ANNOUNCE: wxPython

Robin Dunn robin at
Thu Mar 17 06:39:28 CET 2005


I'm pleased to announce the release of wxPython, now available
for download at

What is wxPython?

wxPython is a GUI toolkit for the Python programming language. It
allows Python programmers to create programs with a robust, highly
functional graphical user interface, simply and easily. It is
implemented as a Python extension module that wraps the GUI components
of the popular wxWidgets cross platform library, which is written in

wxPython is a cross-platform toolkit. This means that the same program
will usually run on multiple platforms without modifications.
Currently supported platforms are 32-bit Microsoft Windows, most Linux
or other Unix-like systems using GTK or GTK2, and Apple Macintosh OS

Changes in

wx.Sizer Add, Insert, and Prepend functions now return a reference to the
wx.SizerItem that was added to the sizer, and the wx.SizerItem has a
GetRect accessor to give the position of the item on the parent window.

Added wx.Sizer.GetItem method which returns the wx.SizerItem for the given
wx.Window, wx.Sizer or position index.

wxMSW: wx.RadioButtons in the same group no longer have to be
consecutive (there may be intervening controls). Without this fix, an
out-of-sync assert is generated when clicking on a radio button and
then calling GetValue().

Some XRC changes:
     - Added 'icon' property to wxFrame and wxDialog
     - No longer ignores menu bitmaps on non-MSW platforms
     - Notebook page bitmaps are now supported
     - added system colours and fonts support (based on patch #1038207)

wxMSW: fix for [ 1052989 ] TextCtrl.SetBackgroundColour(wx.NullColour)

Added wx.PasswordEntryDialog analagous to wx.TextEntryDialog, allows
detecting entering an empty string vs. cancel unlike the
wx.GetPasswordFromUser dialog function.

OGL patch from Shane Holloway:

     Two simple problems found in the new python ogl code.  First is
     the patch for  Essentially::

         dx = abs(dc.LogicalToDeviceX(x - self._firstDragX))
         dy = abs(dc.LogicalToDeviceY(y - self._firstDragY))

     was incorrect because (x,y) and (self._firstDragX,
     self._firstDragY) are both already in Logical coordinates.
     Therefore the difference between the two is also in logical
     coordinates, and the conversion call is an error.  This bug
     surfaces when you have OGL on a scrollwin, and you are far from
     the origin of the canvas.

     The second change in basically removes the assumption
     that the child is in both self._children and self._divisions.
     Causes many problems when it's not.  ;)

Fixed GetSaveData and SetSaveData in wx.lib.multisash to not depend on
the default way that class objectss are converted to strings.

Fixed problem in StyledTextCtrl.Set[HV]ScrollBar that could leave the
internal scrollbar visible.

Added wx.StandardPaths which provides methods for determining standard
system paths for each platform.

wxMSW: The window background is now only erased by default if the
background colour or background mode has been changed.  This better
allows the default system themed behaviour to show through for
uncustomized windows.  Explicit support added for using the correct
theme texture for wx.Notebook pages and their children.

wx.Image: Added support for alpha channels in interpolated and
non-interpolated image rotation.  Added ConvertAlphaToMask helper
method for turning shades of grey into shades of alpha and a colour.

wxGTK2: Reimplemented DoDrawRotatedText() by way of a rotation of an
alpha blended text bitmap.  It would be better if Pango could draw
directly into an wxImage (as FreeType can,) but that is for later...

Added wrappers and a demo for the wx.MediaCtrl class, which can play
various forms of audio/video media using native codecs install on the
system.  So far it is only implemented for Windows and OSX.

wxGTK: Patch applied for Freeze()/Thaw() for wxTextCtrtl.

Added "gravity" for splitter window (patch 1046105). Gravity is a
floating-point factor between 0.0 and 1.0 which controls position of
sash while resizing the wx.SplitterWindow.  The gravity specifies
how much the left/top window will grow while resizing.

wxMSW: wx.Slider's C++ implementation rewritten to be more
maintainable and hopefully less buggy.  The position of the labels has
also been changed in order to better comply with Microsoft's examples
of how to use the control.

wxMSW:  Fix wx.TreeCtrl to end label editing if the control loses
focus (a slightly modified patch 1084592.)

Added wx.EXEC_NODISABLE flag for wx.Execute, which will prevent all
the app's windows being disabled while a synchronous child process is

wxMSW: Much work to correct painting (or leaving transparent) of
control backgrounds, properly using background themes on XP, etc.

Fixed a circular reference problem with wx.Timer.  It will now
completely cleanup after itself when the last reference to the timer
is removed.  If you were previously using timer.Destroy() to cleanup
your timers it will no longer work.  Instead you should hold a
reference to the timer and then del the reference when you are
finished with the timer.

Updated to 1.3.24 of SWIG.  All of my big patches have been applied to
the main SWIG source tree, but unfortunatly there were also some bugs
added that affected the wxPython build and a few details in my
original patch were changed/removed, so we are still not free of
patches.  A new patch for SWIG is located in the wxPython/SWIG
directory of the wxPython source tree.  SWIG 1.3.24 plus this patch
should be used by anyone who is making custom modifications to
wxPython's .i files, or building their own extension modules or
etc. that need to interact with the wxPython swigged types.  For the
morbidly curious, here are a few more details:

     * Since it is now possible easily and simply share the SWIG type
       tables across modules I reverted to always using the stock SWIG
       runtime instead of my slightly hacked up version of it exported
       via the wxPython C API.

     * The %name directive is now deprecated so I replaced most uses of
       it with a custom %Rename macro that uses %rename internally.
       These will evetually need to be replaced with a DocDecl macro
       when docstrings are added for those items.

     * The "this" attribute of all SWIGged classes is no longer a
       string containing a "swigified pointer", but rather a custom
       built-in type that holds the real C pointer to the object and
       the type info.  It can be converted to a string like the old
       value using str() or to the long integer value of the pointer
       using long().

Added SetDefaultPyEncoding and GetDefaultPyEncoding functions which
will set/get the encoding used by wxPython to convert string or
unicode objects to/from wxString objects.  Previously the default
Python encoding was always used, but unless the user had tweaked their file it is always "ascii", which would result in
errors if the strings contained character codes >= 128.
SetDefaultPyEncoding will now allow you to control which encoding will
be used to do those conversions.  The default encoding is set to the
value of `locale.getdefaultlocale()[1]` when wxPython is first
imported.  Please see
for information on the differences between the common latin/roman

Added wxStdDialogButtonSizer, which is a a special sizer that knows
how to order and position standard buttons in order to conform to the
current platform's standards.  You simply need to add each `wx.Button`
to the sizer, and be sure to create the buttons using the standard
ID's.  Then call `Realize` and the sizer will take care of the rest.

wxMSW Toolbar: pass correct tool id (and not always -1) to the

wxGTK: Applied patch for combo box SELECTED events (no longer get
lots of surplus events)

wxGTK: Applied patch for proper menu highlight colour detection in

wxGTK: Commited scrollbar patch #1093339 which sends lineup, linedown
events based on intercepting the mouse down events.

wxGTK: Applied patch #1102789 which solved conflicts between wxWidgets
and GTK+'s context menu code.

wxGTK: Applied patch #1100327 for correct feedback from DND actions
(not all actions are allowed).

Fixed memory leak in wxGrid::UpdateAttr[Rows][Or][Cols] (patch 1104355)

For efficiency reasons, text controls no longer set the string for
each text updated event, but rather query for the string value only
when GetString is called from an event handler.

Added wx.SL_INVERSE style which will cause wx.Slider to invert the min
and max ends of the slider.

Several patches applied, such as #1111174, #1110252 and others, that
make the generic wx.TreeCtrl (used on wxGTK and wxMac) be more
conistent with the wxMSW native wx.TreeCtrl.

     * Edit->Locate command (Ctrl-L) for quick selection of items.
       Works with event-handling controls (buttons, text fields) but
       not with labels/sizers.
     * Some improvements: relative paths for files supplied as command-
       line argument work correctly, notebook panels are highlighted

wxMac: Fixed a long-standing issue where wxSlider controls with a
hardcoded size would misplace their labels behind the slider control.

wx.HtmlListBox fixed so calling RefreshLine(s) will cause the data for
that line to be refetched from the overridden methods in the derived

The default DoGetBestSize now includes the difference (if any) between
the client size and total size of the window, (such as the size of
borders.)  Code that sets the client size using the best size, or that
added extra space to sizers to compensate for this bug may need to be

Can suppress themed notebook pages with the wxNB_NOPAGETHEME style or
setting system option msw.notebook.themed-background to 0.

wxSyledTextCtrl updated to use Scintilla 1.62.

Can now set the system option to 1 to
eliminate weird refresh behaviour (delays between a window being
erased and repainted, giving a ghostly gradual-redraw effect). May be
a temporary 'fix' until properly fixed before 2.6.

wxMac:  Toolbar is now more native looking with borderless toolbar

wxMac: Switched wx.Bitmap to use newer Quartz object types and APIs
internally.  This results in faster display and better alpha support.

Added wx.DatePickerCtrl.

wx.html.HtmlWindow now supports background images.

Added wx.lib.gestures module from Daniel Pozmanter which supports
using Mouse Gestures in an application.

wxGTK2: ENTER and LEAVE mouse events are now sent for multi-line text

wxMSW:  "Alt" key (VK_MENU) now results in WXK_ALT keyboard event, not

Added modules from Peter Yared and Morgan Hua that implement the wx
Doc/View framework in pure Python code.  See wx.lib.docview for the
base implementation and wx.lib.pydocview for Python-specific
extensions.  There are also a couple sample applications located in

Added GetBitmap, GetIcon to wx.ImageList.

wxGTK wx.Button.SetLabel no longer invalidates/resets the font.

wx.Sizer.AddWindow, AddSizer, AddSpacer and etc. have now been
undeprecated at the request of Riaan Booysen, the Boa Constructor team
lead.  Boa needs them to help keep track of what kind of item is being
managed by the sizer.  They are now just simple compatibility aliases
for Add, and etc.

The old C++ version of the OGL lib is no longer built by default.  Use
the Python version in the wx.lib.ogl package instead.

The wx.iewin module is no longer built by default.  You can use the
wx.lib.iewin version instead.

Fixed wx.BufferedPaintDC for scrolled windows to work whether the
buffer is covering only the client area or the full virtual area of
the scrolled window.  By default it will assume that only the client
area is covered.  This is different than the old behavior so to
indicate that the entire virtual area is covered simply add a
style=wx.BUFFER_VIRTUAL_AREA parameter.

wx.gizmos.TreeListCtrl:  Add support for the EVT_TREE_ITEM_GETTOOLTIP

Added Resize, SetRGBRect, Size, and GetOrFindMaskColour methods to

Added wx.Rect.IsEmpty

     - Corrected wx.ListBox selection handling
     - Corrected default button size handling for different themes
     - Corrected splitter sash size and look for different themes
     - Fixed keyboard input for dead-keys

Robin Dunn
Software Craftsman  Java give you jitters?  Relax with wxPython!

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