VB to Python migration

Ravi Teja webraviteja at gmail.com
Fri Jan 27 23:12:11 EST 2006

230 UI screens is a lot. An app of that nature is not something people
commonly do in Python (although I would be happy to see people show me
wrong). You are building a GUI app that likely need not run anywhere
except on Windows and perhaps most what of what is does is edit and
report on data from the database. This is the very task 4GL tools like
Visual Basic were created for.

  VB6 has certainly been outdated for quite a while ago now and you
should probably make the switch but don't discount the tools that
exactly specialize in this domain such as Visual Studio.NET and Delphi.
Python is a great general purpose language but the above tools are
leaps and bounds ahead of the tools available to Python in this very
specific domain. Additionally your team already is familiar with the
RAD paradigm. As easy as Python is, it takes a while to develop
expertise in a new language and it's paradigms (especially when it is
such a leap - VB and Python are almost at the opposite ends of the

IronPython has a lot of promise but is not mature enough yet to bet a
project large enough to take 2 years (or more) to develop. At that
project size, it is not sane to attempt anything adventurous unless you
have have enough funds to buffer when things go wrong. I am not
recommending against Python, just to plan VERY VERY carefully on what
you embark on.

Start using Python gradually in your development. Refactor some
functionality into COM components for starters to simplify your VB
code. When Python is doing much of the heavy lifting, you are ready to
make the change. By the time you are ready to make the full switch, you
will know.

Personally, for a project like this, I would go with Borland Studio (it
has ECO which is a tremenduous advantage for data driven GUIs) and
supplement it with Boo (a Python like language for .NET).

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