Considering migrating to Python from Visual Basic 6 for engineering applications

wrong.address.1 at wrong.address.1 at
Thu Feb 18 12:58:05 EST 2016

On Thursday, 18 February 2016 18:24:55 UTC+2, Dan Strohl  wrote:
> I totally agree with Chris here, try it out, do some simpler things to get your feet wet before committing to redoing hundreds of thousands of lines of code in it.  Find a few of the "deal breakers" and try to solve them in Python (create a hello world app in python, then package it in an exe and distribute it to some friends).. VB is a fine language, and is likely to suit your needs as well... even if we all believe that Python is better, the effort to convert from one to the other may not make sense.

How long can I depend on VB? I don't really mind learning one more language if there is sufficient utility of it. Besides, I hear that Python is relatively easy to learn compared to C++ or Java.

I have some smaller VB programs (single form, little math) for my own use. I could convert those first and get a feel of how it is going to be with larger programs with thousands of lines.

> I would also suggest taking a few steps back and seeing if there is a different overall architectural approach that makes sense.  If you are using a heavy weight local app, what about a web app? 

Some things I do can be done in a web app, but the important stuff has to be put into *.exe files for myself and others to use.

> What about doing a combination approach?  Have a back end running on a server with Python, that feeds a VB app on a client for displaying and manipulating data? (then a Java app for mobile clients or Linux ones?)

I do not know Java, and don't feel inclined to learn that. If I could use VB for years, I need not consider moving over to Python. The trouble is that I don't think we can trust VB (VB6 particularly, but even for too long.

> Also, looking at existing frameworks and expandable apps out there that you might be able to do less work but still meet your goals with because 80% of the work was done for you... things like django, splunk, tableau, etc...
> Dan


> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Python-list [ at] On
> > Behalf Of Chris Angelico
> > Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 8:06 AM
> > Cc: python-list at
> > Subject: Re: Considering migrating to Python from Visual Basic 6 for engineering
> > applications
> > 
> > On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 2:49 AM,  <wrong.address.1 at> wrote:
> > > Thanks. You have guided me quite well, and I am almost ready to declare that I
> > will use Python for the next few decades.
> > >
> > 
> > Don't declare like that - just start using it, and see what you think
> > :) But I would be very much surprised if Python doesn't get added to your
> > toolbelt. A good programmer should always keep a selection of tools handy -
> > seldom is one tool the right one for every job.
> > 
> > > Imagine I want to read in two (or a few) numbers from a text file, display them
> > in two (or more) text boxes, calculate their sums and products, may be take
> > logarithms of them, and display them in other two text boxes or labels, and
> > make some bar charts, scatter plots, and later draw curves and surfaces on a
> > computer screen. Do I really need PyPi or other external stuff for this? Is Python
> > well equipped for this?
> > >
> > 
> > You could do all of that with just the standard library, but then your only choice
> > of GUI library is Tkinter, which is derived from Tcl/Tk.
> > If you don't like how that looks (either in your code, or in the resulting GUI),
> > you'll need to turn to PyPI for an alternative (eg something derived from GTK or
> > wxWindows or Qt). I'm not sure how the graphing capabilities of Tkinter are, so
> > you might want to grab matplotlib too - again, it'll give you a lot more flexibility
> > than you would have if you restrict yourself to *just* the standard library.
> > But I think you could do all of that - certainly most of it - with just the language
> > and standard library.
> > 
> > > I will have to learn GUI creating quickly after I know the basics of reading and
> > writing text files, and doing simple mathematical calculations.
> > >
> > 
> > Reading and writing text files is easy, as is basic mathematics.
> > You'll have that down in an hour or two, most likely, and then you'll have time to
> > play GUIs.
> > 
> > > Later I can imagine using things like sending an SMS from a phone running this
> > on Android, or placing a graph in a WhatsApp message, make a call to someone
> > and tell him the temperature is now too high, etc. These things might need
> > external libraries, but I can learn this later on.
> > >
> > 
> > Those things will most likely require external libraries. But most of them are
> > probably possible.
> > 
> > ChrisA
> > --
> >

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