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Pubsub UsersΒΆ

Several users have donated a bit of their time to describe how they use pubsub in their Python projects.

Steven Sproat, for Whyteboard, since Feb 2010:
I’ve been using PyPubSub for around 2 months in my cross-platform drawing application, Whyteboard ( My Shape models (rectangle, polygons etc) use pubsub to notify the GUI of any changes to themselves or to request actions be performed on the canvas (e.g capture user’s mouse), and the GUI responds by updating various dialogs with this information. This means that my shapes no longer need to maintain references to the canvas in order to perform operations on it, and can instead send a message saying “do something” without caring how it’s done.
Josh English, for WMS, since 2008:
I use it in my Writing Management System (joshua.r.english I’m using it to control interfaces, such as telling the frame to change the status bar, or a notebook to change a panel. PyPubSub enables me to focus on what data to pass around my application, rather than how to pass it around. This makes it easy to put in the finer details of my application.
Phil Mayes, for Listomax, since 2007:
Listomax ( uses version 1 of pubsub for MVC: multiple View (UI) components may need to change when the Model changes; simpler than direct calls, lower coupling.
Mike Driscoll, for PyTimesheet and Zimbra Alerts, since 2007:
I use wx.lib.pubsub in two internal projects at my employer’s business, “PyTimesheet” and the “Zimbra Alerts”. I use it to send information between various frames, such as an options menu back to the main application that launched it. The main application I use it for though is a Timesheet program where I use it to tell my program which frame to display when. Basically when one closes, I need another one to open and I found that pubsub made this quite trivial. The other program is used in conjunction with our Zimbra web mail and will pop-up an alert when we receive an email and it also has an Outlook-like Reminder dialog for appointments... And thanks for providing such a nice tool for my arsenal!
Anthony Floyd, RAVEN, since 200?:

Our project is called “RAVEN”, it’s an analytical and finite-element analysis program for simulating and analyzing the processing of composite materials in the aerospace industry. We use pubsub as the communications backbone. We essentially have a MVC framework, and use pubsub to have the UI respond to things happening in the data. However, we also use it to have data objects respond to changes in other data objects.

We’re quite enamoured with pubsub! It’s proven to be an effective way to keep the UI out of the backend, and an effective way to keep the backend modularized.

Sebastian Zurek, OpenSynergy, since 2007:
I’m using wx.lib.pubsub module as part of the OpenSynergy framework (, temporarily offline) that I am developing, and I found it VERY usefull. Pubsub is used as the communication layer betteen the extensions components and the framework, between the Model and Visual, and between the Visual elements.
Geoff Gilmour-Taylor, since April 2008:

I use wx.lib.pubsub for a suite of in-house batch conversion tools for DAISY talking books, called Garden Tools (in-house software for the CNIB Library, For MVC, communication in a wxPython app.

Loose coupling of business logic and GUI. It allows me to trigger multiple actions on a single message without having to locate and modify all the places where the message is sent. I was able to add a logging module that reads the same status messages that are sent to the GUI without having to modify any of my other code.

Mike Rooney, for wxBanker, since 2006:
I use pubsub as the crucial event handling mechanism for wxBanker ( It works well for implementing design patterns such as MVC where you want to eliminate coupling, since it doesn’t require that you know specific method names or implementation details of other classes, modules, or libraries. Pubsub is also great when you want to make an announcement without requiring that anything (or how many things) is listening to or acting upon that announcement. In short, pubsub makes intra-process communication a dream come true.
QVI ( for several applications, since 2006:

Here at QVI we use pubsub for most of our wxPython applications (notably SmartTree), to achieve very lightweight, simple, and readable communication between classes and modules. One of the nice aspects of pubsub is how easy it is to incorporate into existing code, and how well-suited it is for pluggable/modular designs which want to make announcements about events, but don’t require that or care if any other module is listening. It makes handling “events” easy, whatever we define them to be, and removes the need for the handlers to have any specific knowledge of how the announcements are made or where they came from.

After discovering we could use pubsub independently of wxPython, we also use it in an application or two that doesn’t use wxPython at all, but where we still desire a lightweight event handling mechanism (when don’t you?).

Oliver, for several applications, since 2004:

We have been using it on several client projects:

  • Two applications that show property trees and selected node’s associated panel
  • An application that has several panels in a wizard-like layout

With PubSub, one event occurs due to a mouse click on an icon, and and all parts of the code that need updating get called with the new data. This means automatic update of menu items (adding, removing etc), state in various panels, etc. Gone are the long sequences of calls through the code.

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