GUI speed

Cameron Laird claird at
Thu Jan 9 15:11:32 CET 2003

In article <mailman.1042079655.13981.python-list at>,
Tim Churches  <tchur at> wrote:
>On Wed, 2003-01-08 at 15:32, Gerhard Häring wrote, not entirely
>> Rick Richardson wrote:
>> > 
>> > I'm currently reviewing technologies for a large, gui intensive application.
>> > We're planning on having a template driven dynamic gui system, but having
>> > written Java gui's in the past I'm concerned that python may share java's
>> > affliction and be slower than molassses in January.
>> >  
>> > Can anyone out there comment on the relative speed of Java's gui libs and
>> > any one of the python gui libs?
>> Sure I can. Try it out.
>If you are "planning on having a template driven dynamic gui system"
>then you might want to look seriously at PythonCard (see
> ), which is an XML template driven
>dynamic GUI system. PythonCard is built on top of wxPython, which is a
>binding for wxWindows, which is a cross-platform wrapper around native
>GUI calls. The end result is very fast. On Windows systems, wxPython is
>a piece of cake to install (it may require some library updates and
>hence a bit more effort on some Linux and unix system, but not too
>hard). PythonCard is simplicity itself to install once you have
>Others will comment on pyQT and Tkinter, neither of which I have used
>much. If it is a big project, it is worth spending time investigating
>and testing all these, and comparing them against Java GUIs, before
>making a decision. Don't forget to investigate licensing issues, which
>is a factor with PyQT on some platforms, I believe.
>So ultimately Gerhard's advice is sound.
>Tim C

Mr. Richardson's team might love PythonCard.  Its
biggest liability might simply be its ease; there
are plenty of full-time ITers who regard anything
so effective as a "toy".

The advice to "try it yourself" is not so fatuous
as it might sound from a Java perspective.  Exer-
cise of Python GUIs is far less ardurous than the
corresponding Java trials.  You can reasonably
download, install, and begin to practice Tkinter
in a lunch hour.  So:  you're right to ask the
questions you do, but you're also likely to find
that your ultimate decision will come from your
own experiments.

I like Tkinter.  It's slow, though, at run-time.
Not necessarily too slow--and certainly not in
comparison to what people seem willing to tolerate
from Swing--but annoyingly slow to me.

Mr. Richardson will want to specify his platform
requirements carefully.  He might find that the
common Pythonic GUI systems are effectively
*more* portable than Java.  In any case, not all
Python bindings are equally mature in this regard.

PyQt is a very nice programming system.  I have
no idea how that aligns with the expectations of
Mr. Richardson's team's ideas about a "template
driven dynamic gui system".

Cameron Laird <Cameron at>

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