beginners choice: wx or tk?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Tue Jul 14 21:27:34 CEST 2015

On 7/14/2015 11:43 AM, Mark Lawrence wrote:
> On 14/07/2015 16:21, Michael Torrie wrote:

>> You make a good point.  Although Tk is considered part of the standard
>> Python library (though optional),

Python-coded tkinter depends on C-coded _tkinter and both are in the 
stdlib, which means the code is in the CPython hg repository.  tcl/tk is 
an external dependency of _tkinter and is not is the stdlib.  There are 
a few other stdlib modules with such external dependencies.  The Windows 
installers include the external dependencies.  AFAIK, Linux 
distributions do not, but expect the dependencies to be already present 
or separately downloaded.  I believe the situation is mixed on Mac.  Ned 
Deily is working on include the latest tcl/tk with the Mac installer, 
but this is apparently not trivial.

> Surely if Tk is optional then IDLE is also optional, as IDLE depends on
> Tk?

Idle is in the stdlib and depends on tkinter (and maybe _tkinter), so it 
indirectly depends on tk.  Turtle and turtledemo and some tools/scripts 
also depend on tkinter.

 > But I thought that IDLE was always supplied with Python,

It is unless a distributor removes it, perhaps to bundle with tcl/tk, 
_tkinter, tkinter, turtle, and turtledemo.

Importing tkinter imports _tkinter, which fails if it cannot find tcl/tk.

Terry Jan Reedy

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