[clug] Building a simple UI with pygame, keystrokes and a window focus problem

Hal Ashburner hal at ashburner.info
Tue Feb 1 03:37:50 MST 2011

Hey Clug,
I'm knocking up a quick and dirty dedicated do-hickey booth thing for a 
friend's art project. This is going to run on a dedicated laptop.

I'm using pygame and an i-pac keyboard controller 

#I want sound effects when switches hit. Ok easy
sound1 = pygame.mixer.Sound("foo.ogg")

#switches hit, going via the ipac thingy should be handled as 
keystrokes, yeah?

for event in pygame.events.get():
     if event.type == KEYDOWN:
         #a switch was hit!

#somewhere in the initialisation I'm doing:

window = pygame.display.set_mode((width, height)), pygame.FULLSCREEN)

#which makes sure pygame gets the keystrokes.

#All good, right up until one of the things I want to do is launch 
cheese as a photobooth kind of deal.

if not cheese:
     cheese = subprocess.Popen("/usr/bin/cheese")
     cheese = None

#which, as you probably saw a lot faster than me because I actually 
coded & tested it before realising, takes focus away from the pygame 
app, thereby swallowing all keystrokes.

So I just want to create a very very simple and stupid UI that responds 
to keystrokes, on which it makes a noise or launches/kills a process. I 
want all keystrokes to be handled by this UI and not captured by the any 
launched process.

Am I doing it all wrong using pygame? Suggestions with or without pygame?


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