[Edu-sig] Shuttleworth Summit

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Fri Apr 21 20:38:48 CEST 2006

On 4/21/06, Dethe Elza <delza at livingcode.org> wrote:
> The Mozilla project has some of the best cross-platform widget-level
> toolboxes, including SVG (and they are looking at OpenGL support).
> The funny thing about most cross-platform graphics toolkits is that
> the ignore the platform with the best graphics: OS X.

Isn't Mozilla big as a bus?

Also, the goal (in an educational context) is *not* a pre-built widget
set but a fast raw graphics environment on tolp of which you can
design your own widget set. This is not particularly good application
design from a classic POV (since you're not getting native widget
functionality) but the importance from an educational POV is that it
lets students "open the hood" and see how things are implemented
(almost) all the way to the raw bitblt operations.

> > The approach that seems to make the most sense to me (but I'm open for
> > alternatives) is to start out by producing a solid low-level graphics
> > package like this that can work across platforms (Linux, Windows and
> > OSX preferably); once that is settled, we could build an application
> > resembling Squeak's UI.
> That's a huge project to start from scratch.  Mozilla-the-toolkit is
> adding support for Python in the next major version, perhaps Python
> can leverage that?

Not clear how since Mozilla would still be on top. Anyway, I explained
above that I don't want a widget toolkit to build on.

> More on the Smalltalk-Squeak-OS X interplay:  Squeak may be
> "cross-platform" but it's always been unusably slow on OS X when I've
> tried it.

Yes, that's a problem with their cross-platform
lowest-common-denominator approach. Perhaps they even used the X11
emulation on OSX...

That's why Alan Kay suggested that Python start at a different
abstraction level, more in tune with graphics accelerator hardware
(not that I have any idea what such hardware is capable of these days,
or what type of API it has).

> I'm used to building GUIs with the PyObjC bridge and native
> Cocoa widgets, which are generally as fast in Python as they are in
> Objective-C. Also, Objective-C is based directly on Smalltalk, but
> meshes *really* well with Python, and there is a cross-platform
> version of much of the Cocoa library: GnuStep.  GnuStep isn't all the
> way there, but it could be a good place to start if the Mozilla
> libararies aren't chosen.

Um, the same problem -- it's a widget library. Did you see the posts
about pygame? That's a more likely candidate.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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