Event-driven GUIs, PythonWorks, Boa, wxWindows; future directions of event-driven Python?

res04o20 res04o20 at gte.net
Sun Jun 17 21:17:27 CEST 2001

Hi y'all. I'm new here so bear with me. ;-)

I've had the same "problem". I'm a working SE/ProjectMgr. (26 years), and
have gotten very spoiled by VB and the like. But, I've also been forced to
re-learn the old addage, "There is no royal road to Geometry". In other
words, there ain't no substitute fer just  bitin'-the-bullet and learnin'
it. Tkinter is the place to start. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of
"Programming Python 2nd Edition". It's got the best tutorial I've seen yet
on Tkinter. Everything you learn there will only help you in any other
paradigm. Tkinter IS event-driven. It's just not "Visual...". I also have
played with wxPython and like it too.

Now. Here's another way to go. Just use VB or some Office VBE with Forms2
(or even Word fields or Excel cells) as your gui. The other great book I've
read, "Programming Python on Win32" shows you how to do it. It's not hard.
That's of course, if you have access to VB/Office and can stomach using it.
Some folks just refuse, and I can't blame 'em.

Here's another thing I have been playing with. Download "Forte for Java"
Community Edition from Sun. It's free. Free is good. It builds Java AWT and
Swing GUI's. (Could also potentially integrate well with Jython...? ) Design
a gui, and look at the code it generates. You could just use that code as a
framework, and convert the code to use Tkinter or wxPython calls instead of
Java. (Python can do that! See note on Jython below, though.) But you still
have to KNOW your package and how it works. You'll also get more
satisfaction and be able to fix your own problems, if your gui builder
doesn't hide all the details from you.
BTW, did I mention it's free?

wxPython. I like it, but it's ANOTHER package you have to download, install,
and learn. It doesn't come with Python. It may in the future. Who knows.
(One advantage - doesn't depend on Tcl.)

Jython. Love it. Be prepared to learn alot of Java/AWT/Swing. Another
package. Enough said.

And here's one more idea. DHTML. It's ubiquitous, free and powerful. Makes a
good gui and there's a ton of free (or cheap) visual designers for it.
(Check out MacroMedia.com. And Allaire, which they just bought/merged with.
Look at the HomeSite HTML Editor. Very interesting. And inexpensive. And
powerful.) Hook in your Python handlers and yer in business. (You might want
to experiment with using JxScript for the actual event-handlers, and then
calling your Python routines from there. I've had a little trouble in some
cases using pure-Python event-handlers. In IE, JxScript is more tightly
integrated with the DOM.) Course, you'll have to use the .hta model, not
.htm, to get out of restricted mode and have a full-blown IE app. It's so
difficult. You have to change one letter in the extension! ;-) See MS
WebWorkshop site on Reusing Browser Technology and HTA's. (I'm talking
Win32/IE here. I'm ignorant of Netscape and wary of Mozilla yet. Time will
tell on that. (ActiveState Komodo is built on Mozilla, and it's an absolute
dog on performance. Current beta is better than 1.0 but not much. But it's
getting there...)
I am seriously considering taking my development team in this direction for
a new Multi-Dimensional Analysis (OLAP) application for SQL Server.

And lastly, ActiveState has announced "Visual Python". Only problem is, you
gotta have MS .Net. (shudder) (Yet another implementation of Python. This
time in C#. Another learning curve to be ultimately successful.)

I've looked at Pythonware and Boa., etc. Good potential. I just don't want
to be locked into another IDE structure. What if I have to convert out of
it? What about my project structures? Do they integrate versioning software?
Do they store everything in XML or DBM or Pickles or Shelves? Or who knows
what? Just haven't had enough time to look into those issues. Of course,
these are project management issues which may not be of any concern for your
purposes. Best thing is just play with them see what works for you and what
you can afford.

Hope these ideas help. Good luck!
(And I'll also be interested in other folks' responses!)

Dave Wald

"Ron Stephens" <rdsteph at earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:3B2B60AD.942719AE at earthlink.net...
> I am taking a week's vacation the week after next. I plan to spend this
> week trying to learn event-driven programming using Python. I would sure

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