fbs is a cross-platform PyQt5 packaging system which supports building desktop applications for Windows, Mac and Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora and Arch). Built on top of PyInstaller it wraps some of the rough edges and defines a standard project structure which allows the build process to be entirely automated. The included resource API is particularly useful, simplifying the handling of external data files, images or third-party libraries — a common pain point when bundling apps.
The first step in creating desktop applications with PyQt is getting a window to show up on your desktop. Thankfully, with PyQt that is pretty simple.
With the release of Qt 5.5 the Qt WebKit API was deprecated and replaced with the new
QtWebEngine API, based on Chromium.
The WebKit API was subsequently removed from Qt entirely with the release of Qt 5.6 in mid-2016.
System tray applications (or menu bar applications) can be useful for making common functions or information available in a small number of clicks. For full desktop applications they're a useful shortcut to control apps without opening up the whole window.
A common problem when building GUI applications is "locking up" of the interface when attempting to perform long-running background tasks. In this tutorial I'll cover one of the simplest ways to achieve concurrent execution in PyQt.
PyQtConfig: a simple API for handling, persisting and synchronising configuration within PyQt applications. This module was built initially as part of the Pathomx data analysis platform but spun out into a standalone module when it became clear it was quite useful.
Pathomx is a workflow-based data analysis tool built on IPython. It began as a metabolomic-analysis toolkit, but has extended to support general data analysis workflows. It aims to be simple to use for non-experts while powerful enough for complex analysis tasks. Key to both of these goals is the ability to create 'custom tools' that can be drag-dropped together to form larger workflows.
Below is a short snippet to implement a color-picker attached to a button in Qt. Clicking on the button pops up a dialog (native) to select a color. The color is shown by the color of the button face. A right-click option is included to allow clearing of the color setting (returning the value to None).
Signals are a neat feature of Qt that allow message-passing between different areas of your program.
I'd had success using py2app for building Mac binaries for distribution but wanted to give cx_Freeze a go since it's cross platform - allowing builds for Windows, Linux, and more. Unfortunately, attempting to build using cx_Freeze was resulting in errors: