Table Of Contents

Previous topic

Transition from Arg1 to Kwargs

Next topic


This Page

Upgrade from arg1

This section describes how to upgrade an application that uses the legacy PyPubSub v1 API (which was default in wxPython until wxPython v2.9 and only supported the arg1 messaging protocol) to use the latest pubsub API, but without changing the messaging protocol.

Good news: Most pubsub users will only need to change some import statements. For those who made use of other parts of the v1 API, the Differences section also lists all the differences between the two API.

Verify v1 in use:

  1. start a python interpreter session (same version as used by your app)

  2. copy your app’s pubsub import statement; for instance

    >>> from wx.lib.pubsub import pub
  3. then :

    >>> print pub.VERSION_STR

Next step depends on printout:

  • If the response starts with “1”, you are using v1. Follow the steps below.
  • If starts with “3”, you are already using the latest pubsub API, this section is not relevant. Consider having a look at Transition from Arg1 to Kwargs.
  • For anything else, post to the PyPubSub help forum (see URL on the Installation/Support page).

Suggested Steps

  1. In your application’s main script (or at very least, before the first pubsub import that your application will execute), import setuparg1 from pubsub:

    from wx.lib.pubsub import setuparg1

  2. Do a search/replace of Publisher. for pub.

  3. Run your application and check if all works well: if so, you are done!

  4. Otherwise, look at the Differences section

  5. If you still have issues, post on the Help forum.


For example, if is your application’s startup script and contains

from wx.lib.pubsub import Publisher


then after having followed the migration steps, the above lines would be

from wx.lib.pubsub import setuparg1
from wx.lib.pubsub import pub



  • If you are using wxPython version <=, wx.lib.pubsub is a module which adheres to v1 API but does not support v3 API.
  • If your application runs without a console window and you don’t catch all Exception exceptions, you may not have time to see the exception traceback that the Python interpreter prints at exit. Start your GUI app from a console, or have a catch-Exception and print the error in your GUI.

See the test file tests/trans1to3/ in the source distribution for an example application after this step has been executed.


Each subsection describes a difference between the v1 and v3 API with same messaging protocol (arg1).

Main access point

The main interface to pubsub in v1 was via pubsub.Publisher, which was a singleton instance of a PublisherClass class. Pubsub supported the following ways of accessing pubsub functionality:

Version 1.x:

from wx.lib.pubsub import Publisher
Publisher.function(...)     # OR:

Version >= 3.0:

from wx.lib.pubsub import pub    # OR:
from pubsub import Publisher # alias for "pub"
pub.function() # only!


  • the (IMO) clunky syntax of Publisher().function() is no longer supported in pubsub after v1. A global search replace will easily take care of this.
  • a shorter form of import is available, from pubsub import pub


Version 1.x:

sendMessage(topic = ALL_TOPICS, data  = None, onTopicNeverCreated=None)

Version >= 3.0:

sendMessage(topicName, data  = None)


  • In v1, sendMessage(), without any arguments, can be used. This will send a message of topic “ALL_TOPICS”. In v3, you must explicitly give pub.ALL_TOPICS for the topicName argument.
  • In v1, onTopicNeverCreated is a callback that can be given to sendMessage, to call if the topic doesn’t yet exist, to help with debugging of messages. This is limited for many reasons so it has been removed. There are several way of replacing it in v3:
    • via the pubsub notification mechanism: you derive a class from pubsub.utils.IgnoreNotificationsMixin, override the the notifyNewTopic() to do the same as onTopicNeverCreated, and call pubsub.addNotificationHandler( YourHandler() ).
    • by printing the topic tree


Version 1.x:

subscribe(listener, topic = ALL_TOPICS)

Version >= 3.0:

subscribe(listener, topicName)

Change: In v1, subscribe(listener) can be used to subscribe a callable to the “ALL_TOPICS” topic. In v3, you must explicitly give pub.ALL_TOPICS for the topicName argument, ie a topic name is always required. This follows the “explicit is better” philosophy of Python.


Version 1.x:

unsubscribe(listener, topics=None)

Version >= 3.0:

unsubscribe(listener, topicName)

Change: In v1, unsubscribe(listener) can be used to unsubscribe a callable from all topics that it is subscribed to. This is redundant since this functionality is available via unsubAll function, so this capability has been removed and a topic name is always required. Furthermore, in v1 the topics argument could be a list of topic names, a convenience to unsubscribe a listener from several topics. Again, this is available via the unsubAll function so it has been removed. Change any calls of the form unsubscribe(listener) or unsubscribe(listener, list of topics) to use unsubAll


Version 1.x:

isSubscribed(listener, topic=None)

Version >= 3.0:

isSubscribed(listener, topicName)

Change: In v1, leaving topic=None cause isSubscribed(listener) to check whether listener was subscribed to anything. This test is no longer available via isSubscribed post v1 due to the way listeners are registered. However, pub.getDefaultTopicMgr().getTopics(listener) != [] provides the same answer.


Version 1.x:

unsubAll(topics = None, onNoSuchTopic = None)

Version >= 3.0:

unsubAll(topicName = None, listenerFilter = None, topicFilter = None)

Change: as with sendMessage, the callback is no longer accepted. The equivalent functionality could be obtained similarly, see the sendMessage discussion, specifically, about pubsub notification handling.


Version 1.x:

returns list of topic names (names in tuple format)

Version 3.0 to 3.1:

returns list of pub.Topic objects

Version >= 3.2:

same as previous, but must be obtained from pubsub.core rather than pub


Version 1.x:

raises TypeError

Version >= 3.0:

raises ListenerMismatchError

getMessageCount, getDeliveryCount

Both are no longer available as equivalent metrics can be obtained via the use of a notification handler’s notifySend() method, and filtering the calls:

  • message count: count only when stage = ‘pre’
  • delivery count: count only when stage = ‘in’