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Python QuickUI

QuickUI is a GUI toolkit and UI library wrapper around TkInter and Matplotlib for interactive one-liner toplevel UIs. It encourages scientists and developers to experiment and prototype using full fledged GUI applications. The length of programs QuickUI is designed for are basically simple one-liners entered into a REPL, thus it is possible to generate well structured and modern looking GUI windows in just a single line of code. Also, the standard Python 3 REPL and IPython both automatically display a QuickUI application without the need to explicitly state a "show-ui" command. Even though QuickUI excels at interactive one-liner experiences, it can also be used to build more complex production-ready applications and is highly extendable.



>>> import numpy as np
>>> from quickui import *
>>> forall(a = slider(1,10,0.1), b = slider(1,10,0.1)).show(
...    plot(lambda a,b: [np.arange(1,10), np.sin(np.arange(1,10)**a) + b/a]))



Basic Application Structure

The QuickUI API is built to fit into one line of code, therefore the structure of an application is utterly concise.

Each UI begins with a forall declaration stating which variables are defined to be represented by which GUI component.

forall(varname = input_widget, ...)

A single forall statement is enough to represent a whole GUI application consisting only of inputs. When __repr__ is called on a QuickUI object, the GUI automatically displays. This behavior was set, so that the interactive toplevels instantly show UIs.

Alternatively, the display_ui method can be called without arguments to show the GUI object. This behavior is needed when writing scripts using QuickUI.

After the forall call, the show method can be invoked with several output widgets attached to it.

  varname = input_widget,
) # optionally: .display_ui()

Each output widget takes a callback function as an argument taking every single "foralled" variable as an argument.

output_widget_constructor(lambda var1, var2, ... : ...)


Each InputWidget subclass defines a method with the following API:

  • self.do_your_thing(tk_root_widget, my_name, state)

Where state represents a QuickUIState object.

From within this method, the object should invoke state.put_silent(my_name, initial_value) to set the initial value of the variable assigned to the InputWidget.

Then the TkInter callbacks should invoke state.put(my_name, updated_value) to change not only the variable silently, but to allow OutputWidgets to react to that state change.


  • slider(start, end, steps = None)
  • entry(type, default = None)


Each OutputWidget subclass defines two methods with the following API:

  • self.init_ui(tk_root_widget)
  • self.update(variable_dict)

The init_ui method should be used to set up TkInter widgets, whereas from within update the state of those widgets should be changed with respect to the passed variable dictionary containing varname/current_value pairs.


  • label(lambda *vars: string)
  • plot(lambda *vars: [xaxis, yaxis])

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