Python for win32 development, GUI, Database, dlls

David LeBlanc whisper at oz.nospamnet
Tue Jun 12 20:10:22 CEST 2001

In article <9fnrc8$lmp$1 at>, kvdwalt at 
> I have been approached in a 'time to market situation'.
> Python appears to me to be a strategic choice, however:
> this is a number crunching application most numeric stuff in existing
> (fortran) dll
> the new development will entail a lot of visualization, pseudo GIS like,
> animation (coloring of contours), plain media (digital picures, video) in
> a rich interactive GUI
> then all of this data in MS Access (what else?), with reports and graphs on
> top of it. OK the latter can be in a reportwriter as long as one can call an
> .exe with commandline parms from python) Integration with MS Office formats
> (not ole automation) would be important (thus MS Access for imports
> exports).
> Any grave misgivings?
> Any pointers?
> Commercial libraries? However the exchange rate doesn't favour that :(
> tx k

Python has a rich bag of tricks for approaching this problem.

For numerics, there's NumPy at

Also, something called ScientificPython:
"ScientificPython is a collection of Python modules that are useful for 
scientific computing. In this collection you will find modules that cover 
basic geometry (vectors, tensors, transformations, vector and tensor 
fields), quaternions, automatic derivatives, (linear) interpolation, 
polynomials, elementary statistics, nonlinear least-squares fits, unit 
calculations, Fortran-compatible text formatting, 3D visualization via 
VRML, and two Tk widgets for simple line plots and 3D wireframe models."
Find it at: 

The other alternative is to use a C extension module or possibly use SWIG 
to wrap the existing fortran.dll.

For visualization, VTK ( with it's python 
wrapper is almost unbeatable. Used in conjunction with WxWindows or the 
Fast Light Tookkit, which both have wrapper widgets for VTK, you have a 
complete open source UI solution with OpenGL based 3D visualization. 
(N.B. Don't let the "" part of the url deter you - they sell 
support and a great fat book on how to use VTK, but the sources are free 
and it's unrestricted for commercial uses afaik).

For charts and graphs, there is the BLT extension to tkinter.

For plain images, check out the Python Imaging Library "PIL".

There are ODBC and specific interface packages for all the MS databases 
(you have my sympathies if using Access and hope you're not in need of 

For links to many of these and a whole lot more, check out the Python 
contributed source repository at

Everything mentioned here is free, although the best ODBC library is not, 
and i'm not sure about commercial use (resale - I think internal use is 
unrestricted) of PIL.


Dave LeBlanc

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