[Edu-sig] Visual Programming in Python?

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 23:05:43 CEST 2006

> I think that this round-trip ability would be required to make it useful
> to the growing Python community, and toolbox. That way, people see,
> literally, how making a graphical box in one place matches up exactly with
> code in a program. DBASE IV, I think it was, did this very well---they had
> a graphical editing system for forms, but the form was stored as pure
> DBASE code. Foxpro, on the other hand, stored their forms in tables. (I
> mention these because Kirby and I both worked in Foxpro for a few years.)
> I don't think it would be that hard to do round-trip for Python.
> -Doug

Actually dBase IV wasn't round trip.  If you want to change the form,
change it graphically.  If you change the source directly, you'll
break the link back to the form.  The typical workaround was to not
put a lot of code directly in forms, but do calls to external
procedure files.

FoxPro did it better, still not round trip exactly.  No friendly way
to go into those tables except through the GUI/Project front end. 
Microsoft has made a name for itself in providing these GUI-based drag
and drop component/object based programming environments.  Python is
less popular with those accustomed to Visual Studio and/or FoxPro
because it indeed lacks a fully developed version of such an IDE.

Boa Constructor and wx-based PythonCard are the two in this genre I'm
most aware of, with the latter consciously aimed at those with a MSFT
VB type background.

We're no longer talking about kid-friendly programming though.  This
is about adult application developers who want to save time,
especially when it comes to visually designing a user interface from
palettes of canned widgets.

I still use Visual FoxPro to this day, for precisely such interface work.


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