[IronPython] .NET vs. Tk vs. PyQt . . <Newbie question>

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Sun Jan 13 19:23:31 CET 2008

Keith Hoard wrote:
> What are the "big picture" differences between these three?
> I've figured out that all three give Python GUI capability.  I also 
> know that .NET is specific to Windows and in addition gives access to 
> sound and graphics capability of the computer.  Tk and PyQt are 
> available for both Windows and Linux.  I'm sure there are other 
> extensions out there that I'm not aware of that provide the same 
> functionality.

You're really comparing apples and oranges here.

.NET (and Mono) are *platforms* for creating and running applications. 
They give access to libraries (like Windows Forms) for creating GUIs.

PyQt and Tkinter are GUI libraries that run *on* CPython (and not on .NET).

There are lots of GUI toolkits available for CPython, but very few that 
are easy to use from both CPython and IronPython.

The Mono implementation of Windows Forms is getting very capable now, so 
it is a good target for creating attractive cross-platform applications 
with IronPython.

Tk is a bit of an odd user interface - and by default it looks quite 
ugly.  You can tweak to produce modern looking applications, but it 
wouldn't be my first choice of GUI toolkit.

Other libraries like PyQt, wxPython, GTK etc, are good ways of creating 
good looking desktop applications with CPython. Choosing which one to 
use is a difficult task...

I hope this helps.

Michael Foord

> Do any of these three systems rely on each other?  When you write an 
> application, would I ever use .NET in one part and Tk in another and 
> PyQt in another?  If I write an application in Python using one of 
> these systems, would another user on a different OS have to make 
> extensive changes to the program to run it on their system, or is that 
> the beauty of the multi-platform extensions? 
> I'm not looking for extensive in-depth tutorial (I'll get to that in a 
> few months!!), just trying to figure out in my mind the differences of 
> these three systems.
> Thanks in advance. . .
> -- 
> Keith Hoard
> Collierville, TN
> khoard at gmail.com <mailto:khoard at gmail.com>
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