PyFLTK - an underrated gem for GUI projects

Jorge Godoy godoy at
Mon Nov 7 12:10:32 CET 2005

aum <aum at> writes:

> What I'm saying is that there are many basic projects being written for
> these toolkits, whose functionality could be completely supported by
> PyFLTK. When only a smaller set of widgets is needed, there's a stronger
> case for using lighter widget libraries - especially FLTK, because you'll
> get way more functionality per line of code, and finish your project
> faster, than if using the bigger toolkits with their application-level red
> tape - the extra lines of code you have to write to get things done.

At least on Linux world, it is easier to find Qt or GTK than FLTK.  Not having
to deploy new base libraries for another project when there are other
available is a big plus, IMHO.  Specially if you have no control over the
politics of updating servers, installing extra software, etc.  And it would
sound really weird asking the admin to install new software on the server or
on workstations to provide a GUI layer for a more complex project just after
using a lighter one...  "Why not using the same stuff for both?" is the
question I hear from them.

Installing things mean, usually:

        - checking licenses

        - checking vulnerabilities

        - convincing admin / IT staff that it is needed and there's no
          "already installed" alternative

        - maintenance

        - tests on upgrading the environment

        - tests on deployment (who knows if there's something that might cause
          a clash or interfere with other apps?)

and a few more stuff.  Doing all that just because one app might use a lighter
toolkit doesn't look interesting.

On the other hand, if the environment requires lighter libs -- the software
will be embedded in something --, then it is fine doing all these because of

> If travelling off-road for a few weeks and driving over minefields in
> enemy territory, take the Hummer. But for ordinary use, like commuting to
> work, visiting friends, shopping etc, using anything more than the Honda
> 4-cylinder sedan is IMHO a waste of resources.

You can choose only one vehicle and you don't know where you'll be sent.
Which will you pick?

> Similarly, coding something in wx when FLTK will suffice is a waste of
> time, effort, disk space, CPU cycles and memory.

If wx is already there, installing FLTK starts being a waste of resources,
disk space, CPU cycles, memory (it won't be shared with other apps...), etc. 

Jorge Godoy      <godoy at>

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