[SciPy-user] Thoughts on GUI development

Eric Bruning eric.bruning@gmail....
Fri Aug 22 10:15:00 CDT 2008


Hi Gael, et al.:

Regrettably, I couldn't attend scipy this year, but have been enjoying
everyone's slides. I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this
message is, but one item in your slides was quite relevant to what
I've been working on this week.

In your lightning talk on the interactive shell, you wrote:
"What do we gain with GUIs?
-Pretty look and feel
-Doesn't make you more productive/richer: no economic or academic incentive"

At a gut level, I disagree that GUIs don't make you more productive. I
imagine that you and others probably disagree, too. After all, we must
find *some* non-superficial value in them to go to the effort of
writing them! For certain datasets, I've found that I can't do the
analysis I want without a good GUI for browsing and tagging data.
Since this involves syncing up plots and animations across 4D, the
code is non-trivial.

So, the snag comes at the point of trying to justify all the time you
spend writing a GUI app; you hope for future efficiency in analysis,
but the benefits are pushed into the future right along with
publishable results (==riches, such as it is in academia). And much of
the efficiency comes by implementing the hardest features: not just
plots, but draggable, zoomable, taggable, animated, linked plots.

Perhaps the best way to conclude is by saying thanks to all those that
are pushing forward on the graphical toolkits. The faster it is to
make an app, the less conflict we'll all feel when justifying time
spent crafting GUIs.

-Eric


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