GUI toolkit(s) status

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Thu Nov 20 10:17:28 CET 2014

On Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 8:04 PM, Christian Gollwitzer <auriocus at> wrote:
> Am 20.11.14 09:40, schrieb Chris Angelico:
>> Ignore jmf.
> He is trolling, but in this point he is right, unfortunately: neither Tcl
> nor Tk support Unicode outside the BMP. Full Unicode support is a big todo
> item on the wishlist for Tcl 9, for Tk nobody really knows. We are lacking
> manpower and people with specialized knowledge. Apple is a moving target,
> they pulled the rug from under Tk's feet twice over the past 10 years.
> Nobody knows if Tk will continue to exist on the mac if Cocoa is withdrawn
> some day and replaced by a new and completely different windowing framework.
> Python has largely replaced Tcl as the first-choice scripting language, and
> that also does not help to attract people working on Tcl/Tk.

This is what happens when someone spends most of his time trolling.
When the signal-to-noise ratio is sufficiently low, it's just not
worth reading his posts. And even when he does have a decent point to
make, he couches it in such exaggerated language that it's hard to
take him seriously.

But I agree about the issues with tkinter. So, let's see. Shall we
wait for Tcl/Tk Unicode support? Recommend people switch to PyGTK? To
PyQt? To wxPython? To something else? Personally, I'm quite happy with
GTK2 (though that's with Pike, not Python), and it does have full
Unicode support; but there are some issues with the interface that
make it feel a bit clunky. Every other windowing toolkit has its own
flaws. Even if one of them were to be blessed into the stdlib (which
would remove the whole "but it's an external dependency" problem),
there's still no perfect option, and every toolkit will have its
staunch supporters.

If Python were starting from scratch today with the first-ever stdlib
GUI toolkit, as a Python 3 feature, I would expect that full Unicode
support be a hard requirement. But since tkinter already exists,
there's no point stripping it out, and blessing another one means
making a choice. I don't see there's enough to choose between the top
three or four options. If I'm going to build a Python GUI app, I'll
probably use PyGTK, and if you do, you're free to use PyQt. I don't
think this is a problem.


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