[IPython-dev] Interactive wx/pylab with no threads (PyOS_InputHook)

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 03:53:18 EST 2009

On Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 10:00 PM, Gael Varoquaux
<gael.varoquaux at normalesup.org> wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 08, 2009 at 08:49:07PM -0800, Barry Wark wrote:

>> > From my reading, it seems that Brian is well on his way to having a
>> > threading-free core for Qt and GTK. With the awesome new (in a recent
>> > version, I forget which) OS X backend for matplotlib and the existing
>> > ability of  Twisted's _threadedselect reactor to work with OS X's
>> > CFRunLoop via PyObjC (it uses a very similar mechanism to the
>> > PyOS_InputHook, no?), I suspect that a similar approach will work with
>> > OS X as well. I know this may sound heretical to some, but if
>> > supporting Wx GUI loops natively requires compromising the hackability
>> > and testability of the IPython core, do we *need* to support it?
> All the libraries I use, I use them through Wx GUI loops. And it is the
> case of most people under Windows (I am under Linux). The reason behind
> both statement is that Wx has been historically the easy way to have a
> powerful GUI shared between major operating systems. Maybe Qt is the way
> forward now, but it is not yet established. The problem with Wx
> (recursive Yeilds) comes from the fact that it supports different event
> loop with different semantics on different platforms, so it comes from
> that richness.
> Wx is the toolkit where you will find the largest amount of mature
> contributions. I know that matplotlib has a variety of different toolkit
> support, but matplotlib is an exemption.
> Do we need wx support? I guess not, but I would be jumping ship, and many
> people would.

Barry,  I think you make a very valid point, but quite unfortunately,
I have to side with Gael on this one: Wx *today* gives us Chaco,
Mayavi2, Envisage, TraitsGUI and friends.  That's a LOT of
functionality that many of us need and use, and we can't really dump
that user base.  We can look into perhaps refactoring 'ipython
-wthread' into some ghetto where it doesn't "pollute" the rest of the
code quite so much, and I'm totally open to that.  But I think *right
now* dropping Wx would be a mistake.

However, note above my emphasis on "now".  That's because I'm very
much hoping that PyQt will go LGPL and that over time, Qt will come to
replace Wx in the roles we're interested in.  If/when that comes to
pass, we may very well see this discussion in a very different light.



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