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25 Years of progress??

  • Having developed applications in SuperBase 4 and VB 4 a quarter of a century ago I am still waiting for the development environment to match either of these two for ease of use and productivity. You can guess that I am struggling with modules, classes and obscure code trying to put something together in PyQt5. I have QTDesigner OK but the development cycle is from the Bronze age. As a language Python certainly seems to be the new QBasic, easy learning curve and well supported but try and do a GUI and you can see where VB4 and SB4 excelled. I do a little bit with VBA but that can be a bit dodgy sometimes. Microsoft would have a killer environment on its hands with Visual Python mimicking VB4.

    [Moved to The Lounge ~kshegunov]

  • Comparing VB4 and modern C++ design paradigms is pure apples and oranges, and while python has a certain attraction, it is arguably better suited to proof-of-concept work because of all the implicit or side-effect behaviour of its operations, not to mention the variables that need not be declared before use...makes it very difficult to debug more complex python systems. As for GUI...I've been using pyqt for years and it's a very nice way of wrapping python code with a GUI interface.

  • My point centred around the ease of building the UI and re-editing it after back end and event code was being developed. With PyQt my head is wrecked trying to understand and keep track of which classes belong to what and the hierarchy etc. This why I felt that the VB4 development environment married to the Python language would be so ideal. OK maybe I'm complaining that all we have is Photoshop when I only need or can cope with is Paint.

    Just as an aside I worked my way through the Pyuic5 code output from QtDesigner and imported specific modules / classes to remove the x.y.z. forms from the lines of code but the whole thing is still difficult to understand and verbose.

    30 years ago I gave up on C because I ran into hurdles chopping up "Hello World" strings. It just was not productive compared with what I had achieved in the previous 10 years on Commodore BASIC and Microsoft QuickBasic.
    Maybe I should stick to my latest craze - MicroPython and use VBA on Excel as the UI.

  • @pmulvey
    C++ or Python with Qt is an expert level system. While I found VB interesting back in the day it really didn't afford the control I needed. It also does not support most major desktop and mobile platforms. I am sure there are development platforms that cater to the "ease of use" paradigm that VB seemed to fit.

    C# and its ecosystem is fairly nice. I have used it and editing the xml files to adjust the visual was pretty straightforward. Have you played with .NET? You might also search for authoring type systems with python or basic. Python to me feels like playing with legos. Its a lot of fun! A nice gui centric editor would be pretty nice. Have you thought about building this?

  • @pmulvey said in 25 Years of progress??:

    I worked my way through the Pyuic5 code output from QtDesigner and imported specific modules / classes to remove the x.y.z. forms

    You're not supposed to deal/change the output code from that tool. I mean, the idea is that you provide your GUI design and that tool convert the XML into Python code and you use it.

    Please be aware that any change to the output of Pyuic5 will be overwritten next time you run the tool again

  • @pmulvey I can produce Python code using PyQt for my GUI way faster than using xwPython or Tkinter or Pyglet. Now, if I go back to 1987, I could produce BASIC09 code using my own GuiFX module I wrote for it. But it looked like NeXT's GUI which was fine for the '80s using a one-button mouse. Anyway, programming anything in the '80s was faster than programming something in Visual Basic, as I remember.

    That's why I like Python so much. Along with Qt Designer, I can get a barebones app working in a couple hours. If I'm doing something really complicated that requires importing libraries I know nothing about, then of course I'll need to read a book or PDF to see how they work first. But the actual coding is quick. Thank goodness Python is interpreted and fast.

  • @Shawn-Driscoll It is hard to beat python with a pyqt front-end for proof of concept and rapid prototyping. Id never stop there and consider the project done though. too many ambiguities in python to base a high availaiblity system solely on a python/Qt app.

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