What GUI toolkit looks the best?

Brian Kelley bkelley at wi.mit.edu
Thu Dec 11 14:23:32 CET 2003

Paul Rubin wrote:

> I've been approached about writing a Windows app which will need a
> really professional looking GUI.  Forget TKinter, this has to actually
> look good (real artists will be available to get the visual stuff
> right).  Assuming I write in Python, what's the best toolkit to use?
> Some cost in implementation pain is tolerable if the finished
> interface looks better as a result.  It would be nice if the toolkit
> runs on multiple platforms rather than being Windows-only.

Why forget Tkinter?  I've seen Tkinter applications that look incredibly 
fabulous.  A lot depends on what you are trying to do.  If you are 
making a graphics-heavy application then Tkinter's canvas is pretty 
sweet.  I also think IDLE looks pretty good.

> I'm thinking Glade.  Is that reasonable?  I don't know squat about
> Windows and haven't done much fancy GUI programming since the early X
> days.

Glade isn't a GUI, it is a GUI builder that uses GTK.  In my experience, 
GTK doesn't look quite right on windows boxes, especially the menus.  Of 
course I have the same basic view of Qt and Swing so know you know my 

I tend to use Tkinter for canvas heavy applications and wxPython for 
other stuff.

As for application building, here are my rankings
1 Emacs :)
2 Glade with libglade and Mitch Chapman's python libglade wrapper
3 BlackAdder with Qt
4 Boa-constructor (largish learning curve here I think)
5 wxGlade (layout isn't quite right)

So let me ask what kind of application are you building?

The bottom line is that I have seen great looking and really poor 
looking apps in all of these  gui's.

Here is my humble opinions in a nutshell (missing a lot here):  wxPython 
has a grid control to die for and many, many classes, good printer 
support and looks like a native GTK app on Linux and a native app on 
windows and macintosh.  Qt is better for developing - it has a better 
class structure and I tend not to have to look up docs as often and can 
look really, really nice.  Tkinter has a killer canvas and great 
postscript output.  GTK is really quite fast.

but don't take my word for this, why don't you see what you like the best?


Speaking of Qt, does anyone want to make a python binding to jakasha?


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