I keep reading threads here, some use the Tkinter GUI toolkit and others use the wxPython GUI toolkit. Why would one use one or the other?

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If you just want to tinker with GUI coding to get a feel for it, Tkinter is simpler to code. For real involved GUI development I would use wxPython. It has a large number of fancy widgets for grids, mulimedia (MP3, midi, avi, mpg, wav, au), image display (jpg, png, animated gif etc.), HTML window, and so on.

Here is a real simple graphics module (a thin wrapper for Tkinter) for beginner's GUI projects ...
which also has a nice documentation ...

I have also wanted to know that. But I am a beginner to GUI, and since you say Tkinter is easier, are their any good tutorials with the beginner in mind for Tkinter?

Before I forget, you can also go into the DaniWeb Code Snippets section and search the Python Snippets for Tkinter. There are a fair number of Tkinter code snippets in there at various levels of complexity.

You can also search for wxPython and get a similar response.

The "Starting Python" sticky also has a number of examples of GUI programming. For a beginner, this one shows you how to develop a blah looking console "Hello World!" into a mouse clicking colorful program ...

Here is vegaseat's fancy Tkinter GUI "Hello World!" code:

# a simple "Hello, world!" Tkinter GUI
# add some color and a larger text font
# add buttons to change text color and fancy them up

# import Tkinter as namespace tk
import Tkinter as tk 

def white_blue():
    label1.config(fg='white', bg='blue')

def blue_green():
    label1.config(fg='blue', bg='green')

# create the basic window, let's call it 'root'  
root = tk.Tk()
# why not add a title
root.title("Hello World from DaniWeb!")

# create a label with colors in it
font1 = ('times', 36, 'bold')
label1 = tk.Label(root, text="Hello, world!", font=font1, fg='red', bg='yellow') 
# let's use a grid to put the label into the window
# make it span two grid columns
label1.grid(row=0, column=0, columnspan=2)
# create 2 buttons to click for text color change
# use the two grid positions below the label
# (by default the button will take up the center of each grid space)
# give the buttons some y-axis space and a ridge style
button1 = tk.Button(root, text="white on blue", relief='ridge', command=white_blue)
button1.grid(row=1, column=0, pady=5)
button2 = tk.Button(root, text="blue on green", relief='ridge', command=blue_green)
button2.grid(row=1, column=1, pady=5)

# run the GUI event loop

Here is the same program written in wxPython, seems to be slightly more complex:

# a simple "Hello, world!" wxPython GUI
# add some color and a larger text font
# add buttons to change text color and fancy them up

import wx

def white_blue(event):
    label1.SetLabel("Hello World!")

def blue_green(event):
    label1.SetLabel("Hello World!")

app = wx.PySimpleApp()

# create the basic window, let's call it frame1
# (there is no parent, -1 is the default ID)
# unlike Tkinter this window does not auto-size
# you must change it's size to fit the larger text
frame1 = wx.Frame(None, -1, size=(440, 150))

# add a title to the frame
frame1.SetTitle("Hello World from DaniWeb!")

# create a label, default is auto-size
label1 = wx.StaticText(frame1, -1, "Hello World!")
# add color to the label
# give the label a larger font
label1.SetFont(wx.Font(36, wx.MODERN, wx.NORMAL, wx.BOLD))

# create the 2 buttons
button1 = wx.Button(frame1, -1, "white on blue")
button2 = wx.Button(frame1, -1, "blue on green")
# bind the 2 buttons to a function
button1.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, white_blue)
button2.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, blue_green)

# wx.GridBagSizer() is similar to Tkinters grid()
# the label is in top grid spanning across 2 grids
# the 2 buttons are in adjoining grids below
# vgap=0, hgap=0 and span=(1, 1) are defaults
# pos=(row, column)  span=(rowspan, columnspan)
sizer1 = wx.GridBagSizer(vgap=5, hgap=5)
sizer1.Add(label1, pos=(0, 0), span=(1, 2))
# center buttons in grid space
sizer1.Add(button1, (1, 0), (1, 1), wx.ALIGN_CENTER)
sizer1.Add(button2, (1, 1), (1, 1), wx.ALIGN_CENTER)

# show the window

# run the GUI event loop

I looked at Ene's wxPython remake of vegaseat's fancy Tkinter GUI "Hello World!" code, and used the Boa Constructor IDE to do this. It took only a few minutes to create this wxPython code, since Boa has a drag/drop frame builder and writes most of the code:

# fancy "Hello World!" wxPython code generated mostly by Boa Constructor
# Boa Constructor (needs wxPython, has drag/drop frame builder, debugger etc.)
# Further development may have stopped.  Download free from:
# http://freshmeat.net/redir/boa-constructor/832/url_zip/boa-constructor-0.4.4.zip


import wx

def create(parent):
    return Frame1(parent)

] = [wx.NewId() for _init_ctrls in range(4)]

class Frame1(wx.Frame):
    def _init_ctrls(self, prnt):
        # generated method, don't edit
        wx.Frame.__init__(self, id=wxID_FRAME1, name='', parent=prnt,
              pos=wx.Point(396, 174), size=wx.Size(391, 178),
              style=wx.DEFAULT_FRAME_STYLE, title=u'Hello World from DaniWeb!')
        self.SetClientSize(wx.Size(383, 138))

        self.staticText1 = wx.StaticText(id=wxID_FRAME1STATICTEXT1,
              label=u' Hello World! ', name='staticText1', parent=self,
              pos=wx.Point(0, 0), size=wx.Size(385, 84), style=0)
        self.staticText1.SetBackgroundColour(wx.Colour(255, 255, 0))
        self.staticText1.SetForegroundColour(wx.Colour(255, 0, 0))
        self.staticText1.SetFont(wx.Font(36, wx.SWISS, wx.NORMAL, wx.NORMAL,
              False, u'Comic Sans MS'))

        self.button1 = wx.Button(id=wxID_FRAME1BUTTON1, label=u'white on blue',
              name='button1', parent=self, pos=wx.Point(56, 96),
              size=wx.Size(96, 28), style=0)
        self.button1.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, self.OnButton1Button,

        self.button2 = wx.Button(id=wxID_FRAME1BUTTON2, label=u'blue on green',
              name='button2', parent=self, pos=wx.Point(216, 96),
              size=wx.Size(103, 28), style=0)
        self.button2.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, self.OnButton2Button,

    def __init__(self, parent):

    def OnButton1Button(self, event):
        # I had to add these lines, Boa generates the rest
        self.staticText1.SetLabel(" Hello World! ")        

    def OnButton2Button(self, event):
        # I had to add these lines, Boa generates the rest
        self.staticText1.SetLabel(" Hello World! ")        

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app = wx.PySimpleApp()
    frame = create(None)


Nice to see that folks still use Boa Constructor. It is a very nice IDE that includes a Delphi like frame builder/designer. According to Werner Bruhin development has not stopped, it simply plays hard to get. The latest version I have seen (middle of 2006) was 0.5.2

Another frame builder/designer for wxPython is wxGlade. This one is not an IDE. It takes a little effort to get used to it. For that effort it can spit out Python, Lisp or C++ code.

Here is the fancy "Hello World!" wxPython version created with wxGlade ...

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: ISO-8859-1 -*-
# generated by wxGlade 0.4.1 on Tue Jan 23 23:49:34 2007
import wx
class MyFrame(wx.Frame):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwds):
        # begin wxGlade: MyFrame.__init__
        kwds["style"] = wx.DEFAULT_FRAME_STYLE
        wx.Frame.__init__(self, *args, **kwds)
        self.sizer_1_staticbox = wx.StaticBox(self, -1, "1")
        self.sizer_2_staticbox = wx.StaticBox(self, -1, "2")
        self.label_1 = wx.StaticText(self, -1, " Hello World! ")
        self.button_1 = wx.Button(self, -1, "white on blue")
        self.button_2 = wx.Button(self, -1, "blue on green")
        self.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, self.white_blue, self.button_1)
        self.Bind(wx.EVT_BUTTON, self.blue_green, self.button_2)
        # end wxGlade
    def __set_properties(self):
        # begin wxGlade: MyFrame.__set_properties
        self.SetTitle("Hello World from DaniWeb!")
        self.label_1.SetMinSize((-1, -1))
        self.label_1.SetBackgroundColour(wx.Colour(255, 255, 0))
        self.label_1.SetForegroundColour(wx.Colour(255, 0, 0))
        self.label_1.SetFont(wx.Font(36, wx.MODERN, wx.NORMAL, wx.BOLD, 0, ""))
        self.button_1.SetMinSize((-1, -1))
        self.button_2.SetMinSize((-1, -1))
        # end wxGlade
    def __do_layout(self):
        # begin wxGlade: MyFrame.__do_layout
        sizer_1 = wx.StaticBoxSizer(self.sizer_1_staticbox, wx.VERTICAL)
        sizer_2 = wx.StaticBoxSizer(self.sizer_2_staticbox, wx.HORIZONTAL)
        sizer_1.Add(self.label_1, 0, wx.ADJUST_MINSIZE, 0)
        sizer_2.Add(self.button_1, 0, wx.ADJUST_MINSIZE, 0)
        sizer_2.Add(self.button_2, 0, wx.ADJUST_MINSIZE, 0)
        sizer_1.Add(sizer_2, 1, wx.EXPAND, 0)
        # end wxGlade
    def white_blue(self, event): # wxGlade: MyFrame.<event_handler>
        # next 3 lines added by user
        self.label_1.SetLabel(" Hello World! ")        
        #print "Event handler `white_blue' not implemented!"
    def blue_green(self, event): # wxGlade: MyFrame.<event_handler>
        # next 3 lines added by user
        self.label_1.SetLabel(" Hello World! ") 
        #print "Event handler `blue_green' not implemented!"
# end of class MyFrame

class MyApp(wx.App):
    def OnInit(self):
        frame_1 = MyFrame(None, -1, "")
        return 1
# end of class MyApp
if __name__ == "__main__":
    app = MyApp(0)

Is boa constructor easy to use? I'm guessing not, but worth asking.

Boa Constructor has very many features, for beginner takes time to get familiar. I use it, but some things are not intuitive and hard to find in the extensive menu. You can try it, and I can answer some of your questions. I think vegaseat knows more about it.

You can of course also use Boa for your regular console programs too, it has nice editor/IDE. I think Boa is great tool to learn wxPython things.

Try to download the installer exe for Windows from:

I like Boa because it has a Delphi RAD look and feel to it. The problem with Boa is wxPython, they keep adding so many new and fancy widgets with each release that Boa has a real tough time keeping up. Right now the Boa developers are bogged down with their Unix versions for Linux and the Mac.

There is also a forum for Boa Constructor questions ...

The "Starting Python" sticky also has a number of examples of GUI programming. For a beginner, this one shows you how to develop a blah looking console "Hello World!" into a mouse clicking colorful program ...

Hey thanks vegas! Your "Hello World" development series is real cool! Like to see a few more of those!

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