How come wxPython isn't in the standard library?

James Stroud jstroud at
Mon Nov 8 00:30:30 CET 2004

On Sunday 07 November 2004 06:43 am, BJörn Lindqvist wrote:
> IMHO, this is a no issue. It doesn't matter that much if the source is
> 8 or 26 mb. In fact, 8 mb is extremely small download for a
> programming language.

What am I missing here? Lets look at it from an END USER's perspective. I come 
from a situation where I was sys-admin to where I am the 0 privelige user. I 
wanted to install a python module. So I called in the sys-admin. He tried to 
add it with RPM. This rpm depended on that rpm and that rpm depended on a 
chicken which depended on an egg which, expectedly, depended on a 
chicken--you can guess where this is going.

So I decided I would make my own little universe in my user folder building 
everything from scratch.

To get Tkinter to work, I had to install Tcl/Tk and python, and probably some 
other stuff I already forgot about (blt or something?). That was easy-ish, 
but painful from an END USER's perspective.

I then tried wxPython to take advantage or something or the other module that 
I guess I won't be able to use because I had to install (to make sure every 
library was compatible) a bunch of other libraries (zlib, jpeg, pango, etc.). 
Pango needed gtk+ and didn't like the one my machine already had. (I work at 
an INSTITUTION, not my home office with my customized linux box.) That would 
make two gtk distributions on my machine, causing too many problems for my 
short term attention span to figure out. So I did the only reasonable thing 
an END USER might do in this situation--I said screw it on wxPython and 
whatever module that was that I wanted to use.

Lets try to see things with naieve eyes: how do we think an END USER with few 
administrative priveleges but operating system choices might respond to a 
situation like this? Right! He'll use M$ windows--guaranteed.

Now I think we understand why graphics libraries might have a tough time 
making it into a standard distro. Personally, as an end user who only wants 
to use a program and not re-compile his kernel and such, I vote for tweaking 
out tkinter and making Tcl/Tk/blt/etc. part of the standard distro with that 
18 mb otherwise required for wxPython (as cool as wx might be). One 
installer, wham-bam-program.

James Stroud, Ph.D.
UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
611 Charles E. Young Dr. S.
MBI 205, UCLA 951570
Los Angeles CA 90095-1570

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