WxPython and TK

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Mon Aug 8 02:37:15 EDT 2011

On Mon, 8 Aug 2011 10:26 am azrael wrote:

> Today I found a quote from Guido.
> wxPython is the best and most mature cross-platform GUI toolkit, given a
> number of constraints. The only reason wxPython isn't the standard Python
> GUI toolkit is that Tkinter was there first. -- Guido van Rossum

I'd like to see the context for this quote, because I don't think it is
correct. Even if Guido did say it :)

Other reasons contributing to why wxPython is not in the standard library:

- Differences in the licence. I understand the wxWidgets licence is more
restrictive than the Python licence.

- Size: wxPython is much larger than Tkinter. By one account, adding
wxPython would triple the size of the standard library.

- Tcl/Tk is likely to already be installed on most Linux systems, wxWidgets
may not be.

- Stability: at least a few years ago, it was quite easy to get wxPython to
seg fault.

- Pythonicity: Tkinter code is much closer to Pythonic style of code than
wxPython code, which is stylistically closer to C++.

- Release schedules: this is likely to be the fatal sticking block. To be
part of the standard library, wxPython would have to keep to Python's
release schedule.

If wxPython had been in the standard library, it would have been tied to
Python's relatively sedate schedule, and would not have been able to keep
up with wxWidgets.

> OK, now. Isn't it maybe time to throw out TK once and for all? Python is
> missing one of the most important aspects of todays IT industry. GUI
> development native library (I mean a serious one).

Python is not missing any such thing. It has a plethora of GUI libraries:


See http://wiki.python.org/moin/GuiProgramming

> If I would have gotten a dollar for every time I talked to someone in a
> company about why they dont use python for their products and I was served
> the answer "Well it kind of sucks in GUI development", I would be a
> millionaire.

What, these millions of companies don't have internet?



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