VB(ish) replacement

Discussion in 'Python' started by Dave Boland, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Dave Boland

    Dave Boland Guest

    The other day I was asked if there is an open source replacement for VB6
    that is cross-platform. I spent a little bit of time at Barnes-Noble
    and looking at news groups, but don't have a good answer. Hope you can
    help without geting into a language war. These will be for commercial
    applications with a GUI.

    What they seem to be looking for is:
    1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.
    2. OOP
    3. Reasonalble learning curve
    4. Cross-platform
    5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.
    6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.
    7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)
    8. SNMP library
    9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)
    10. Windows are native to each O.S.
    11. Database support of Access and MySQL

    It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.

    Dave,
     
    Dave Boland, Jul 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. Dave Boland

    Tim Daneliuk Guest

    Dave Boland wrote:

    > The other day I was asked if there is an open source replacement for VB6
    > that is cross-platform. I spent a little bit of time at Barnes-Noble
    > and looking at news groups, but don't have a good answer. Hope you can
    > help without geting into a language war. These will be for commercial
    > applications with a GUI.
    >
    > What they seem to be looking for is:
    > 1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.


    Python

    > 2. OOP


    Python

    > 3. Reasonalble learning curve


    Python

    > 4. Cross-platform


    Python

    > 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.


    Python + a variety of IDEs

    > 6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.


    Python + py2exe - but it is NOT compiled. For some level of
    compilation, pysco is available.

    > 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)


    Dunno about Python, but I would guess "yes"

    > 8. SNMP library


    http://yapsnmp.sourceforge.net/intro.html
    http://www.pycs.net/users/0000231/weblog/2004/02/05.html

    > 9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)


    If you code it properly, yes.

    > 10. Windows are native to each O.S.


    Yes, if used with wxWindows as the GUI foundation

    > 11. Database support of Access and MySQL


    Yes, via odbc type stuff (I think)

    >
    > It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    > need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.
    >
    > Dave,
    >



    --
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tim Daneliuk
    PGP Key: http://www.tundraware.com/PGP/
     
    Tim Daneliuk, Jul 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. On 2004-07-20, Tim Daneliuk <> wrote:

    >> 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)

    >
    > Dunno about Python, but I would guess "yes"


    Yes, Python has a cross-platform serial library (pyserial).

    RS-232 vs. RS-485 is strictly an electrical signal level
    interface spec and has nothing to do with software.

    I've no idea what one would want a USB library to do, so that's
    pretty hard to answer.

    --
    Grant Edwards grante Yow! Hey, LOOK!! A pair of
    at SIZE 9 CAPRI PANTS!! They
    visi.com probably belong to SAMMY
    DAVIS, JR.!!
     
    Grant Edwards, Jul 20, 2004
    #3
  4. Dave Boland

    Larry Bates Guest

    Others have answered most of the other questions.

    > 11. Database support of Access and MySQL


    Access databases can be accessed via ODBC,
    DAO, or ADO interfaces on Windows. MySQL has
    native interface from Python.

    Questions you didn't ask:

    12) Can interface to existing COM+ objects, write new
    COM+ objects and write Windows services.

    Python

    13) Can write scripts, applications (console and GUI),
    and web services with single language.

    Python

    14) Has extensive standard library to support email
    (SMTP, IMAP), FTP, HTTP, logging, regular expressions,
    arrays, and many more. Third party libraries for
    imaging (Python Imaging Library), PDF generation
    (ReportLab), Graphing (ReportLab Graphics) and
    XML parsing (PyRXP by ReportLab). Just to name a
    few.

    Python

    15) Easy to write C language extensions for language

    Python

    16) Code that you can actually understand when you
    come back to read it a year later.

    Python (priceless ;-)

    You might want to take a look at the experience of
    another company:

    http://python.oreilly.com/news/disney_0201.html

    HTH,
    Larry Bates
    Syscon, Inc.

    "Dave Boland" <> wrote in message
    news:FacLc.51848$...
    > The other day I was asked if there is an open source replacement for VB6
    > that is cross-platform. I spent a little bit of time at Barnes-Noble
    > and looking at news groups, but don't have a good answer. Hope you can
    > help without geting into a language war. These will be for commercial
    > applications with a GUI.
    >
    > What they seem to be looking for is:
    > 1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.
    > 2. OOP
    > 3. Reasonalble learning curve
    > 4. Cross-platform
    > 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.
    > 6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.
    > 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)
    > 8. SNMP library
    > 9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)
    > 10. Windows are native to each O.S.
    > 11. Database support of Access and MySQL
    >
    > It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    > need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.
    >
    > Dave,
    >
     
    Larry Bates, Jul 20, 2004
    #4
  5. Dave Boland

    Scott Rubin Guest

    Dave Boland wrote:
    > The other day I was asked if there is an open source replacement for VB6
    > that is cross-platform. I spent a little bit of time at Barnes-Noble
    > and looking at news groups, but don't have a good answer. Hope you can
    > help without geting into a language war. These will be for commercial
    > applications with a GUI.
    >
    > What they seem to be looking for is:
    > 1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.
    > 2. OOP
    > 3. Reasonalble learning curve
    > 4. Cross-platform
    > 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.
    > 6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.
    > 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)
    > 8. SNMP library
    > 9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)
    > 10. Windows are native to each O.S.
    > 11. Database support of Access and MySQL
    >
    > It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    > need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.
    >
    > Dave,
    >


    I'm fairly certain you can use python and glade together to make cross
    platform GTK+ guis in a graphical way. I'm also fairly certain that it
    meets all your requirements. There might be a way to use glade with
    other gtk supporting languages. Also, KDevelop I think can do the same
    with Qt stuff, but I don't know for sure since I haven't used it in a
    long time. Don't you have any programmers who can make guis the "real"
    way instead of drawing them with a VB type interface? it's not that hard
    if you draw them on paper with a pencil and plan them out first.

    -Scott
     
    Scott Rubin, Jul 20, 2004
    #5
  6. Dave Boland

    John J. Lee Guest

    Dave Boland <> writes:
    [...]
    > What they seem to be looking for is:
    > 1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.
    > 2. OOP
    > 3. Reasonalble learning curve
    > 4. Cross-platform
    > 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.
    > 6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.
    > 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)
    > 8. SNMP library
    > 9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)
    > 10. Windows are native to each O.S.
    > 11. Database support of Access and MySQL
    >
    > It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    > need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.


    Can't speak for Ruby, but I'm fairly sure both Perl and Python do fine
    on all points but 3.

    Python does fine on the remaining point. Perl fails *badly* here:

    http://www.google.com/groups?threadm=&selm=D87u12z90eq.fsf%40pobox.com


    I've used a fair number of programming languages. Perl is the only
    one I'd unhesitatingly call 'pathological'. And I do speak as an
    admirer of the language: before Python was around and well-supported,
    it served an important purpose. Now, though, it fills a much-needed
    gap <wink>


    John
     
    John J. Lee, Jul 20, 2004
    #6
  7. In article <>, John J. Lee <> wrote:
    >Dave Boland <> writes:
    >[...]
    >> What they seem to be looking for is:
    >> 1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.
    >> 2. OOP
    >> 3. Reasonalble learning curve
    >> 4. Cross-platform
    >> 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.
    >> 6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.
    >> 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)
    >> 8. SNMP library
    >> 9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)
    >> 10. Windows are native to each O.S.
    >> 11. Database support of Access and MySQL
    >>
    >> It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    >> need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.

    >
    >Can't speak for Ruby, but I'm fairly sure both Perl and Python do fine
    >on all points but 3.
    >
    >Python does fine on the remaining point. Perl fails *badly* here:
    >
    >http://www.google.com/groups?threadm=&selm=D87u12z90eq.fsf%40pobox.com
    >
    >
    >I've used a fair number of programming languages. Perl is the only
    >one I'd unhesitatingly call 'pathological'. And I do speak as an
    >admirer of the language: before Python was around and well-supported,
    >it served an important purpose. Now, though, it fills a much-needed
    >gap <wink>
    >
    >
    >John


    I'm going to complexify the story slightly: I'm unconvinced about
    the health of the SNMP facilities for Python and Ruby. On the other
    hand, VB's offerings in that category also didn't impress me in the
    past ...

    It's possible some or all of this has improved a lot in the last
    year. I personally wouldn't mind working with SNMP under Python,
    because I'm confident I can get it to do what I need. It might
    frustrate a newcomer, though ...

    Moreover, I perceive incoherence in the combination of 4., 6., 7.,
    and 10. When you talk about ".exe-s", I wonder what "cross-plat-
    form" means to you. Similarly, you really, *really* don't want to
    be thinking about USB and such; with any concern for cross-platform
    maintenance, you just want to read to and write from serial devices.

    My first instinct would be to choose Tcl. People are doing this
    sort of work happily with each of Perl, Python, Ruby, Tcl, and even
    other languages.
     
    Cameron Laird, Jul 21, 2004
    #7
  8. John J. Lee wrote:
    > Dave Boland <> writes:
    > [...]


    >>5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.



    >>
    >>It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    >>need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.

    >
    >
    > Can't speak for Ruby, but I'm fairly sure both Perl and Python do fine
    > on all points but 3.
    >
    > Python does fine on the remaining point. Perl fails *badly* here:
    >
    > http://www.google.com/groups?threadm=&selm=D87u12z90eq.fsf%40pobox.com
    >
    > John


    John...
    Regarding point 5: I'm another VBer, and the language itself
    notwithstanding, I *love* VB's design & code IDE. Is there, in fact,
    anything comparable for Python?

    Nick
     
    Nick J Chackowsky, Jul 24, 2004
    #8
  9. Dave Boland

    Doug Holton Guest

    Nick J Chackowsky wrote:
    >>> 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.

    >
    > Regarding point 5: I'm another VBer, and the language itself
    > notwithstanding, I *love* VB's design & code IDE. Is there, in fact,
    > anything comparable for Python?


    Probably the closest thing would be QT Designer, which you can use with
    PyQT. But to use that on Windows you'll need to purchase the IDE from
    BlackAdder or else directly from Trolltech. It is free to use on Linux
    (and see the free eric3 IDE for that platform). Here are some PyQT
    resources: http://developers.coedit.net/QtKde

    I'd still probably recommend wxpython for Windows development though.
     
    Doug Holton, Jul 24, 2004
    #9
  10. Dave Boland

    G. S. Hayes Guest

    Nick J Chackowsky <> wrote in message news:<i0vMc.183$>...

    > John...
    > Regarding point 5: I'm another VBer, and the language itself
    > notwithstanding, I *love* VB's design & code IDE. Is there, in fact,
    > anything comparable for Python?


    Check out glade + pyglade.
     
    G. S. Hayes, Jul 26, 2004
    #10
  11. Dave Boland

    Ron Stephens Guest

    To John, Nick, and others,

    I haven't used VB since one of the very early versions, but I can
    appreciate, I think, how easy it is to lay out a GUI app using VB. I
    just want to urge you to try PythonCard. I have found it about as easy
    as you can imagine to create simple GUI apps using PythonCard.
    Although not like VB, it does allow one to easily draw "forms" and
    then associate the logic code with the forms and widgets. The learning
    curve is very easy, and you really should try it.

    I think Boa Constructor is similar in usage to VB (actually to Delphi,
    it is said) and is a true GUI painter, code generator that can I think
    handle big projects. For my use, it is too complex. PythonCard is
    however, as easy as pie.

    PythonCard at http://pythoncard.sourceforge.net/ must be tried to be
    appreciated. Although not like VB (or perhpas anything else) the
    PythonCard framework is a beautiful model.

    Boa Constructor can be found at
    http://boa-constructor.sourceforge.net/ and both projects are free and
    open source.
     
    Ron Stephens, Jul 27, 2004
    #11
  12. Dave Boland

    Tony C Guest

    > John...
    > Regarding point 5: I'm another VBer, and the language itself
    > notwithstanding, I *love* VB's design & code IDE. Is there, in fact,
    > anything comparable for Python?
    >
    > Nick


    If there was a good (almost as mature as the VB iDE) VB-like IDE for
    Python, I'm sure the language acceptance would skyrocket.


    FWIW- there is a VB2Py project in sourceforge.

    QT designer is the closest thing I've seen to VB, but is still very
    crude and nowhere near as easy to use as the VBide.

    However, the QT/Pqyt library is very nice!!
     
    Tony C, Jul 27, 2004
    #12
  13. Dave Boland

    G. S. Hayes Guest

    (G. S. Hayes) wrote in message news:<>...
    > Nick J Chackowsky <> wrote in message news:<i0vMc.183$>...
    >
    > > John...
    > > Regarding point 5: I'm another VBer, and the language itself
    > > notwithstanding, I *love* VB's design & code IDE. Is there, in fact,
    > > anything comparable for Python?

    >
    > Check out glade + pyglade.

    .... at http://glade.gnome.org/ (screenshots there as well)
     
    G. S. Hayes, Jul 27, 2004
    #13
  14. If you are looking to stay close to VB, here are some to look at:

    http://hbasic.sourceforge.net/
    http://gambas.sourceforge.net/

    Or for something completely different:
    http://www.naken.cc/vb2c/

    http://www.gnome.org/projects/gb/
    Gnome basic, now dead. However, mbas, the Mono Basic *is* alive and well,
    and might be what you are looking for: http://www.go-mono.com/mbas.html
    (site not accessible at time of post).

    I may start a flame war with this, but from what I understand, VB is
    actually a distant descendant of Ruby. So, that might tell you something.

    j----- k-----

    Dave Boland wrote:

    > The other day I was asked if there is an open source replacement for VB6
    > that is cross-platform. I spent a little bit of time at Barnes-Noble
    > and looking at news groups, but don't have a good answer. Hope you can
    > help without geting into a language war. These will be for commercial
    > applications with a GUI.
    >
    > What they seem to be looking for is:
    > 1. High level language, but not necessarly VB compatible.
    > 2. OOP
    > 3. Reasonalble learning curve
    > 4. Cross-platform
    > 5. IDE and ability to graphically design windows.
    > 6. Distribute programs as .exe's, so some sort of compiler needed.
    > 7. Serial communications library (RS-232, 485, USB)
    > 8. SNMP library
    > 9. Good performance (not expected to be as fast as C/C++)
    > 10. Windows are native to each O.S.
    > 11. Database support of Access and MySQL
    >
    > It looks like any of the three languages have most or all of what they
    > need, but I don't use scripting languages enough to give a good answer.
    >
    > Dave,
     
    Joshua Kugler, Sep 11, 2004
    #14
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