[PythonCE] Seeking alternative to wxPython

jeffbarish jeff_barish at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 22 02:05:05 CEST 2006

When I embarked on my programming project, I had hoped that my choice of
wxPython would make it possible for me to run my program without too much
difficulty on Linux, Win XP, Win Mobile, and OSX, but so far I have not been
able to get it to run reliably on even one platform, least of all winCE.  I
had high hopes for the port recently announced by Ingmar Steen, but so far,
at least, it suffers from the same problems that the earlier port had
(although many other things are working better).  Even the version that runs
on XP has problems that don't seem to be getting resolved.  Unfortunately, I
am getting close to crunch time, so I can't wait much longer in the hope
that a bug-free port will appear.  Accordingly, I am beginning to cast about
for a fallback.

I have seen references here to Pythonwin, but I am not familiar with it.  I
gather that it contains the module win32gui and, if I understand correctly,
that module provides an interface to the MFC routines for creating a GUI.  I
understand that wxPython uses native routines to actually draw the GUI
elements, so if I am reasoning correctly it follows that wxPython is calling
the same routines that I could call directly using win32gui.  Thus, I should
be able to do with win32gui anything that I am doing with wxPython -- unless
win32gui is not complete.  What I lose by using win32gui rather than
wxPython is portability, but perhaps I would have better luck getting the
program to run reliably on winCE.  Is this reasoning correct?

It looks as if the best documentation for Pythonwin is the book by Mark
Hammond and Andy Robinson, but I note that it was published over 6 years
ago.  Is it still sufficiently current to be useful?  Does anyone know
whether a new edition is scheduled to appear soon?  Is there more current
documentation somewhere?  Does Python Programming on WIN32 do an adequate
job of explaining how to build GUIs using win32gui, or do I need
documentation for the relevant portion of MFC as well?

I hate the thought of rewriting my code again for a different GUI library. 
I was happy using Qt on a Sharp Zaurus running Linux, but when Sharp
withdrew the Zaurus from the US market I could not find a suitable
substitute.  The only alternative I can think of in my current dilemma is to
try to fix the bugs in the wxPython port myself, but I doubt that I have the
skill.  Still, I might give it a try (if the author is willing) before
embarking on yet another rewrite.  I would even consider hiring a consultant
to work on the port, though previous efforts along this line have not borne
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