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I would like to try out a simple graphics programming framework for Python. It mustn't be game specific or anything, nor does it have to support 3D. I just want to use it for drawing graphs, charts and some other simple things (think Conway's Game of Life [even if that is a game]).

Is PyGame overkill, even if I just use the graphics capabilities (e.g. I skip the sound and joystick capabilities)? If PyGame is, what would you recommend instead? Give your reflections on whatever toolkit you suggest; that will help me evaluate my choice.

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closed as not constructive by MichaelT, Bart van Ingen Schenau, gnat, Martijn Pieters, GlenH7 May 6 '13 at 13:23

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

There are some alternatives depending on your needs:

Pyx

PyX is a Python package for the creation of PostScript and PDF files. It combines an abstraction of the PostScript drawing model with a TeX/LaTeX interface. Complex tasks like 2d and 3d plots in publication-ready quality are built out of these primitives.

PIL

The Python Imaging Library (PIL) adds image processing capabilities to your Python interpreter. This library supports many file formats, and provides powerful image processing and graphics capabilities.

PyGame

Pygame is a cross-platform set of Python modules designed for writing video games. It includes computer graphics and sound libraries designed to be used with the Python programming language. It is built over the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) library, with the intention of allowing real-time computer game development without the low-level mechanics of the C programming language and its derivatives.

matplotlib

matplotlib is a python 2D plotting library which produces publication quality figures in a variety of hardcopy formats and interactive environments across platforms. matplotlib can be used in python scripts, the python and ipython shell (ala MATLAB®* or Mathematica®†), web application servers, and six graphical user interface toolkits.

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PyGame uses SDL, which is a nice cross-platform library. If your app needs to have a GUI, +1 for pygame. –  karlphillip Mar 25 '11 at 20:29
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I use matplotlib/pylab for plotting scientific data. I don't know if it does anything interactive, but it's pretty easy to make attractive graphs and charts.

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