Proposal for thread-safe Tkinter

Allen Taylor Allen.Taylor at mdacorporation.com
Thu Oct 23 21:49:12 CEST 2008


I was given the task of upgrading a Python/Tkinter GUI application to the latest versions of Python and Tk. After a while, I realized that the application had not been written in a thread-safe manner. Multiple threads would simply use the Tk object directly. The application apparently ran fine (i.e., didn't crash!) using older versions of Python (2.2) and Tk (8.3), but it started to have serious problems (i.e., crashing) after using the latest versions.
 
The problem is that there isn't enough budget to fix the whole application. So, I invested a bit of time to develop mtTkinter, a thread-safe version of Tkinter. Importing mtTkinter actually modifies the original Tkinter in such a way to make it thread-safe, recognizing and diverting out-of-thread calls to the Tk object creation thread via a queue and an 'after' event. I think it works quite well, requiring basically no changes to the application other than to import mtTkinter instead of (or in addition to) Tkinter. Even packages that use Tkinter (e.g., Pmw) benefit.
 
I would like to contribute this module (single file, about 160 lines) to the Python community, but I don't know how. I'm new to Python and am not initiated in the deep Pythonic developer world. Can someone give me some pointers? Many thanks.
 
Allen B. Taylor
MDA
9445 Airport Road
Brampton, ON  L6S 4J3
905-790-2800 ext. 4350
allen.taylor at mdacorporation.com
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