[Edu-sig] The fate of vpython

Dethe Elza delza at livingcode.org
Mon Oct 9 22:59:48 CEST 2006

On 9-Oct-06, at 11:15 AM, Arthur Siegel wrote:

>> My other hope for VPython would be to build it on a more capable 3D
>> system, such as Ogre or Panda3D (Mike Fletcher keeps a large list of
>> such systems: http://www.vrplumber.com/py3d.py).  In this scenario,
>> VPython would be an easier entry point into one of these more capable
>> (and correspondingly more complex) systems, an Ogre-lite so to
>> speak.
> Here I finally get to strongly disagree.  Vpython IMO should remain
> stand-alone, light-weight.  Please, please.

VPython is only lightweight conceptually.  Boost and C++ are not  
lightweight, in my book.  Again, I could only see it going this way  
if there was a library that was easy to install (so that VPython  
became easier to install than it is now), and that doesn't exist  
right now (not for the three main platforms).

All this is just hot air, since I really have nothing to do with how  
VPython goes.

> I also see it as a possible entry point to things like Ogre and  
> Panda3d,
> but that is on a cognitive level, not a technical level.

One interesting way would be to have a pure-python (on top of  
PyOpenGL?) VPython, and a higher performance VPython (maybe on Ogre),  
similarly to how there are now ElementTree (pure-python XML),  
cElementTree (higher performance), and lxml (same API as ElementTree,  
but really a portal to all the XML processing power of libxml and  
libxslt, i.e., much more powerful *and* higher performance).

> As a component to something either high-level and more heavyweight, or
> more low-level, I don't see a purpose to it. I doubt it does anything
> that Panda3d can't already do, and certainly nothing OpenGL can't
> already do.

No comparison with OpenGL, since VPython (and all the 3D libraries I  
know of) already build on OpenGL. They add scenegraphs and higher- 
level APIs, but it's all OpenGL underneath.

My dream would be to have a VPython that is as easy to learn as it is  
now, easier to install than it is now, and capable of growing with  
you for awhile.

But right now that's just a dream.


Lao-Tse  thought XML was verbose but  that did not matter because  
computers  will someday learn from poets. --unknown, via Jason Cunliffe

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