[IPython-dev] PySide to replace PyQt?

Glenn Tarbox, PhD glenn at tarbox.org
Tue Aug 25 23:31:53 EDT 2009

Sooner or later, something was gonna need to happen WRT Riverbank and the
PyQt licensing.  I had hoped that an entirely new project wasn't going to be
necessary.... but apparently it is.

PySide Released to the Wild:

>From the PySide FAQ

What about PyQt?

Nokia’s initial research into Python bindings for Qt involved speaking with
Riverbank Computing, the makers of PyQt. We had several discussions with
them to see if it was possible to use PyQt to achieve our goals.
Unfortunately, a common agreement could not be found , so in the end we
decided to proceed with PySide.

We will however maintain API compatibility with PyQt (you can use the same
method names but can’t inter-operate with PyQt), at least for the initial
release. To import PySide you have to use “import PySide” instead of “import

I didn't know where to post this.  PySide needs to mature a bit (support
more than Linux for example) but both Matplotlib and Enthought are
affected.  PyQt will likely need to be replaced in both packages once PySide
becomes more mature as the licensing of PyQt is problematic now that Qt is
LGPL.  Its also likely that with Nokia's backing, the PySide API will
eventually dominate.

Hopefully, the above statement regarding the similarity of the API will make
moving over easy.  Personally I'd like to see a focus on Qt vs Wx by
Enthought as I believe it to be much more powerful... but thats my personal
opinion and what I use.

As a side note, I've successfully nailed my C++ Qt code to IPython using a
Cython shim.  The PyQt event loop is available and all seems to work great.


Glenn H. Tarbox, PhD ||  206-274-6919
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