"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Why PythonNet?

Gordon says Python is complete, so why PythonNet? I agree that Python 2.3 has a lot to offer out of the box. But I'm using PythonNet for the same reason I'm using Jython, as Gordon suspects, to get to the libraries in dotnet and the JVM, respectively.

In particular, in this moment, I want to get to SWT, Java2D, and GDI+ for drawing. I could just use the GDI+ DLL without dotnet, but the dotnet API is better. I also want to use other C# code from Python and vice versa.

By the way, I am also starting to use Cocoa via PyObjC for the Macintosh. Other than a thin layer of low level GUI and graphics, I have a growing capability to do "fully native" write once, run anywhere, from Python. Of course with Jython in the mix you have to be careful, since it is not up to the 2.3 definition of C Python. That's OK for now.

Why not just use WxPython? Because I want to use the native APIs and integrate with other native code and I don't want a layer as big as WxWindows in between. It's really not that hard. When you structure your system like this...

  1. Domain Model
  2. UI and Drawing Model
  3. Native UI and Drawing
...you can make the drawing model fairly rich because all the brushes, pens, clipping regions, and graphics contexts are at roughly the same level of detail and capability. But for the UI model I'm finding it's better to keep the abstract UI model very simple, essentially just a set of Commands, Tools, and basic Layouts that map to many more detailed UI objects at the lowest native layer.

That is, don't try to create a WxPython. That's too much work with little payoff. Who wants to program at that level of detail even if it is cross-platform? Let the high level UI objects *generate* all the low level GUI objects in a platform-specific way. Details to come, when I have more of it figured out!

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.