Python good for translating GUI built in Java?

Alan Daniels daniels at
Wed Mar 15 03:02:47 CET 2000

On 13 Mar 2000 20:42:18 -0800, the infinitely wise Matthew L. Ginsberg
(ginsberg at spoke forth to us, saying...

>Let's see.  Principal complaint: between 1.1.7A and 1.2, they changed it
>so that spawning a subprocess always pops up a dos window, which is
>fatal for my app.  Sun has been completely nonresponsive to complaints
>(mine and others) that they fix this.  In addition, 1.2 is 10MB bigger
>than 1.1.7A, which is also bad news for me (the program I'm spawning
>is a memory hog).  So I'm stuck with 1.1.7A, and awt is badly
>implemented, with lots of bugs, etc ...

Now I understand, and I'm there with you. I've run into API gotchas
even on the supposedly up-to-date stuff. For a Java app I just wrote,
I originally tried to write it using Swing for the GUI, but the damn
thing kept drawing menus *underneath* any other window contents, no
matter what I tried. A web and Deja search never produced any answers,
so after a while I just gave up and coded with a plain vanilla AWT
API. Here's this wonderful set of GUI classes which doesn't work, so
I'm reduced to coding it in an API which will probably be declared
obsolete any day now. Joy.

And you're right, Java 1.2 is big, really big (imagine a William
Shatner voiceover). They could have modularized the runtime download a

My own (unsubstantiated) theory is that Sun has been so busy
reinventing the wheel for every last possible facet of computing that
they've never had the time to get the bugs out. Case in point: Swing,
and even AWT. Wasn't Sun already sponsoring Osterhout and his work on
Tcl/Tk? Why didn't they just use *that*? Python was able to make an OO
wrapper around Tk, so why not Java? Why did they have to start from
scratch? Same thing in other areas, too: Rather than put an OO wrapper
around OpenGL, they invent their own from-the-ground-up 3D API that
nobody uses, rather than Postscript as an imaging model they invent
Java2D, etc etc. If they'd used the working cross-platform foundations
that were already out there and working, Java would be a lot stabler
by now.

Reinvent-too-many-wheels-at-once-and-some-will-wobble'ly yours,

Alan Daniels
daniels at
daniels at

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