[Pythonmac-SIG] GUI design tools

Troy Rollins troy.rollins at gmail.com
Tue Mar 15 06:14:48 CET 2005

> By the way, DialogBlocks is another option, also a commercial product
> from one of the core (indeed, the founder) wx developers.
> http://www.anthemion.co.uk/dialogblocks/
> I believe the OS-X version may still be listed as beta, but it hasn't
> shown any problems for me with a quick check-out. At least runs long
> enough for me to check it out quickly, and it seems solid and nice. You
> can try it out (with restrictions) before buying.

Interesting, that one hadn't shown up in any of my searches.

> That still doesn't give you an all-in-one IDE, but the pieces are there.

Yes. I'm not debating that it is not possible to "get something
working." I'm stating that OSX is behind the other two platforms in
terms of polished tools for it.
> By the way, I'm curious: My impression is that all-in-one GUI
> Point-and-click development environments are much easier on the newbie,
> but I'm not the least bit convinced that they increase productivity for
> folks that develop everyday. Has anyone seen any kind of study comparing
> productivity between a GUI IDE and the old command-line + editor approach?

I'm no newbie, other than to Python itself. I write a great deal of
software, and earn a rather respectable income based on it. For me,
productivity is partially measured by my enjoyment of the space my
mind lives in roughly 16 hours a day. If I had a plain text editor or
a buggy freeware thing for a workspace, I'd probably do a lot less
coding. I'm not saying this is an issue for everyone, or even anyone
else at all. It is an issue of enjoying what I do, and having tools
that make my job easier, more fun, more visual, more playful,

Not to mention that this group would be about the last to provide some
unbiased polling on that particular topic.

> > Time to make room for some Linux boxes, as Linux has commercial tools
> > available.
> Interestingly, I don't use commercial tools, and have also found Linux
> to be a much easier environment. In contrast, I'd say the advantage of
> Linux over OS-X is mostly in the non-commercial realm. For instance, I
> don't think any of the mentioned tools (Flash, Director, Revolution,
> RealBasic) are available on linux.

Revolution is. The new RealBasic is. Flash has playback. I didn't mean
to imply that I'm only interested in commercial products, or that
Linux is the best place to find commercial products. I'm interested in
the quality of commercial products, and (somewhat oddly) those
currently exist on Linux rather than OSX. Windows as well, but I'm
only willing to stoop so low.

> I do think it's odd that people are saying that only commercial tools
> are robust and supported, and yet want to use Python.

It isn't an issue of wanting everything to be "free". I'm not
interested in Python because it is free as in beer, but because it is
open. Open source has many benefits beyond saving a buck and sloppy
tool sets. There are enough compelling reasons to use Python, even if
a nice authoring tool costs a couple hundred bucks.

> Personally, I'd
> like us to focus on the quality of the tools (including installation,
> support and documentation), rather than whether they are proprietary or
> not. Personally, I've found both proprietary and open-source software to
> be both excellent and crappy by all these measures.

You seem to think I want to pay for something. I want the QUALITY of
commercial software e.g. "commercial quality"... or something "people
would be willing to pay for." If you can't see a difference between
some of the dot-seven release tools on OSX, and something like
Komodo... well, I don't expect to convince you.

The point is, I'd be perfectly happy on OSX, so long as there are
tools which meet my standards, payware or not. But there aren't
currently. I have high hopes that someday there will be.

> By the way to second someone's comments about a TK- GUI-Builder: wx will
> give you advantages over TK that no nifty GUI-builder will make up for
> (unless you need the TK Canvas widget)

Fair enough. I think I mentioned how I expected to use the TK tools
for quick prototypes, and was willing to hand-code wx where needed.

> One last comment: while I agree that much of the MacPython experience
> feels alpha or beta quality, I don't agree that it is fixed at that
> level. It has gotten Much, Much better over the last few years, and I
> expect to see it keep improving.

Ooops. If I implied that it would never get better on OSX, I didn't
mean to. I was refering to the landscape today, in comparison to the
other platforms.
> Thanks Jack, Bob, Kevin O, etc, etc. for a job very well done!

Troy Rollins
RPSystems, Ltd.

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