Up to now, this chapter has been command-line-oriented. To wrap up, I want to show you a program that merges the GUI technology we studied earlier in the book with some of the data structure ideas we’ve met in this chapter.
This program is called PyTree, a generic tree data structure viewer written in Python with the Tkinter GUI library. PyTree sketches out the nodes of a tree on-screen as boxes connected by arrows. It also knows how to route mouse clicks on drawn tree nodes back to the tree, to trigger tree-specific actions. Because PyTree lets you visualize the structure of the tree generated by a set of parameters, it’s a fun way to explore tree-based algorithms.
PyTree supports arbitrary tree types by “wrapping” real trees in interface objects. The interface objects implement a standard protocol by communicating with the underlying tree object. For the purposes of this chapter, PyTree is instrumented to display binary search trees; for the next chapter, it’s also set up to render expression parse trees. New trees can be viewed by coding wrapper classes to interface to new tree types.
The GUI interfaces PyTree utilizes were covered in depth earlier in this book, so I won’t go over this code in much detail here. See Part III for background details and be sure to run this program on your own computer to get a better feel for its operation. Because it is written with Python and Tkinter, it should be portable to Windows, Unix, and Macs.