[Idle-dev] (no subject)

Scott David Daniels Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org
Sun Aug 24 23:40:50 CEST 2008

Bruce Sherwood wrote:
> Scott David Daniels wrote:
>> ....  I have for some time had the sneaky suspicion that there 
>> is something small inside these GUI monsters crying to get
>> out, but I've felt that way since 1980, and I've never read 
>> anything that makes me think,
>>     "Ahh, _that_ is how you do it simply and clearly."
>> So, perhaps I won't ever see that simplicity....
> I'll mention that there exists an easy to use module for Python that 
> creates navigable 3D animations, and simple GUI's, with remarkably 
> little effort. See vpython.org; upon installation there are lots of 
> example programs you can run (most easily from IDLE).
Bruce is absolutely right, VPython does a great job of making a
complicated GUI environment simple.  I guess I mean that I think
there is a simple underlying model of _all_ GUI interfaces that is
not yet well-expressed or available.  I think PostScript comes as
close as we've got to 2-D image description (at least for diagrams),
but it has a _very_ operational, rather than declarative feel, and
does not seem like a set of clear simple primitives.

VPython does a great job of picking a problem area and getting to a
clear simple interface.  Its primitives are clear, concise, and
effective.  I recommend VPython to anyone I meet looking to try 3-D,
to the point I sometimes worry I sound like a broken record.  I had
great success using it to help me explore analysis of a strange
72-dimensional data set.  However, it does not seem to be a core 3-D
model that could be used for "everything" -- architecture through
chip design and heat analysis -- that is the thing I'm looking for,
an abstract framework into which VPython fits as an instance.

-Scott David Daniels
Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org

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