Some PyGTK love revamp

So, after some months of discussion with Rafael Villar (pachi) and delaying the issue, I’ve finally found some time to improve the site. I strongly believe that pygtk is one of the easiest ways to create cross platforms GUI. Some people may say, it’s not so cross platform, because it’s hard to install on windows. Okay, and that’s why I did the pygtk all-in-one installer for Windows.

I think that most of the potential of pygtk is lost because it’s hard to figure out how powerful it is, and the good documentation resources are not obvious. For example, if you have visited before, you have realized that the 90% of the information on the front page, is news, the rest are links. So the first time someone visits the site with no clue on what pygtk is all about it’s so hard to figure out what is it all about. Also, the about section, talks about a lot of technologies, but fails on explain what PyGTK can do for you, which problems it solves.

Another problem on the site was the download section, on top of it you have the sources of the releases, and almost at the end, the win32 version. I’ve been using pygtk for almost 5 years if I remember correctly. I have never built it yet, I have installed it using apt, yum, yast, emerge and the windows installers. Why on earth do we need the sources on top of the page? Then I realized another thing, people from linux, have it installed already on almost all distros. From the statistics of the site, we realized that most visitors are windows users, and most of them, go to the download page always. So the most potentially useful bit of the download section is the windows installer.

So, this issues have been improved, we have updated the about page, we have put some information on the front page and we have reordered and merged some sections on the download page. Also, we have improved the documentation on how to install it on windows inside the PyGTK FAQ, which it’s now alive on

We also would like to improve the documentation page, and the documents itself. The tutorial is not the best document to getting started, and it’s a direct translation from the GTK+ tutorial so it misses some PyGTK specific magic. However is the most downloaded bit, guess why? It’s on top. We’re thinking about a starter guide rescuing some material from the articles and the FAQ, and rename the tutorial to manual.

Help, suggestions, and patches to the pygtk-web module of the Gnome SVN are welcome.

PyGTK Win32 Installer

I’m getting have ready to upload the MS Windows all-in-one installer, (btw, I need to find a better name) for pygtk nsis sources, so people can help me to improve it and I can start making regular releases, if it gets into an stable and acceptable shape, we may use it as the official pygtk windows installer. Up to now, the patch to include the script and the installer building Makefile is waiting in waiting for approval in the pygtk bugzilla (#435319).


7 thoughts on “Some PyGTK love

  1. Talking of cross-platform GUIs, I don’t think GTK+ is really an option, unfortunately, because the support for Mac OS X is so poor that it borders on unusable. (Having said that, I am using GTKmm as part of project that runs on Mac/Windows/GNOME).
    It looks like the effort to make GTK work on OSX without X11 ( is going pretty slowly, and even when this is complete, GTK+ apps will still feel very foreign on Mac, and no where near as usable as GTK+ on GNOME or even Windows.
    Sorry for the negative post, but I don’t think (Py)GTK should be pushed as a way to do cross platform apps – new users are just going to be disappointed.
    Instead, push (Py)GTK as a cool, well though out GUI framework for GNOME, with an excellent API and a wide range of very good language binding including Python (or basically any language you want), and rapid development.


  2. There are much more platforms than Windows/Linux/Mac OS X, and PyGTK works on lots of them, so I would say that we can talk about cross platform, even if some platforms are not supported yet.
    But I agree with you that the non Linux platforms need some love, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to help with.


  3. >PyGTK is included in most Linux distributions (including Conectiva, Debian, Fedora, Mandrake, Redhat and SUSE);
    Don’t forget Ubuntu! I think lots of people would wonder why it’s not listed there as one of the biggest distros…
    Also I hope to see some better OS X integration!


  4. Good point mike! I think that text was written way before ubuntu existed.
    Thank you!
    BTW, I encourage you to download the repository with svn and do patches by yourself, that makes the fixing much easier and lets you to get some credit for it, also you may help us in future changes 😉


  5. On 05/04/2007 at 10:13 AM, Alberto Ruiz wrote: “There are much more platforms than Windows/Linux/Mac OS X, and PyGTK works on lots of them, so I would say that we can talk about cross platform, even if some platforms are not supported yet.
    But I agree with you that the non Linux platforms need some love, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to help with.”
    Rather than talk about the Linux/non-Linux kernels, lets talk about platforms that use a GTK+-native desktop environment such as XFCE or GNOME (Solaris, BSD, commercial Unix etc, and of course Linux) and those that have some other native widget set than GTK+ (KDE on Linux/Solaris/BSD/etc, Mac, Windows, BeOS, various fringe platforms).
    Yes, PyGTK will run well on most (all?) systems that are built around GTK+, including all GNOME or XFCE platforms etc (irrespective of underlying OS).
    But I would consider GNOME or even GTK+ the platform, and the underlying OS or kernel more or less irrelevant. If we look at it this way, GTK+ is basically not at all cross platform, because it only works on GNOME (or other GTK+ desktops). It kindof works on Windows, but on other _platforms_ (systems that do not natively use GTK+), it either doesn’t work or brings along it’s own systems that runs parallel to that native widget systems etc.
    I would consider a cross-platform toolkit something that looks and behaves (mostly) natively on a variety of platforms, including GTK+, KDE, Windows, Mac, etc. Toolkits that do well in this category include Qt, wxWidgets, Java/Swing etc.
    Having said that, I use GTK+ for my GUI development work, and like it, it’s just that I have been burnt by GTK+’s non-cross-platform-ness and personally, I definately wouldn’t advocate it as such.


  6. @Hugo:
    Again, the look and behave is a matter of love. That’s what Imendio guys are working on for the OS X front as an example. (btw, there are new code for the port every month, that effort is not stopped at all, although the visible results are about to come yet)
    Anyway, cross platform means that “it works”, there is gimp for windows, there is inkscape for windows, there is gaim for windows. They all work, lots of people use them. And yes, it doesn’t look like windows, and that’s what I talking about with love.
    Let’s do it in the windows way, that’s why I doing the installer. And also, in a neear future, I would like to work on the appereance of the dialogs, icons and widgets so they all look like windows as QT does.


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