Tkinter, wxPython, PyGtk, or PyQt...

Benjamin musiccomposition at
Thu Nov 29 04:54:09 CET 2007

John Jameson wrote:
> hi carl,
> I'm totally new with graphics for python. I'm using windows, but you
> make it sound like I need to know how to program with MFC to use them?
> Is this true? Can't you just stay in python?
Yes, all of the libraries below let you stay in Python. (They have
binary backends, though.)
> best,
> John
> I would like like to start doing some GUI-programming in Python, but don't
> know which library to choose.
> Tkinter seems a bit old. Correct me if I am wrong! The layout doesn't look
> as nice as for the others.
Yes, and it's not very powerful. However, it's really easy to use and
bundled with every Python installation. I like to use it for little
internal projects.
> wxPython seems to be the first-hand choice for people doing W32-programming
> (with MFC-experience).
I started out with this kit until I discovered PyQt (and realized the
docs were all C++)...
> PyGtk seems to be a modern, very clean and nice approach, but with poor
> W32-support. Is PyGtk a mature library with respect to version stability
> and documentation.
I wouldn't know.
> PyQt is a huge library (thanks to Qt), but not free on W32, or?
All versions of Qt4 are available under GPL for Mac, X11, and Windows.
It's big, but very powerful. I have found it to work well on all 3
platforms. The documentation, in my opinion, the most important part,
is super. It's very easy to extend and make your own widgets. The only
thing I find rather clumsy is the I18N support. Pick this toolkit if
you're going to do any serious development.
> Is there any possibility that any of the above-mentioned libraries will be
> included as a standard library in any of the near-future Python
> distributions?
Not really
> I myself program on W32 at work, but use Linux at home. So, which one should
> I start with in order to reduce the effort of learning something new and to
> be productive in the shortest time possible?
Tkinter will get what you want done fast, but PyQt is much more
> By the way, how do I most easily include plotting capabilities to my
> Python-apps?
> Carl

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