[PyQt] PyQt apps on OS X--best examples

Kevin Walzer kw at codebykevin.com
Sat Nov 7 00:08:33 GMT 2009

The recent improvements in Qt (Cocoa support, Webkit, etc.) on the Mac 
have prompted me to revisit PyQt as a development option for my Mac-only 
applications. I currently develop with Python/Tkinter and Tcl, and even 
with Tkinter's new support for Cocoa, there are still a lot of gaps in 
what Tk supports (drag/drop, printing, a robust HTML widget, etc.).

I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the direction of some PyQt 
applications with good support for the Mac that I can look at. This 
means more than "it'll run on the Mac if I have PyQt installed." By 
"good support," I mean the following:

1. Deployed in the standard Mac fashion, as a standalone application 
that can be downloaded.
2. Developed with at least some attention to Mac interface functions, 
i.e. it makes use of Qt's built-in support for platform-specific Mac UI 
modes where appropriate--sheets for dialogs, Growl and/or statusbar 
support, etc.

Good examples of regular Qt applications meeting these criteria include 
the Parallels desktop app (a commercial program) and the Last.fm client. 
VirtualBox is also a good example. All three show some attention to the 
details of Mac UI conventions, and as a result, fit in well with the 
platform even if they are built as multi-platform apps.

By contrast, the only PyQt app I've found that meets these criteria is 
Anki (http://ichi2.net/anki/index.html), the flash card program. It has 
a standalone Mac build, and a polished interface that fits in reasonably 
well with other Mac apps. By contrast, I've looked at many other PyQt 
apps that fall short on either one of these criteria. Either the apps 
lack a standalone Mac build, or if they do, they look obviously like 
they were developed for Windows and/or Linux--they have incredibly 
crowded toolbars with buttons for every function, they use a 
multi-document interface that is highly cluttered, or worst of all, they 
show little attention to interface design at all.

I'd be very interested to see other examples of PyQt applications that 
show some thoughtful attention to the Mac as a platform, both in their 
deployment and their design. Suggestions, links and such are welcome.


Kevin Walzer
Code by Kevin

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