[clug] CLUG meeting 25 September 2003

Matthew Hawkins matt at mh.dropbear.id.au
Wed Sep 24 12:32:28 EST 2003

Simon Burton said:
> When did you last try pygtk on windows and what did you think?
> (It recently got to version 2.0.0)

Firstly, I apologise for replying this way, webmail won't let me tag-reply
like I can in mutt :~(
Okay, let me get something straight, I have no real problem with toolkits
like PyGtk, wxWindows, even Tkinter.  I was talking about (as this is how
I read the original question) applications to enable the rapid development
of a GUI interface - ie let you draw widgets on a canvas and attach
properties to them and have the bulk code generated for you.  Stuff like
Boa Constructor (which segfaults consistently for me), SpecTix (missing
widgets), Glade (...ugh!), etc.
I'm not too familiar with how any of the toolkits perform on MS-Windows as
I've only so far used wxWindows and Python's Tix/Tkinter on that platform,
and on limited occasions, and so far haven't  come across anything bad
(well, nothing that I can't put down to my own incompetance or
unfamiliarity ;)  They've both been sufficient for my needs in terms of
API richness, available widgets, relative ease of use, available
documentation and performance.  I think in general we've certainly come a
long way that now we can develop on a POSIX platform like Linux and deploy
identical code on something foreign like MS-Windows and the application
"just works".
My issue as a programmer is that, frankly, I've got better things to do
than write a gumby UI around a perfectly functional program ;)  And GUI
toolkits being what they are, its quite onerous to use them directly.  One
of the applications I'm working on now I used Tkinter (and then Tix which
subclasses it) directly and its Not Fun (tm).  Especially when you're
championing open source software and you're constantly being benchmarked
against stuff like Visual Studio.  Some project managers don't understand
they're comparing apples and oranges when seeing it takes a VB.NET
programmer 30 minutes to come up with a prototype GUI app and it takes you
2.5 hours with your trusty Vim and Google ;)  As fast as I do type,
there's no way I can compete with software designed to do my task much
faster than I can (unless perhaps they get the VB.NET guy to use a 8Mhz
286 ;)  So I spent some time looking for stuff to help me (damn itches!)
and was disappointed with the available choices.
It'd be nice to stop whining and solve the problem but I don't think its a
task I could tackle on my own.

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