[Pythonmac-SIG] Re: GUI tools--for Troy

Kevin Walzer sw at wordtech-software.com
Sun Mar 13 21:40:59 CET 2005

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Your comments are very insightful. Just a few observations:

|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

I agree with you about Komodo. I wish it were available on OS X. The Mac
is a big void for ActiveState. There have been periodic requests for a
Mac port, but apparently they are concerned about a) the commercial
viability of such an effort and b) some considerable technical hurdles
surrounding their text component (Scintilla) which has not been fully
ported to the Mac.

Boa Contructor is not usable except with an obsolete version of wxPython
(2.4.x), it has not been updated in two years, and so I have never been
able to give it a real try.

|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.

I maintain a binary installer of PyQt for the Mac, and I'm about to
update it to the latest version of everything. However, it's GPL'ed, and
would not be a viable tool for commercial development.

Does TrollTech provide binary installers for commercial users?

|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.

One thing to keep in mind with Komodo is that while it has a GUI
builder, I believe it only supports Tk/Tkinter. That's not surprising,
given that ActiveState's bread and butter is Tcl. I myself like Tk, but
I also develop in Tcl: I'm learning Python as a way into the more
comprehensive  GUI toolkits that it supports. (To me Tkinter just looks
like a weird mangling of Tk code, and doesn't interest me.)

In other words, if you want a commercial GUI builder for something other
than Tk, you're back to wxDesigner or Black Adder/Qt. Or, coding the
stuff by hand in Komodo. But if you're moving to Linux, Black Adder
might be a good route. (Assuming theKompany doesn't go belly up in the

Anyway, thanks for the discussion. I found it very intriguing.


Kevin Walzer, PhD
WordTech Software--Open Source Applications and Packages for OS X
mailto:sw at wordtech-software.com
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