[Pythonmac-SIG] Tkinter questions

Samuel Smith smith@oe.fau.edu
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 09:03:43 -0400

I am just getting started using Python. Read the programming python book
and much of the docs. I am investigating using python for both a univeristy
research project and a commercial project. One of the issues is a cross
platform GUI
(linux,windows, mac) Looks like Tk is the likely candidate.

I am impressed with the clean design of the Python language and can see a
lot of potential for its use. I run a large research program at the
University and I think we could seriously contribute to the Python
community. However I need help understanding more about how well the Python
open source support works.

So far everything we have done is C (Unix Linux Windows VxWorks Qnx) In
fact the QNX port for Python makes it something we can use for our
autonomous underwater vehicles.


Is there complete documentation for Tkinter someplace? ( I have read the
html pages on pkware's web site its good but not complete)

I found a lot of detail in a Tk book that is not apparent in the Tkinter
docs ("Practical programming in Tcl and Tk). Is all of Tk supported ( I
assume so but its not clear how or if Tkinter does some things)

How extensive is the group of people supporting Tkinter? Is there a
committment to continue to support Tk  as the default GUI for Python like
it is for TCL and Perl?

I see references to several different Python applications that must use a
GUI. How prevalent is Tkinter usage?

Mac Tkinter Newbie problems:

I am asking questions for the Mac mainly because 1) I prefer macs, if given
a choice. 2) I am testing the waters for the activily level of the Python
community, and it appears that mac support is weakest in Python so this is
a worst case test.

When I run the tutorial Tkinter examples in Mac Python I found the
following problems:

The python menubar gets replaced with a new menu bar who's menus apparently
do nothing.

I can't quit python once I close a Tkinter window (the Tkinter menu bar
stays on the screen) The only way I could figure out to quit python was to
do a sys.exit(). I bound sys.exit to my Tk quit button but that doesn't
work for the close box on the window title bar.

It seems that I should be able to close a Tk window without having to do a
sys.exit() that kills python as well.

Why does Tkinter put up a new menu bar by default and I do I disable it. (I
suppose once I get far enough into Tk I can define my own menubar somehow
and override it but it seems to me that by default Tkinter should do
something friendly with the menu bar.

I read the Tkinter.py file and could not find any code that creates this
new menubar. Where is it made? in _tkinter?

Tk docs refer to a resource file. How is this supported on the Mac. (Other

I crashed my system a couple of times using Tk with the Mac IDE (Just Van
Rossum's) Is this a serious incompatiblity problem or something that can be
fixed with a little debugging)




Samuel M. Smith Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director Advanced Marine Systems Lab

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