The PLIB.GUI package contains a simple GUI application framework with two main features:
- It lets the same high-level code work with a number of different underlying GUI toolkits. Currently supported: Qt (versions 3 and 4), PySide, KDE (versions 3 and 4), wxWidgets, and GTK. (The original reason for writing this sub-package was that wxWidgets doesn't use Qt and I like the Qt/KDE widgets better, but Qt was not available for Windows and I wanted code that would run cross-platform.)
- It allows you to express the layout of your GUI in terms of Python lists and dicts, enabling a much more declarative and easy to read (and maintain) coding style.
Other than selecting the toolkit (which may not be necessary: the main module of the sub-package can 'auto-detect' which toolkit to use--the plib-setup-gui post-install script does most of the work to enable this--so you only need to override if you don't like the default), you should not have to worry about any toolkit internal details; the goal of this sub-package is to make them all look the same to your code.
Note that the GTK toolkit support in this sub-package is "experimental" and may be removed if it proves to be more trouble than it's worth. It's currently included because wxWidgets' behavior when using GTK as its underlying GUI framework has some quirks that I haven't been able to work around yet. However, the GTK implementation of a number of widgets (particularly tables and list/tree views) is much less capable than the wxWidgets one, so the Python code for GTK ends up relying much more on ugly hacks.
Note: PLIB.GUI works with Python 2.7. If you are using Python 3, see the PLIB3.GUI package, available at https://bitbucket.org/pdonis/plib3-gui.
The setup.py script for PLIB.GUI uses the setuputils helper module, which helps to automate away much of the boilerplate in Python setup scripts. This module is available as a separate release at https://github.com/pdonis/setuputils.
To install PLIB.GUI, you can simply run:
$ python setup.py install
at a shell prompt from the directory into which you unzipped the source tarball (the same directory that this README file is in). This will install PLIB and then run each of the post-install scripts in the scripts directory.
PLIB.GUI comes with example programs that illustrate key features of the package. After installation, these can be found in the $PREFIX/share/plib/examples directory. If you have a POSIX system (Linux or Mac OSX), the plib-setup-examples post-install script will install symlinks to the example programs in the $PREFIX/bin directory.
The Zen of PLIB
There is no single unifying purpose or theme to PLIB, but like Python itself, it does have a 'Zen' of sorts:
- Express everything possible in terms of built-in Python data structures.
- Once you've expressed it that way, what the code is going to do with it should be obvious.
- Avoid boilerplate code, and boilerplate data. Every piece of data your program needs should have one and only one source.
Copyright and License
PLIB.GUI is Copyright (C) 2008-2015 by Peter A. Donis.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. (See the LICENSE file for a copy of version 2 of the License.)
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA.