[Tutor] Choice of GUI builders

Marc Tompkins marc.tompkins at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 11:11:03 CET 2008

I'm using wxPython, after very brief forays into Tk and Qt, and I like it a
lot. wx generally wraps the native widgets of whatever OS/desktop it runs
on, and its idiom felt more comfortable to me than the others.  Also, unlike
Qt, it's free... I hate to be a cheapskate, but I'm a very small business
and I need to put food on my family, so the Qt license is a major hurdle.

I have to say, though, that as a recovering Visual Studio user there is one
thing - believe me, it's the only thing! - I miss, and that's an
honest-to-goodness WYSIWYG GUI designer.  For the love of Pete, if Microsoft
can get it right - and it's the only thing they did get right, IMHO - why
can't we?  Why can't you just draw your GUI on the screen and concentrate on
the actual functionality in peace?

In the wx world, I tried both PythonCard and wxGlade.  PythonCard might be
OK, but I didn't like it a bit; its stated goal is to be a re-creation of
HyperCard, and I was never a fan.  Also, I tried it just as I was first
getting started with Python, and it sorta felt at odds with the gestalt of
the language.  I'm probably not being fair to it.  Ah well.

wxGlade wants to re-create the joys of working with Glade, but I've never
used Glade. If it's anything like wxGlade, I'm glad to have missed out.
wxGlade does some very nifty, sophisticated and impressive GUI work to
create, for your delectation, a representation of your GUI that looks
virtually nothing like the finished product.  Looking at the display
mid-process, you can neither see what the finished product will look like,
nor what the code will look like.  Along the way, there's a hierarchical
organizer thingy that in theory should help you to put widgets inside of the
frames, panels and sizers that contain them, but in my experience actually
tends to put them at the same hierarchical level and refuses to let you fix
any mistakes you might make.  I've tried it four or five times - every time
I get tired of wxCoding by hand - and each time I realize it's going to be
easier to do it by hand.

It's not really that hard, by the way.  Draw yourself a picture ahead of
time - on paper, or (as I do) with hyphens and pipe characters in the
comments - so you can keep straight which sizers go inside of which.  Then,
build from the inside out.  And when you get weary - and oh, you will get
weary - indulge in just a little nostalgie de la bue.


On Jan 3, 2008 12:11 AM, Alan Gauld <alan.gauld at btinternet.com> wrote:

> "Roy Chen" <roychenlei at gmail.com> wrote
> > I suppose with any GUI toolkit/builder, you're going to have learn
> > some part
> > of the API anyway. I might just see how I go with wxPython for now.
> OK, wxPython is a fine toolkt. Just be aware that it does not have a
> builder per se, you have to write the GUI as source code or use a
> third
> party GUI builder.
> Alan G.
> _______________________________________________
> Tutor maillist  -  Tutor at python.org
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/tutor

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