Questions about Rev/Transcript vs. other toolkits

Dan Shafer revdan at
Wed Aug 11 15:30:32 EDT 2004


I concur heartily with all that Alex said about RR and Python. I would 
add only two more thoughts.

First, until PythonCard (an  OpenSource project to which I have been an 
on-and-off contributor and whose founder is a good friend) is mature, 
there really isn't a good direct-manipulation graphical IDE for Python. 
This makes building apps far too time-consuming if they need 
sophisticated cross-platform UIs, as all apps I build require. My guess 
is that PythonCard is at best a year from ready for prime time.

Second, as a programming language Python is unexcelled. If I could use 
RunRev to create the UI and Python as a scripting language, I'd be in 
hog heaven. As much as I love Transcript -- and I really do -- Python 
runs circles around it linguistically FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME who is 
steeped in object-oriented design, analysis, programming, and thought. 
Please don't take that to mean I think Python is purely and always 
better than Transcript. As I said, I love Transcript.

As an aside, I've been thinking for some time in sort of deep 
background mode about figuring out how to make RunRev UIs into a 
graphical layer that calls Python scripts so I could have the best of 
both worlds. I'm not yet steeped enough in how that would work beyond 
some very simple ability to execute a Python script via the shell() 
function, but it remains one of those projects I hope I get to someday 
but would be delighted if someone beat me to doing!

On Aug 11, 2004, at 3:36 AM, Alex Tweedly wrote:

>> 3. How does Rev compare specifically to other scripting languages,
>> especially Tcl/Tk and Python/wxPython? I'm studying Tcl/Tk out of a
>> slightly contrarian nature, as I know the GUI's that can be built with
>> Tk are more limited; wxPython, by contrast, is very rich. Can anyone
>> with experience with either of these development environments offer 
>> some
>> insight about how they compare to Rev?
> I'd skip Tcl/Tk - it's very limited compared to the other two, and 
> just not fun.
> Python/wxPython (and Pythoncard) has a lot of strengths compared to 
> RR, and just about as many weaknesses :-)
> RR can do almost anything - but it excels in some areas while it "can 
> do" others. I see RR as particularly strong in text handling, imaging, 
> sound, multimedia (other on the list might disagree because they are 
> experienced in other tools in that area, where I'm not).
> P/wxP is strong in text handling, simple graphics, Internet protocols. 
> It has strong "traditional" data structuring features - which I think 
> help to make programs in it maintainable.
> wxP has a richer set of tools (e.g. wxGrid is about 3 generations 
> better than RR's table control), but RR has unequalled ability to put 
> them together to get what you want.
> I have to say I'm an enthusiastic user of both, so I'm biased :-)
Dan Shafer, Revolutionary
Author of  "Revolution: Software at the Speed of Thought" for more info
Available at Runtime Revolution Store (

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