[Pythonmac-SIG] Re: Mac Guikits
kevino at tulane.edu
Wed Feb 9 19:40:46 CET 2005
On Feb 9, 2005, at 7:09 AM, Brendan Simons wrote:
>> It doesn't matter how cheap and fast it is for 5% of
>> the market.
>> If you look at open source graphical toolkits that
>> support at least
>> two platforms, you won't find any that started on
>> the Mac. These
>> are the ones I know of that can be used from Python
>> and where they
>> - QT (Unix)
>> - GTK (Unix)
>> - wxWidgets (Windows)
>> - Tk (Unix)
>> - Fltk (Unix)
>> - Fox (Unix)
>> Consequently the Mac versions of these (if supported
>> at all) is often
>> not as good as the original platform.
(Sorry, I don't see the original message in my inbox, so am responding
to both posts at once.)
Well, depending on what is meant by "as good as" you can give any
answer to this question. ;-) If you mean 100% optimized for that
platform, well, it's doubtful any toolkit except for the native ones
will reach that lofty goal, just as no program but Microsoft Word will
ever reach 100% Word compatibility. (Actually, even IT doesn't achieve
that goal, but anyways...)
But the reason all of this is basically silly to discuss is that in the
end it's about needs. For example:
1) Are there Mac-specific features your app needs that the
cross-platform toolkit doesn't have?
2) How important is cross-platform support for your app?
3) What's your budget/resources for development, or for a Mac port?
Depending on your needs, wxWidgets (or Real Basic, etc.) may very well
support everything you're looking for. If you have other needs, then
maybe Mac only is the way to go. (i.e. wxPython does have an emulated
list control, an issue we hopefully will have resolved for 2.8, along
with CoreGraphics drawing!) Emulated toolkits don't support native LNF
in any real sense so unless you want emulated they're plain out. But
"as good as" discussions are largely academic. You can always use it to
make the point you want by just messing with the criteria you use.
Depending on the criteria (i.e. site compatibility), one can 'prove'
that Safari and Mozilla both are clearly inferior to IE. Once you add
another criteria, though (i.e. security or on Mac lack of updates), the
whole equation changes. But the only real use of said discussions is
trying to "scare" someone into using another product or taking a
So, my advice to anyone doing GUI development - try what's out there
and see what suits you, then use it. Period. While I can certainly see
the merit in discussing specific shortcomings of a toolkit (and
hopefully discussing solutions, too!) I don't see much merit at all in
these simple "this toolkit is inferior because it's not made on Mac"
type of discussions that keep popping up.
> This just goes to show that there IS money to be made
> catering to mac users. In fact, the only reason I've
> switched to Python is to future-proof my applications.
> (But I would -love- to have an IDE / gui builder as
> simple as the one that came with RB)
Yes, the IDE department is an area that cross-platform development
could really use some improvement in! The trick is getting it right,
because you have to abstract layout to some degree in order to support
the HIGs of the various platforms but also make everything 'drag and
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