[python-win32] Does Python need a native Windows GUI toolkit?

Thomas Heller theller at ctypes.org
Fri Nov 28 21:46:00 CET 2008

Does Python need a native, pure Python, Windows GUI toolkit, one that uses
win32 api calls directly to use native windows controls?

Or would that development be a waste of resources, in these days of
of Python.NET, Windows forms, IronPython, (and last, not least, wxPython
and all these other toolkits)?  Or are desktop applications too rare now?

Several years ago I started using wxPython (it is probably a lot more
mature now) to write some simple programs and was not really pleased.
It looked too much like MFC to me.  I know that there are now several
wrappers over wxPython (althogh I have not used them) like Pythoncard
or newer ones like dabo (from what I hear). There have also been other
attempts to make nicer interfaces for wxPython which have vanished nowadays.
Somehow I have the impression that the approach to put layer over layer over layer
is wrong (wxWindows C++ layer, wxPython SWIG layer, Pythoncard/Dabo/whatever
python layer).

So, I started writing my own framework, also several years ago.  I used
ctypes (early versions) to call the win32 api directly, and it was fun
and it worked out great.
I have my own form editor, I can also construct windows, dialogs,
menus, and so on with simple high level code. But also it is possible
even at the 'highest level' to directly reach out to the win32 api, or
to handle WM_xxx messages directly if the need arises.

However, this framework is showing its age because during all this time
I developed some new approaches to make the work easier (for example first
I wrote the win32 plumbing code manually, now I have tools that automatically
generate the code to access constants, define structure definitions, or generate
function prototypes from the windows header files.  Also the framework too much
relies on manual conversions between byte and unicode strings.

So, the question is:  Are there people that share these ideas?
Are they willing to join a coordinated effort to develop a framework
like this, using the current and future Python versions, and all the fancy
new features of Python?

No promises, but I'm curious for the thoughts on this.


More information about the python-win32 mailing list