visual gui ides for python/jythpn

Ethan Kennerly kennerly at finegamedesign.com
Sun Jun 24 09:23:55 CEST 2007


Luis M. Gonzalez wrote:
> PythonCard is an extremely easy to use alternative.
> It's like a simplified Visual Basic or Delphi IDE.
> Check IT out: www.pythoncard.org

I second that!  PythonCard is a rapid way to prototype an ugly Windows GUI.
(It's not PythonCard's fault that Windows are ugly. ;)  )  I use it for
prototyping.

But ONLY for prototyping.  At least with my version in Windows, it's got
bugs in the resource editor.  For example, Korean characters in Korean fonts
are rotated sideways.  And the color of a font can't be changed; only the
foreground color can, which corrupts button display.  The send to back/front
options don't seem to work.  Transparent images (like PNG) don't seem to
work ... for me, anway.

Yet, still, when I'm rapidly developing the mechanics of a game and need a
GUI front-end, PythonCard was a quick solution.  It brilliantly stores the
GUI as a recursive dictionary, which is like XML, only easy for a human to
read.  The widgets require very little of your coding.  It's got a lot of
samples, which makes some of its peculiar conventions easy to apply.  And
any Python app made with the PythonCard framework has a namespace viewer,
shell, and GUI message integrated into the application.

Flash and Python:  The ultimate GUI prototyping combo?

In my dreams, I would use Flash for the GUI portion of a Python app.  Flash
is by far my favorite environment for rapidly designing interfaces.  It is
an (almost) object-oriented drawing environment that can quickly produce
good visual design.  Because the elements are instances of prototypes (Flash
calls them symbols), they can be easily replaced and updated at any time.
The timeline, animation, color, layer, and drawing tools are wonderful.  You
can quickly make traditional or experimental interfaces.  The only thing
that sucked (for me), was ActionScript.  It's not bad.  It's quite good for
interface scripting.  But for back-end procedures it is prison compared to
Python.

Does anyone successfully use a Flash front-end and Python back-end in
real-time?  I've tried an example of XMLRPC servers where a Flash app (SWF)
communicates with Python (http://www.cs.unc.edu/~parente/tech/tr01.shtml),
but that has a round-trip time that is too slow for something like a
videogame (updates at 30 frames per second).  Some of the projects at OS
flash look promising (http://osflash.org/ext_howto), but I haven't found the
part that says that my interface made in Macromedia Flash (which is a
fantastic design environment) can be used with my code in Python with a
real-time frame rate.

-- Ethan





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