24. Graphical User Interfaces with Tk

Tk/Tcl has long been an integral part of Python. It provides a robust and platform independent windowing toolkit, that is available to Python programmers using the Tkinter module, and its extensions, the Tix and the ttk modules.

The Tkinter module is a thin object-oriented layer on top of Tcl/Tk. To use Tkinter, you don’t need to write Tcl code, but you will need to consult the Tk documentation, and occasionally the Tcl documentation. Tkinter is a set of wrappers that implement the Tk widgets as Python classes. In addition, the internal module _tkinter provides a threadsafe mechanism which allows Python and Tcl to interact.

Tkinter‘s chief virtues are that it is fast, and that it usually comes bundled with Python. Although its standard documentation is weak, good material is available, which includes: references, tutorials, a book and others. Tkinter is also famous for having an outdated look and feel, which has been vastly improved in Tk 8.5. Nevertheless, there are many other GUI libraries that you could be interested in. For more information about alternatives, see the Other Graphical User Interface Packages section.