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Python Programming On Win32 by Mark Hammond, Andy Robinson

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Running GUI Applications

Tkinter applications are normal Python scripts, but there are a couple of complications worth knowing about when running graphical applications under Windows. These were discussed in Chapter 3, but are important enough to reiterate here; what we say in this section applies equally to wxPython later in this chapter.

The standard Python.exe that comes with Python is known as a console application (this means it has been built to interact with a Windows console, otherwise known as a DOS box or command prompt). Although you can execute your Tkinter programs using Python.exe, your program will always be associated with a Windows console. It works just fine, but has the following side effects:

  • If you execute Python.exe from Windows Explorer, a new empty console window is created; then the Tkinter windows are created.

  • If you execute a Tkinter application under Python.exe from a command prompt, the command prompt doesn’t return until the Tkinter application has finished. This will be a surprise for many users, who expect that executing a GUI program returns the command prompt immediately.

To get around this problem, Python comes with a special GUI version called Pythonw.exe . This is almost identical to the standard Python.exe, except it’s not a console program, so doesn’t suffer the problems described previously.

There are two drawbacks to this approach. The first is that .py files are automatically associated with Python.exe. As we saw in Chapter 3, this makes it ...

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