently the best toolkit available for Python, I decided to give it a try.

Needless to say, I was swamped. Sadly, despite the best efforts of the people working on this project, the documentation isn’t exactly the best. I had no idea what to do, but I knew that I’d need an graphical IDE if I was going to design anything using this thing, so I downloaded Boa Constructor (get the CVS version).

I have also realised that I have too many Gmail accounts for my own good, and that I need a good way to check them all. I haven’t found a good Gmail checker for Windows (I think there are some good ones for Linux) that can handle multiple accounts, so I decided to make one. The actual checking is 4-5 lines of Python (I love this language), so the UI remained.

After a few hours of fiddling around, I managed to get the hang of it. Its learning curve is really steep at first, but only for a couple of hours, so now I find myself developing an application with all the ease and power of python and the speed of RAD, which is ostensibly quite rapid.

Boa’s tab completion is awesome, and together with the pydoc generated wxPython docs (plus the very very full-featured demo) you’ll be developing away in no time.

There are some really amazing pieces of open source software, and Boa and wxPython are two. wxPython has a host of controls available, from HTML renderers to animated controls to anything you can imagine. Also, they are all native to any platform it runs under, so it’s nothing weird looking (I’m looking at you, swing).

About this checker, it will support multiple accounts, configurable intervals, and it will be able to check emails from “Gmail for your domain” accounts. It will also hopefully run on every OS there’s a wxPython for, which is something like Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Palm and various others, so check back here in a while.