Python GUIs: Abandoning TkInter and welcoming wxPython?

Robin Dunn robin at
Tue Jun 29 03:07:59 EDT 1999

Jeffrey Chang wrote in message ...
>On Fri, 25 Jun 1999, Mikael Lyngvig wrote:
>> I'd like some discussion on whether or not it is a good idea to
>> abandon TkInter, before it gets too widely used, and instead adopt
>> wxPython as the primary GUI framework for Python.
>Abandoning Tkinter seems a little bit extreme, since there are some
>applications for which its event model is well-suited.
>A few weeks ago I needed to build a viewer that displays binary trees
>whose branches have variable lengths (actually, phylogenetic trees for
>biological data).  Since the trees are large, I need to be able to slide
>it around the window.  In addition, I needed each node to be clickable so
>that the user can query for more data.
>Tkinter is very good for that type of thing.  All I needed to do was
>create a Canvas and then for each node, create an Oval with a callback to
>a function that handles node clicks.  Tk keeps track of the coordinates of
>each Item so that I don't have to.  Also, whenever I wanted to move the
>tree, all I had to do was:
>for widget in self._canvas.find_all():
>    self._canvas.move(widget, xoff, yoff)
>Of course, Tk incurrs an overhead by making everything you draw on the
>canvas its own object, but for this case, it made thigns a lot easier.
>Although I haven't used wxWindows before, but the documentation suggests
>that it would be a lot more difficult for this kind of application.  In
>wxWindows, I would need to draw each of my nodes into a window using a
>device context.  Then, I'd have to write a function that would handle
>mouse clicks in the window.  That function would need to get the
>coordinates and then figure out whether it intersects with any of my
>nodes, which Tk would've handled for me.  In addition, whenever I wanted
>to move the tree, I'd have to erase the window and redraw each node.  If I
>wanted that optimized, I'd need to write routines that would only redraw
>the uncovered parts of the tree, which means figuring out which nodes are
>newly revealed.
>From what other people have said about wxPython, it seems like it may be
>appropriate for other types of applications.  However, I'd hate to see
>Tkinter dumped because it's not appropriate for everything!

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