Tkinter vs. PyQt

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams ignacio at
Mon Aug 27 15:10:26 CEST 2001

On 27 Aug 2001, Paul Rubin wrote:

> OK, sure, I'd like to hear more about PyGTK too.

PyGTK's homepage is Just to warn you,
there is a dearth of documentation about PyGTK. But that's okay, because PyGTK
is built on GTK+ (, and there is plenty of documentation
for GTK+ :)

One thing I would suggest is to take a look at the testgtk programs under GTK+
and PyGTK and see where they differ. That'll tell you what you need to
interpret differently when reading the GTK+ docs.

Another nice thing is that both GTK+ and PyGTK have been ported from Linux to
Windows, so you don't sacrifice portablility versus Tk, Qt, or wx. Plus, GTK+
doesn't have all those licensing issues that Qt does.

>  [snip]
> My calculator is at
> if anyone wants to look at it.  Comments are welcome but don't expect
> much--I just threw it together to try out the toolkit, not to make
> something slick or useful.  I might try to fix it up further sometime
> though (and there's a function or two that I didn't get around to
> implementing).


I definitely think it would look sharper using PyGTK. Give it a go.

> I'm impressed though that with Tkinter I was able to implement a
> more-or-less working calculator with just 3k of code.  I'm sure
> the Micrsoft Windows calculator is at least 100x that size <g>.

It'll probably be about 5k with PyGTK I suppose, but it'll look sharper and
have more features ;) In fact, the C version of the calculator written using
GTK+ (gcalc, found in the gnome-utils package, for anyone who cares) is only
about 7.5k in size.

> I'm still very interested in hearing comparisons between Tkinter
> and other Python toolkits.

Oh, and if everything else written above isn't enough, GTK+ is _themeable_.
If you want, you can specify a theme to use with your application. Or you can
let the user choose a global theme for all GTK+ applications and roll with
that. Either! Both! Whatever! As long as you can get a grip on the themeing
engine, you can do anything you like.

Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams  <ignacio at>

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