tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

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tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

alexxxm
Hi people,
I'm midway in writing a simple wiki, in python+tkinter (thanks also to your help, http://old.nabble.com/newbie-request-for-help-td31791699.html).
Simple for the typical developer maybe, but for me is long work, and once you start optimizing stuff, it can become a very large project.
And suddenly I become prey of doubts: did I chose the right language?
From the POV of being the easiest method I found for writing a program and its GUI, I'm really happy with it.
But I intend to use this wiki for many years to come... will tkinter stay with us for so long? What do you think about tkinter's long-term prospectives?

thanks for your help!

alessandro
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Re: tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

Kevin Buchs-2
Alesandro,

Tk has been around for probably more than 20 years. It is established in many applications. I would think that tkinter is well established. However, you have to consider that computer science is an ever-changing field. Some things that were well established 20 years ago are gone now. And, 40 years ago: ever used punched cards, reel-to-reel tape, Lisp, COBOL or Fortran? Things will change. If you really want insurance against change, grab all the tools you use in source form, to the extent they are available and maintain your current environment as long as your hardware holds out. You can get Linux, compilers, Tk, Python and all the Python packages you use in your Wiki project and keep those going. 

When I first started to read your post, I assumed that you were developing the wiki as a learning exercise. Then when I got to your question about long term availability I realized you want a production tool. So, I just have to ask now, why not use what has been developed by others. HTML browsers are an ideal tool for navigating Wikis. I am not sure of what role Tk plays in your project, but developing a full-browser capability seems like a lot of work. There are plenty of open-source wikis available. I think there are probably wikis available written in Python. They need not provide any graphical interface to work. You can even buy a production, enterprise class commercial wiki from Atlassian for $10. 

Kevin Buchs

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:10 AM, alexxxm <[hidden email]> wrote:
What do you think about tkinter's long-term prospectives?


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Re: tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

Wayne Werner
In reply to this post by alexxxm
On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:10 AM, alexxxm <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi people,
I'm midway in writing a simple wiki, in python+tkinter (thanks also to your
help, http://old.nabble.com/newbie-request-for-help-td31791699.html).
Simple for the typical developer maybe, but for me is long work, and once
you start optimizing stuff, it can become a very large project.
And suddenly I become prey of doubts: did I chose the right language?
>From the POV of being the easiest method I found for writing a program and
its GUI, I'm really happy with it.
But I intend to use this wiki for many years to come... will tkinter stay
with us for so long? What do you think about tkinter's long-term
prospectives?

Tkinter has been around for a *long* time, and from what I gather is still under active development. I strongly suspect that, barring some worldwide disaster, or the death of Python, Tkinter will probably be around and plenty strong for many more years. 

Though if you're worried about how your GUI is handling things, you might start looking at some design patterns, such as the model-view-presenter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-view-presenter) that help you separate the business logic of your program from the view of your program. Theoretically that means that if you did it right, you could change your front end from Tkinter to HTML to GTK to a Braille output with just a few keystrokes (assuming you had the front end setup correctly!).

Good design is one of those hard things in programming - and usually there's no right answer, though there are definitely many *wrong* answers ;)

Good luck!

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Re: tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

alexxxm
In reply to this post by Kevin Buchs-2
Hi Kevin, thank you for your reply.
I would not call it a production tool, maybe, since it will be used just by me: I will upload it as free software of course, but I already know that it's not something people are much interested into: a wiki-based organization of the whole filesystem - if you're interested read a bit about it in http://www.inrim.it/~magni/zimDMS.htm . I would not know how to manage my hundreds of folders, hierarchies, projects, thoughts ... without it: since I started using it it has been a real godsend.

At the moment, I have it perfectly working, running around the Zim wiki http://www.zim-wiki.org/ 
My problem: I can trace the oldest data/thoughts in my disk to +/- 20 years ago (old C64 programs!), and I imagine I will be around for much more time :-) so I want to have an "infobase system" that will span decades, not requiring restarting from scratch if a wiki or a toolkit isnt supported anymore.
This of course implies a rigorous separation of the data from the GUI (as Wayne correctly said!) and I'm already doing that... but since I'm not a GUI programmer, I wanted something accessible, and at the same time something with a looong future ahead!

alessandro


Kevin Buchs-2 wrote
Alesandro,

Tk has been around for probably more than 20 years. It is established in
many applications. I would think that tkinter is well established. However,
you have to consider that computer science is an ever-changing field. Some
things that were well established 20 years ago are gone now. And, 40 years
ago: ever used punched cards, reel-to-reel tape, Lisp, COBOL or Fortran?
Things will change. If you really want insurance against change, grab all
the tools you use in source form, to the extent they are available and
maintain your current environment as long as your hardware holds out. You
can get Linux, compilers, Tk, Python and all the Python packages you use in
your Wiki project and keep those going.

When I first started to read your post, I assumed that you were developing
the wiki as a learning exercise. Then when I got to your question about long
term availability I realized you want a production tool. So, I just have to
ask now, why not use what has been developed by others. HTML browsers are an
ideal tool for navigating Wikis. I am not sure of what role Tk plays in your
project, but developing a full-browser capability seems like a lot of work.
There are plenty of open-source wikis available. I think there are probably
wikis available written in Python. They need not provide any graphical
interface to work. You can even buy a production, enterprise class
commercial wiki from Atlassian for $10.

Kevin Buchs

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:10 AM, alexxxm <magni@inrim.it> wrote:

> What do you think about tkinter's long-term prospectives?
>
>

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Re: tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

Kevin Buchs-2
Alessandro,

It sounds like you have a good plan. If I wanted to future-proof a project like that, I would probably implement it as an HTML5/CSS/javascript generator and use a browser to navigate it. That would put the future-proof requirement above any desire to learn GUI programming. Almost any GUI implementation today may be outdated in 20 years. 20 years ago I was writing C-code talking to Xlib for GUI development. Today the world is very different.


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Re: tkinter - hopefully forecasting a very long life...

Cameron Laird-2
On Thu, Jul 07, 2011 at 07:40:59AM -0500, Kevin Buchs wrote:
                        .
                        .
                        .
> It sounds like you have a good plan. If I wanted to future-proof a project
> like that, I would probably implement it as an HTML5/CSS/javascript
> generator and use a browser to navigate it. That would put the future-proof
> requirement above any desire to learn GUI programming. Almost any GUI
> implementation today may be outdated in 20 years. 20 years ago I was writing
> C-code talking to Xlib for GUI development. Today the world is very
> different.
                        .
                        .
                        .
I'm as fond of Tkinter as anyone, and continue to work in it;
HTML5 is the way of the future, though.

Cameron Laird       <[hidden email]>       +1 281 996 8546 FAX
http://phaseit.net/claird/misc.writing/publications.html
http://twitter.com/Phaseit
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