[Edu-sig] The fate of vpython

John Zelle john.zelle at wartburg.edu
Tue Oct 10 04:02:46 CEST 2006

On Monday 09 October 2006 6:56 pm, Arthur Siegel wrote:
> On Mon, 2006-10-09 at 18:41 -0500, John Zelle wrote:
> > Just curious, is PyOpenGL easy to install for both Mac and Windows? I
> > know it's dead simple on most Linux distributions. I think it's pretty
> > easy for Windows, but have no experience at all on the Mac.
> Assuming that PyOpenGL *is* easy to install, we come back to the same
> question - an OpenGL windowing context, be it pygame, be it wxWindows,
> be it togl, be it gtkgl, be it whatever one does on Mac.  PyOpenGL
> provides the functionality, given a windowing context, not the windowing
> context.

Right. But VPython really requires very little in the way of windowing 
context. I was thinking that GLUT (available by default in every OpenGL 
platform I've ever run across) would be sufficient. If PyOpenGL runs, GLUT is 
probably available.  I have no idea off the top of my head whether a PyOpenGL 
+ GLUT implementation of VPython is possible. To me, the main worry is how 
threading works across platforms.

> And since much of the cross-platform complexity of vpython is on the
> windowing context issue, I see that solving that issue for vpython is a
> more direct approach to solving the problem. But again, to me vpython
> begins to lose its charm if we have to assume wxPython installed, or
> pygame installed, or Panda3d installed.
> Togl across platforms???

Is Togl another dead end? Is anyone supporting it? Personally, I'm not all 
that excited with TK as a cross-platform solution anymore. It's been 
difficult to keep even my little graphics library stable on TK across 
Windows, Linux, and Mac.


John M. Zelle, Ph.D.             Wartburg College
Professor of Computer Science    Waverly, IA     
john.zelle at wartburg.edu          (319) 352-8360  

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