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A simple Python GUI framework.

Project description

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, 4, and 5), PySide and PySide 2, 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

The 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


To install PLIB.GUI, you can simply run:

$ python 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.

Example Programs

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.

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