Glade or no glade: What is the best way to use PyGtk?

I've been learning python for a while now with some success. I even managed to create one or two (simple) programs using PyGtk + Glade.

The thing is: I am not sure if the best way to use GTK with python is by building the interfaces using Glade.

I was wondering if the more experienced ones among us (remember, I'm just a beginner) could point out the benefits and caveats of using Glade as opposed to creating everything in the code itself (assuming that learning the correct gtk bindings wouldn't exactly be a problem).

Asked by: Adrian198 | Posted: 05-10-2021

Answer 1

I would say that it depends: if you find that using Glade you can build the apps you want or need to make than that's absolutely fine. If however you actually want to learn how GTK works or you have some non-standard UI requirements you will have to dig into GTK internals (which are not that complicated).

Personally I'm usually about 5 minutes into a rich client when I need some feature or customization that is simply impossible through a designer such as Glade or Stetic. Perhaps it's just me. Nevertheless it is still useful for me to bootstrap window design using a graphical tool.

My recommendation: if making rich clients using GTK is going to be a significant part of your job/hobby then learn GTK as well since you will need to write that code someday.

P.S. I personally find Stetic to be superior to Glade for design work, if a little bit more unstable.

Answered by: Kelsey173 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 2

Use GtkBuilder instead of Glade, it's integrated into Gtk itself instead of a separate library.

The main benefit of Glade is that it's much, much easier to create the interface. It's a bit more work to connect signal handlers, but I've never felt that matters much.

Answered by: Melissa815 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 3

Glade is very useful for creating interfaces, it means you can easily change the GUI without doing much coding. You'll find that if you want to do anything useful (e.g. build a treeview) you will have to get familiar with various parts of the GTK documentation - in practice finding a good tutorial/examples.

Answered by: Richard247 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 4

I started out using glade, but soon moved to just doing everything in code. Glade is nice for simple things, and it's good when you're learning how GTK organizes the widgets (how things are packed, etc). Constructing everything in code, however, you have much more flexibility. Plus, you don't have the glade dependency.

Answered by: Audrey204 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 5

I usually start with Glade until I come to a point where it doesn't have the features I need, e.g. creating a wizard. As long as I'm using the standard widgets that Glade provides, there's really no reason to hand-code the GUI.

The more comfortable I become with how Glade formats the code, the better my hand-coding becomes. Not to mention, it's real easy to use Glade to make the underlying framework so you don't have to worry about all the initializations.

Answered by: Kellan610 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 6

If you're writing a traditional GUI application which reuses a lot of standard components from GTK+ (buttons, labels, containers etc.) I'd personally go with Glade + Kiwi (a convenience framework for building GTK+ GUI applications).

The single greatest advantage to using Glade is that it greatly reduces layout/packing code. Here's an extremely simply example which already shows the issues with manually laying out a GUI (without using any helper functions):

container = gtk.HBox()
label = gtk.Label(str="test")

For more examples take a look here. Even if you're writing a complicated custom widget you can always create a placeholder in Glade and replace that after instantiation.

It shouldn't be all too long now for the Glade team to release a new version of the designer (3.6.0). This new version will add support for GtkBuilder, which replaces libglade (the actual library that transforms the Glade XML files into a widget tree). The new Glade designer also once again adds support for defining catalogs (sets of widgets) in Python, so you can easily add your own custom widgets.

Answered by: Kirsten376 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 7

First, start to put this in perspective.

You will be using GTK. This is a huge C library built in 1993 using the best traditions of 1970s coding style. It was built to help implement the GIMP, a Photoshop competitor wanna-be with user interface blunders of legend. A typical gui field might have forty or more parameters, mostly repetitive, having getters and setters. There will be pain.

The GTK itself manages a complete dynamic type system in C using GObject. This makes debugging a special joy that requires manually walking through arrays of pointers to methods full of generic argument lists with implicit inheritance. You will also be jumping through Pango libraries when you least expect it, e.g., using a Pango constant for where in a label the ellipsis go when the page is small. Expect more pain.

By now, you are probably vowing to wrap all your GTK interactions in a Model-View-Controller architecture specific to your application. This is good.

Using Glade, or gtkBuilder, or Stetic, will help coral the huge coupling problem of forty parameters to a function. Glade provides a basic GUI builder to drag and drop components together. The parameters and inherited parameters are somewhat separated out. The output of Glade is .glade XML file which you will then read in, attach your callbacks ("signal handlers") to identically named functions, and query or update the in-memory version of that XML to get widgets that you then use pyGTK to manipulate. Glade itself is a creaky and not well maintained.

Using pyGTK gives you annoyingly fine grained control in order to build your GUI. This will be verbose, copy-and-paste code. Each attribute will be a separate function call. The attribute setter does not return anything, so chaining the calls is out of the question. Usually, your IDE will give only minimal help on what functions mean and you will be constantly referring to DevHelp or some other tool.

One would almost expect GTK GUIs were meant to fail.

Answered by: Sienna769 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 8

I recommend using Glade for rapid development, but not for learning. Why? because some times you will need to tune up some widgets in order to work as you want they to work, and if you don't really know/understand the properties attributes of every widget then you will be in troubles.

Answered by: Julian711 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 9

For quick and simple screens I use Glade. But for anything that needs finer levels of control, I create a custom classes for what I actually need (this is important, because it's too easy to get carried away with generalisations).

With a skinny applications specific classes, I can rapidly change the look and feel application wide from a single place. Rather like using CSS to mantain consistency for web sites.

Answered by: Agata139 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 10

Personally I would recommend coding it out instead of using Glade. I'm still learning python and pyGtk but I will say that writing out the UI by hand gave me a lot of insight on how things work under the hood.

Once you have it learned I'd say to give glade, or other UI designers a try but definitely learn how to do it the "hard" way first.

Answered by: Edgar147 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Answer 11

You may use glade-2 to design, and use to generating the pure pygtk code, it use pygtkcompat to support gtk3

Answered by: Fiona671 | Posted: 06-11-2021

Similar questions

python - What's the best Django search app?

How can I use a DLL file from Python?

What is the easiest way to use a DLL file from within Python? Specifically, how can this be done without writing any additional wrapper C++ code to expose the functionality to Python? Native Python functionality is strongly preferred over using a third-party library.

python - PubSub lib for c#

Is there a c# library which provides similar functionality to the Python PubSub library? I think it's kind of an Observer Pattern which allows me to subscribe for messages of a given topic instead of using events.

python - What is the best way to copy a list?

This question already has answers here:

python - Possible Google Riddle?

My friend was given this free google website optimizer tshirt and came to me to try and figure out what the front logo meant. t-shirt So, I have a couple of guesses as to what it means, but I was just wondering if there is something more. My first guess is that eac...

How do you check whether a python method is bound or not?

Given a reference to a method, is there a way to check whether the method is bound to an object or not? Can you also access the instance that it's bound to?

ssh - How to scp in Python?

What's the most pythonic way to scp a file in Python? The only route I'm aware of is os.system('scp "%s" "%s:%s"' % (localfile, remotehost, remotefile) ) which is a hack, and which doesn't work outside Linux-like systems, and which needs help from the Pexpect module to avoid password prompts unless you already have passwordless SSH set up to the remote host. I'm aware of Twisted'...

python - How do I create a new signal in pygtk

I've created a python object, but I want to send signals on it. I made it inherit from gobject.GObject, but there doesn't seem to be any way to create a new signal on my object.

python - What do I need to import to gain access to my models?

I'd like to run a script to populate my database. I'd like to access it through the Django database API. The only problem is that I don't know what I would need to import to gain access to this. How can this be achieved?

python - How do I edit and delete data in Django?

I am using django 1.0 and I have created my models using the example in the Django book. I am able to perform the basic function of adding data; now I need a way of retrieving that data, loading it into a form (change_form?! or something), EDIT it and save it back to the DB. Secondly how do I DELETE the data that's in the DB? i.e. search, select and then delete! Please show me an example of the code ...

Still can't find your answer? Check out these communities...

PySlackers | Full Stack Python | NHS Python | Pythonist Cafe | Hacker Earth | Discord Python