Your first Toga app¶
In this example, we’re going to build a desktop app with a single button, that prints to the console when you press the button.
Here’s a complete code listing for our “Hello world” app:
import toga def button_handler(widget): print("hello") def build(app): container = toga.Container() button = toga.Button('Hello world', on_press=button_handler) button.style.set(margin=50) container.add(button) return container if __name__ == '__main__': app = toga.App('First App', 'org.pybee.helloworld', startup=build) app.main_loop()
Lets walk through this one line at a time.
The code starts with imports. First, we import toga:
Then, we set up a handler - a wrapper around behavior that we want to activate when the button is pressed. A handler is just a function. The function takes the widget that was activated as the first argument; depending on the type of event that is being handled, other arguments may also be provided. In the case of a simple button press, however, there are no extra arguments:
def button_handler(widget): print("hello")
By creating an app, we’re declaring that we want to have a main window, with a main menu. However, Toga doesn’t know what content we want in that main window. The next step is to define a method that describes the UI that we want our app to have. This method is a callable that accepts an app instance:
We want to put a button in the window. However, unless we want the button to fill the entire app window, we can’t just put the button into the app window. Instead, we need create a container, and put the button in the container.
A container is an object that can be used to hold multiple widgets, and to define padding around widgets. So, we define a container:
container = toga.Container()
We can then define a button. When we create the button, we can set the button text, and we also set the behavior that we want to invoke when the button is pressed, referencing the handler that we defined earlier:
button = toga.Button('Hello world', on_press=button_handler)
Now we have to define how the button will appear in the window. Toga uses a CSS-based layout scheme, so we can apply CSS styles to each widget:
Each widget is a “block” in CSS terms, what we’ve done here is say that the
button with have a margin of 50 pixels on each side. If we wanted to define a
margin of 20 pixels on top of the button, we could have defined
or we could have specified the
margin=(20, 50, 50, 50).
The next step is to add the button to the container:
The button will, by default, stretch to the size of the container it is placed in. The outer container is also a block, which will stretch to the size of container it is placed in - which, in our case, is the window itself. The button has a default height, defined by the way that the underlying platform draws buttons). As a result, this means we’ll see a single button in the app window that stretches to the width of the screen, but has a 50 pixel margin surrounding it.
Now we’ve set up the container, we return the outer container that holds all the UI content. This container will be the content of the app’s main window:
Lastly, we get into the main body of the program, where we create the app itself. The app is a high level container representing the executable. The app has a name, and a unique identifier. The identifier is used when registering any app-specific system resources. By convention, the identifier is a “reversed domain name”. The app also accepts our callable defining the main window contents:
if __name__ == '__main__': app = toga.App('First App', 'org.pybee.helloworld', startup=build)
Having created the app, we can start the main app loop. This is a blocking call; it won’t return until you quit the main app:
And that’s it! Save this script as
helloworld.py, and you’re ready to go.
Running the app¶
Before you run the app, you’ll need to install toga. Although you can install toga by just running:
$ pip install toga
We strongly suggest that you don’t do this. We’d suggest creating a virtual environment first, and installing toga in that virtual environment.
Toga has some minimum requirements:
If you’re on OS X, you need to be on 10.7 (Lion) or newer.
If you’re on Linux, you need to have GTK+ 3.4 or later. This is the version that ships starting with Ubuntu 12.04 and Fedora 17.
If you want to use the WebView widget, you’ll also need to have WebKit, plus the GI bindings to WebKit installed.
- For Ubuntu that’s provided by the libwebkitgtk-3.0-0 and gir1.2-webkit-3.0 packages.
- For Fedora it’s all provided in the webkitgtk3 package.
If these requirements aren’t met, Toga either won’t work at all, or won’t have full functionality.
Problems under Linux
Unfortunately, GTK+3 doesn’t provide a pip-installable version of it’s Python
bindings, so if you’re using a virtual environment with –no-site-packages
installed (which is the default), GTK+ won’t be in your
a virtual environment.
To make the system GTK+ bindings available to your virtualenv, symlink the gi module from the system dist-packages directory into your virtualenv’s site-packages.
For a Ubuntu 32bit system:$ cd $VIRTUAL_ENV/lib/python2.7/site-packages $ ln -si /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/gi
For a Fedora 64bit system:$ cd $VIRTUAL_ENV/lib/python2.7/site-packages $ ln -si /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/gi/
Once you’ve got toga installed, you can run your script:
$ python -m helloworld
python -m helloworld vs
-m flag and absence of the
.py extension in this command
line. If you run
python helloworld.py, you may see some errors like:
NotImplementedError: Application does not define open_document()
Toga apps must be executed as modules - hence the
This should pop up a window with a button:
If you click on the button, you should see messages appear in the console. Even though we didn’t define anything about menus, the app will have default menu entries to quit the app, and an About page. The keyboard bindings to quit the app, plus the “close” button on the window will also work as expected. The app will have a default Toga icon (a picture of Tiberius the yak).