Be nice to your spouse (or other person who needs to run your scripts) - give your command line scripts some GUI feedback when needed.


Developers usually like to run scripts from a terminal. In addition, for these kind of Python scripts, if something goes wrong, the easiest thing to do is let it fail 'ungracefully', at which point you get a helpful stacktrace on the screen. And if it goes well, it should just exit without printing anything.

For your spouse or friend who just wants to double click an icon, both these behaviours will be very confusing. They normally want confirmation that it worked and is finished, and if it doesn't it should show some kind of nice error message.

This package provides some simple wrappers (normally context managers) so that you can get the best of both worlds.

Basic usage

Take a typical script:

def main():
    # Stuff here

if __name__ == '__main__':

Simply wrap the call to main in a spousefriendly.friendly_success_and_failure with block:

import spousefriendly

if __name__ == '__main__':
    with spousefriendly.friendly_success_and_failure():

If running from a terminal, there will be no change in behaviour. From a GUI, however (e.g. launched from a file manager), upon exit there will be a success message, or a failure message if appropriate.

Detailed usage

friendly_success_and_failure composes two context managers:

spousefriendly.friendly_success(success_message='Optional success message')

spousefriendly.friendly_failure(failure_message='Optional failure message')

Both success_message and failure_message can also be passed to friendly_success_and_failure as keyword arguments. Sensible defaults are used if not supplied.


Obviously, the context managers can't protect against anything that happens outside their scope (e.g. import errors etc.).


Windows support! This is the most obvious one. Since I don't use Windows, I'm not in a position to test this. I've put some rudimentary things in, but it probably doesn't work.

Where interactive user input is needed, it would be nice to have some simple wrappers that provide a GUI or terminal alternative automatically. However, I'd normally use command line arguments rather than 'input' for this kind of thing. It might be possible to create a wrapper that replace required command line arguments with a GUI prompt - could hook into optparse or argparse.