[Pythonmac-SIG] GUI tools--for Troy

Troy Rollins troy.rollins at gmail.com
Sun Mar 13 20:35:37 CET 2005

> I read your note about switching to Linux with interest. I was curious
> about a couple of things:

Thanks for the interest Kevin.

> 1. What xplat GUI building tools and IDE are available on Linux that are
> *not* available on OS X? I realize WingIDE may satisfy the IDE part of
> this, but what about the GUI part? The free/open-source tools that I
> package are also the main ones that are available on Linux. They may run
> more smoothly there, but they're pretty much the same.

ActiveState Komodo would be the key one. Commercial quality,
reasonably priced, high-levels of support and learning resources. A
GUI builder which is optional and based on TKinter.

Coming from a background of using high quality, productive and
efficient IDEs, Komodo makes the switch to Python very appealing.

Boa Constructor looks like a decent option as well. Certainly better
than anything available on Mac, but it doesn't hold a candle to

> 2. Did you look at PyQt at all? I have trouble believing that Qt, and
> especially Qt Designer, would *not* satisfy your criteria for
> commercial-quality tools. Of course, Qt isn't cheap for commercial
> development, and perhaps that's an issue, but I think it should satisfy
> your critiera for high-quality, well-supported tools.

That's true, but like everything else related to Python on OSX, it
looks like a clumsy assembly process involving several separate
programs and licenses, and is more difficult to maintain, in addition
to being fairly (though not prohibitively) expensive. Not to mention
the fact that QT carries with it a ton of baggage which is not
required for Python development, and Black Adder (while attractive and
appealing) is not available for OSX (but it is for Linux and Windows)
nor can it build for OSX.

 OSX also carries the burden of having an Apple supplied version of
Python in a non-standard location, the general inability to stay
current and up-to-date, far fewer installable binaries, poorly
maintained package libraries, less documentation on Mac specific
issues, and little-to-no support avenues.

For an approachable high-level language, MacPython manages to be a big
PITA in comparison to both the other primary platforms. Linux looks
FAR more appealing for Python work to me, as the tools are more
refined, and the resources more available. I don't have the time or
inclination to "hobby together" a working Python development kit,
especially not while learning the language and applying that new
knowledge to the needs of my projects.

The amount of research required alone is a huge time sink, leading to
too many dead-ends, and unmaintained repositories. I've taken to
considering Python on Mac a "dot-seven" tool. In other words, the
closest anything comes to actual release is a 0.7 alpha, where it
stays eternally. I know, I know, welcome to open source. That's fair.

In the past, I've snubbed any tool which did not allow me to work in
OSX, but Python is important to my plans... enough so that I'll switch
my development OS to have a decent, high-quality toolkit and IDE,
preferably a commercial one, with help files, support, and yes, a GUI
builder for those times when a native interface is required.

If I've missed an OSX solution which is even a shadow of something
like Komodo, I'd love to see it.

Thanks again for listening in, offering suggestions, etc.

Troy Rollins
RPSystems, Ltd.

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