[SciPy-user] pyqwt or matplotlib

Peter Wang pwang@enthought....
Thu Aug 28 16:07:41 CDT 2008

On Aug 26, 2008, at 7:25 PM, Zachary Pincus wrote:
> Another option, depending on how much plumbing you're interested in,
> is to write a custom tool with OpenGL...
> I've been using Pyglet for some rather-specialized data display needs
> (blit live video from a microscope + plot derived measures on top of
> the video, using the mouse to pan and zoom), and it's pretty nice.
> Basically, Pyglet is a (pretty simple) pure-python, ctypes-based,
> multiplatform interface to OpenGL, windowing, and mouse/keyboard IO.
> It's quite hackable, too -- I rigged up a very simple system to run
> pyglet windows in a background thread, so I could control the
> microscope from an interactive python interpreter, while still being
> able to programmatically interact with pyglet window objects. (Happy
> to share this code with anyone who desires. It's much cleaner, IMO,
> than the gyrations that ipython has to go through to support
> nonblocking QT, Tk, etc. windows. This is becase the pyglet mainloop
> is in python, and is easy to subclass and otherwise mess with.)
> The downside is of course that OpenGL isn't a plotting library. The
> upside is that if you have a well-defined plotting task, and you want
> full aesthetic control and also high speed, you can get that with not
> too much work.
> Just a thought,
> Zach

Hey Zach,

I've been working on an early version of an OpenGL/pyglet-based  
backend for Chaco.  It currently does most of the plots that are  
supported in Chaco (although there are issues with the color bar  
rendering incorrectly).

I use pyglet to get a window and provide an platform independent API  
for events, but most of the actual drawing is done via a C++  
GraphicsContext class that makes calls to libOpenGl.  (I use pyglet to  
render text and Andrew Straw's pygarrayimage to draw images.)  This  
GraphicsContext has a transform stack, a clip stack, supports compiled  
paths, etc.

I also have my own little "PygletSimpleApp" class analog of  
WxSimpleApp and whatnot.  It is indeed very nice to have total control  
over the event loop - so much simpler than fiddling with the Wx event  

I've tested my code on win32, Ubuntu 7, and OS X.  The beauty of doing  
it this way is that I can reuse all of the data handling and rendering  
code from Chaco, and on systems where I have WX or Qt available, I can  
switch to using those instead of Pyglet by setting a single  
environment variable.  I'm hoping to get this GL backend polished up  
enough to release it as a supported part of Chaco, maybe by the next  
large-ish release (3.1?  3.2?).


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