[Python-Dev] Miscellaneous comments on Tkinter and related matters
Wed, 25 Oct 2000 09:58:53 -0500 (CDT)
I can rarely afford to dip into Python-Dev. My head is exploding
too much of the time as it is.
Maybe I can help with the recent Tkinter discussions, though.
1. Tcl's going to be around for a long time.
Here's the insider scoop on what the Ajuba
Solutions announcement means: insiders
don't know. That is, *nobody* is sure how
Tcl will develop.
It'll survive, though, for quite a while.
Do NOT worry that it'll suddenly dry up
and blow away.
I'm working on a more detailed explanation
of Tcl processes. It'll probably take a
few weeks, though. In the meantime, just
ignore the mess, and understand that the
Tcl Core Team includes bright people who'll
land on their feet somehow.
2. I agree that MacOS is the thorny problem for
the standard Pysolution. I'd be happy to
discuss the possibilities (Tkinter? wxWindows?
Qt?!? GTK+?!!?!? ...) with a smaller group,
and, of course, Fredrik, Robin, Guido, ...
all are quite knowledgeable about these
There are a few things you should know about
the Tcl side. The bad is that Tk is barely
maintained for MacOS. It's really rather
miserable. On the other hand, Jim Ingham is
now an Apple employee, and things could change
in a hurry, at any time.
The good is that Tk starts far ahead of any
competitor. It has already solved most of
the hard problems. All it needs is a little
3. Is there a way to have Tk without contamination
by Tcl? More than ever. This is what makes me
most cheerful about Tkinter's prospects. The
Tcl Core Team has largely given up its hangups
about co-operating with foreigners (or its
hangups that barbarians have hangups about co-
operating with Tcl). This is a *very* good
time for someone like Fredrik to establish a
working relationship, and get CVS access. I
really think Tk can be maintained by a different
group than Tcl.
Perl, Ruby, ... folks are also receptive to the
idea (I've talked with them). For pointers to
some of what's happening in this area, see
Also, you should know that my favorite enhancement
to Tk is a remodularization called TkGS. This
should improve performance under Win*, make it
more portable to BeOS, improve access by Python,
and so on.
4. Greg's right that some publishers are dumping Tcl.
Not all, though. If it matters, we can go into
5. Pango is indeed cool, but it's different from
[text]. The world is probably moving to Pango and
similar implementations. The world will be missing
much of what [text] offers.
6. ANYONE with an urge to get out a Python-related
idea should pursue it. *DDJ*'s a great outlet.
It's far from the only one. If people have ideas
about articles, but are held back by lack of time/
fluency/contacts/..., *please* get in touch with
me. I'll find a way at least to give articles a
fair chance at being published.
Cameron Laird <claird@NeoSoft.com> +1 281 996 8546 FAX