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Easy threading and multiprocessing for GUI applications

Project Description


async_gui is a library aimed to make use of threads in GUI applications simpler. It’s inspired by PyCon talk Using futures for async GUI programming in Python 3.3 and tornado @gen.engine implementation.

Most of GUI toolkits don’t allow you to access graphical elements from non-GUI thread. Python 3.2+ has nice new feature concurrent.futures, but we can’t just wait for result from future and callbacks are not very handy.

Combination of Coroutines via Enhanced Generators (PEP-342) and futures creates a rich and easy to use asynchronous programming model which can be used for creating highly responsive GUI applications.


Demo of button click handler:

def on_button_click(self, *args):
    self.status_label.setText("Downloading image...")
    # Run single task in separate thread
    image_data = yield Task(self.load_url,
    pixmap = QtGui.QPixmap.fromImage(QtGui.QImage.fromData(image_data))
    self.status_label.setText("Downloading pages...")
    urls = ['',
    # Run multiple task simultaneously in thread pool
    pages = yield [Task(self.load_url, url) for url in urls]
    avg_size = sum(map(len, pages)) / len(pages)
    self.result_label.setText("Average page size: %s" % avg_size)

Tasks yielded from on_button_click() executed in thread pool, but GUI updates done in the GUI thread. For CPU-bound applications there is also ability to run tasks in pool of processes.

See full example in examples directory.


  • Python 2.7+ (futures required), Python 3+ support
  • PyQt4/PySide, Tk, Wx, Gtk GUI toolkits support. Easy to add another
  • Can execute tasks in Thread, Process, Greenlet (gevent required)
  • Possibility to run multiple tasks at the same time
  • Straightforward exception handling
  • Full test coverage


Using pip:

$ pip install async_gui

Or download, unpack and:

$ python install

To run tests use:

$ python test


0.2.0 (2013-0x-xx)

  • MultiTask can return generator of ready tasks instead waiting for all done

0.1.0 (2013-04-06)

  • initial PyPI release
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