Posts about qt (old posts, page 6)

2011-02-28 21:10

How much web browser can you put in 128 lines of code?

UPDATE: If you read this and all you can say is "oh, he's just embedding WebKit", I have two things to tell you:

  1. Duh! Of course the 128 lines don't include the rendering engine, or the TCP implementation, or the GUI toolkit. This is about the rest of the browser, the part around the web rendering engine. You know, just like Arora, Rekonq, Epiphany, and everyone else that embeds webkit or mozilla does it? If you didn't get that before this explanation... facepalm.
  2. Get your favourite webkit fork and try to do this much with the same amount of code. I dare you! I double dog dare you!

Now back to the original article


Today, because of a IRC chat, I tried to find a 42-line web browser I had written a while ago. Sadly, the pastebin where I posted it was dead, so I learned a lesson: It's not a good idea to trust a pastebin as code repository

What I liked about that 42-line browser was that it was not the typical example, where someone dumps a Webkit view in a window, loads a page and tries to convince you he's cool. That one is only 7 lines of code:

import sys
from PyQt4 import QtGui,QtCore,QtWebKit
app=QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
wb=QtWebKit.QWebView()
wb.setUrl(QtCore.QUrl('http://www.python.org'))
wb.show()
sys.exit(app.exec_())

And if I wanted to make the code uglier, it could be done in 6.

But anyway, that 42-line browser actually looked useful!

This 42-line web browser, courtesy of #python and #qt -- http... on Twitpic

Those buttons you see actually worked correctly, enabling and disabling at the right moment, the URL entry changed when you clicked on links, and some other bits.

So, I have decided to start a small, intermittent project of code golf: put as much browser as I can in 128 lines of code (not counting comments or blanks), starting with PyQt4.

This has a useful purpose: I always suspected that if you assumed PyQt was part of the base system, most apps would fit in floppies again. This one fits on a 1.44MB floppy some 500 times (so you could use 360KB commodore floppies if you prefer!).

So far, I am at about 50 lines, and it has the following features:

  • Zoom in (Ctrl++)
  • Zoom out (Ctrl+-)
  • Reset Zoom (Ctrl+=)
  • Find (Ctrl+F)
  • Hide find (Esc)
  • Buttons for back/forward and reload
  • URL entry that matches the page + autocomplete from history + smart entry (adds http://, that kind of thing)
  • Plugins support (including flash)
  • The window title shows the page title (without browser advertising ;-)
  • Progress bar for page loading
  • Statusbar that shows hovered links URL
  • Takes a URL on the command line, or opens http://python.org
  • Multiplatform (works in any place QtWebKit works)

Missing are tabs and proxy support. I expect those will take another 40 lines or so, but I think it's probably the most featureful of these toy browsers.

The code... it's not all that hard. I am using lambda a lot, and I am using PyQt's keyword arguments for signal connection which makes lines long, but not hard. It could be made much smaller!

Here it is in action:

And here's the code:

#!/usr/bin/env python
"A web browser that will never exceed 128 lines of code. (not counting blanks)"

import sys
from PyQt4 import QtGui,QtCore,QtWebKit

class MainWindow(QtGui.QMainWindow):
    def __init__(self, url):
        QtGui.QMainWindow.__init__(self)
        self.sb=self.statusBar()

        self.pbar = QtGui.QProgressBar()
        self.pbar.setMaximumWidth(120)
        self.wb=QtWebKit.QWebView(loadProgress = self.pbar.setValue, loadFinished = self.pbar.hide, loadStarted = self.pbar.show, titleChanged = self.setWindowTitle)
        self.setCentralWidget(self.wb)

        self.tb=self.addToolBar("Main Toolbar")
        for a in (QtWebKit.QWebPage.Back, QtWebKit.QWebPage.Forward, QtWebKit.QWebPage.Reload):
            self.tb.addAction(self.wb.pageAction(a))

        self.url = QtGui.QLineEdit(returnPressed = lambda:self.wb.setUrl(QtCore.QUrl.fromUserInput(self.url.text())))
        self.tb.addWidget(self.url)

        self.wb.urlChanged.connect(lambda u: self.url.setText(u.toString()))
        self.wb.urlChanged.connect(lambda: self.url.setCompleter(QtGui.QCompleter(QtCore.QStringList([QtCore.QString(i.url().toString()) for i in self.wb.history().items()]), caseSensitivity = QtCore.Qt.CaseInsensitive)))

        self.wb.statusBarMessage.connect(self.sb.showMessage)
        self.wb.page().linkHovered.connect(lambda l: self.sb.showMessage(l, 3000))

        self.search = QtGui.QLineEdit(returnPressed = lambda: self.wb.findText(self.search.text()))
        self.search.hide()
        self.showSearch = QtGui.QShortcut("Ctrl+F", self, activated = lambda: (self.search.show() , self.search.setFocus()))
        self.hideSearch = QtGui.QShortcut("Esc", self, activated = lambda: (self.search.hide(), self.wb.setFocus()))

        self.quit = QtGui.QShortcut("Ctrl+Q", self, activated = self.close)
        self.zoomIn = QtGui.QShortcut("Ctrl++", self, activated = lambda: self.wb.setZoomFactor(self.wb.zoomFactor()+.2))
        self.zoomOut = QtGui.QShortcut("Ctrl+-", self, activated = lambda: self.wb.setZoomFactor(self.wb.zoomFactor()-.2))
        self.zoomOne = QtGui.QShortcut("Ctrl+=", self, activated = lambda: self.wb.setZoomFactor(1))
        self.wb.settings().setAttribute(QtWebKit.QWebSettings.PluginsEnabled, True)

        self.sb.addPermanentWidget(self.search)
        self.sb.addPermanentWidget(self.pbar)
        self.wb.load(url)


if __name__ == "__main__":
    app=QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
    if len(sys.argv) > 1:
        url = QtCore.QUrl.fromUserInput(sys.argv[1])
    else:
        url = QtCore.QUrl('http://www.python.org')
    wb=MainWindow(url)
    wb.show()
    sys.exit(app.exec_())

2010-12-02 12:20

Charla: aplicaciones extensibles con PyQt

Spanish only, since it's about a video in spanish ;-)

Acá está, gracias a la gente de Junín, un video de mi charla "Aplicaciones extensibles usando PyQt", en la que intento mostrar como desarrollar una aplicación con PyQt y yapsy.

No es una charla con la que esté muy contento. La otra salió mejor, pero no se filmó, así que quedará solo en la memoria de los cuatro gatos locos que estábamos ahí ;-)

El resto de las charlas: http://unnoba.blip.tv/

2010-10-01 15:12

Making your app modular: Yapsy

That a plugin architecture for a complex app is a good idea is one of those things that most people kinda agree on. One thing we don't quite agree is how the heck are we going to make out app modular?

One way to do it (if you are coding python) is using Yapsy.

Yapsy is awesome. Also, yapsy is a bit underdocumented. Let's see if this post fixes that a bit and leaves just the awesome.

Update: I had not seen the new Yapsy docs, released a few days ago. They are much better than what was there before :-)

Here's the general idea behind yapsy:

  • You create a Plugin Manager that can find and load plugins from a list of places (for example, from ["/usr/share/appname/plugins", "~/.appname/plugins"]).

  • A plugin category is a class.

  • There is a mapping between category names and category classes.

  • A plugin is a module and a metadata file. The module defines a class that inherits from a category class, and belongs to that category.

    The metadata file has stuff like the plugin's name, description, URL, version, etc.

One of the great things about Yapsy is that it doesn't specify too much. A plugin will be just a python object, you can put whatever you want there, or you can narrow it down by specifying the category class.

In fact, the way I have been doing the category classes is:

  • Start with an empty class
  • Implement two plugins of that category
  • If there is a chunk that's much alike in both, move it into the category class.

But trust me, this will all be clearer with an example :-)

I will be doing it with a graphical PyQt app, but Yapsy works just as well for headless of CLI apps.

Let's start with a simple app: an HTML editor with a preview widget.

//ralsina.me/static/yapsy/editor1.jpeg

A simple editor with preview

Here's the code for the app, which is really simple (it doesn't save or do anything, really, it's just an example):

editor1.py

from PyQt4 import QtCore, QtGui, QtWebKit
import os, sys

class Main(QtGui.QWidget):
    def __init__(self):
        QtGui.QWidget.__init__(self)
        self.layout = QtGui.QVBoxLayout()
        self.editor = QtGui.QPlainTextEdit()
        self.preview = QtWebKit.QWebView()
        self.layout.addWidget(self.editor)
        self.layout.addWidget(self.preview)
        self.editor.textChanged.connect(self.updatePreview)
        self.setLayout(self.layout)

    def updatePreview(self):
        self.preview.setHtml(self.editor.toPlainText())

def main():
    # Again, this is boilerplate, it's going to be the same on
    # almost every app you write
    app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
    window=Main()
    window.show()
    # It's exec_ because exec is a reserved word in Python
    sys.exit(app.exec_())

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

Note

From now on listings will not include the main function, because it never changes.

But this application has an obvious limit: you have to type HTML in it. Why not type python code in it and have it convert to HTML for display? Or Wiki markup, or restructured text?

You could, in principle, just implement all those modes, but then you are assuming the responsability of supporting every thing-that-can-be-turned-into-HTML. Your app would be a monolith. That's where yapsy enters the scene.

So, let's create a plugin category, called "Formatter" which takes plain text and returns HTML. Then we add stuff in the UI so the user can choose what formatter he wants, and implement two of those.

Here's our plugin category class:

categories.py

class Formatter(object):
    """Plugins of this class convert plain text to HTML"""

    name = "No Format"

    def formatText(self, text):
        """Takes plain text, returns HTML"""
        return text

Of course what good is a plugin architecture without any plugins for it? So, let's create two plugins.

First: a plugin that takes python code and returns HTML, thanks to pygments.

plugins/pygmentize.py

from pygments import highlight
from pygments.lexers import PythonLexer
from pygments.formatters import HtmlFormatter

from categories import Formatter

class Pygmentizer(Formatter):
    name = "Python Code"

    def formatText(self, text):
        return highlight(text, PythonLexer(), HtmlFormatter(full=True))

See how it goes into a plugins folder? Later on we will tell yapsy to search there for plugins.

To be recognized as a plugin, it needs a metadata file, too:

plugins/pygmentize.yapsy-plugin

[Core]
Name = Python Code
Module = pygmentize

[Documentation]
Author = Roberto Alsina
Version = 0.1
Website = //ralsina.me
Description = Highlights Python Code

And really, that's all there is to making a plugin. Here's another one for comparison, which uses docutils to format reStructured Text:

plugins/rest.py

from categories import Formatter
import docutils.core
import docutils.io


class Rest(Formatter):
    name = "Restructured Text"

    def formatText(self, text):
        output = docutils.core.publish_string(
            text, writer_name = 'html'
        )
        return output

plugins/rest.yapsy-plugin

[Core]
Name = Restructured Text
Module = rest

[Documentation]
Author = Roberto Alsina
Version = 0.1
Website = //ralsina.me
Description = Formats restructured text

And here they are in action:

//ralsina.me/static/yapsy/editor2.jpeg

reSt mode

//ralsina.me/static/yapsy/editor3.jpeg

Python mode

Of course using categories you can do things like a "Tools" category, where the plugins get added to a Tools menu, too.

And here's the application code:

editor2.py

from categories import Formatter
from yapsy.PluginManager import PluginManager

class Main(QtGui.QWidget):
    def __init__(self):
        QtGui.QWidget.__init__(self)
        self.layout = QtGui.QVBoxLayout()
        self.formattersCombo = QtGui.QComboBox()
        self.editor = QtGui.QPlainTextEdit()
        self.preview = QtWebKit.QWebView()

        self.layout.addWidget(self.formattersCombo)
        self.layout.addWidget(self.editor)
        self.layout.addWidget(self.preview)

        self.editor.textChanged.connect(self.updatePreview)
        self.setLayout(self.layout)

        # Create plugin manager
        self.manager = PluginManager(categories_filter={ "Formatters": Formatter})
        self.manager.setPluginPlaces(["plugins"])

        # Load plugins
        self.manager.locatePlugins()
        self.manager.loadPlugins()

        # A do-nothing formatter by default
        self.formattersCombo.addItem("None")
        self.formatters = {}
        print self.manager.getPluginsOfCategory("Formatters")
        for plugin in self.manager.getPluginsOfCategory("Formatters"):
            print  "XXX"
            # plugin.plugin_object is an instance of the plugin
            self.formattersCombo.addItem(plugin.plugin_object.name)
            self.formatters[plugin.plugin_object.name] = plugin.plugin_object

    def updatePreview(self):
        # Check what the current formatter is
        name =  unicode(self.formattersCombo.currentText())
        text = unicode(self.editor.toPlainText())
        if name in self.formatters:
            text = self.formatters[name].formatText(text)
        self.preview.setHtml(text)

In short: this is easy to do, and it leads to fixing your application's internal structure, so it helps you write better code.

Full source code for everything.

2010-09-23 22:33

eBooks and PyQt: a good match

I have been putting lots of love into Aranduka an eBook manager, (which is looking very good lately, thanks!), and I didn't want it to also be an eBook reader.

But then I thought... how hard can it be to read ePub? Well, it's freaking easy!

Here's a good start at stackoverflow.com but the short of it is... it's a zip with some XML in it.

One of those XML files tells you where things are, one of them is the TOC, the rest is just a small static collection of HTML/CSS/images.

So, here are the ingredients to roll-your-own ePub reader widget in 150 LOC:

  • Use python's zipfile library to avoid exploding the zip (that's lame)
  • Use Element Tree to parse said XML files.
  • Use PyQt's QtWebKit to display said collection of XML/CSS/Images
  • Use this recipe to make QtWebKit tell you when it wants something from the zipfile.

Plug some things to others, shake vigorously, and you end up with this:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Here's the code (as of today) and the UI file you need.

Missing stuff:

  • It doesn't display the cover.
  • It only shows the top level of the table of contents.
  • I only tested it on two books ;-)
  • It sure can use a lot of refactoring!

Neither should be terribly hard to do.

2010-09-14 12:56

Very pythonic progress dialogs.

Sometimes, you see a piece of code and it just feels right. Here's an example I found when doing my "Import Antigravity" session for PyDay Buenos Aires: the progressbar module.

Here's an example that will teach you enough to use progressbar effectively:

progress = ProgressBar()
for i in progress(range(80)):
    time.sleep(0.01)

Yes, that's it, you will get a nice ASCII progress bar that goes across the terminal, supports resizing and moves as you iterate from 0 to 79.

The progressbar module even lets you do fancier things like ETA or fie transfer speeds, all just as nicely.

Isn't that code just right? You want a progress bar for that loop? Wrap it and you have one! And of course since I am a PyQt programmer, how could I make PyQt have something as right as that?

Here'show the output looks like:

progress

You can do this with every toolkit, and you probably should!. It has one extra feature: you can interrupt the iteration. Here's the (short) code:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import sys, time
from PyQt4 import QtCore, QtGui

def progress(data, *args):
    it=iter(data)
    widget = QtGui.QProgressDialog(*args+(0,it.__length_hint__()))
    c=0
    for v in it:
        QtCore.QCoreApplication.instance().processEvents()
        if widget.wasCanceled():
            raise StopIteration
        c+=1
        widget.setValue(c)
        yield(v)

if __name__ == "__main__":
    app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)

    # Do something slow
    for x in progress(xrange(50),"Show Progress", "Stop the madness!"):
        time.sleep(.2)

Have fun!

2010-09-09 13:50

Making deployment of desktop Python apps trivial: an idea

Proprietor and printer in front of Schwartz Print Shop in Minneapolis

Here's what I'm thinking: how hard could it be to make PyQt app deployment absolutely easy? Well, I am guessing: not very hard.

Here's the trick: see what works in the real world, and adopt it.

Question: what has deployed billions of apps and has its users happy? Answer: phones app stores.

Question: how do they work? Answer: well, that's not that short, so let's start explaining.

As I see it, a reasonable app store has the following components:

A Stable Deployment Target

You can't deploy from the store if you don't know what you are deploying into. If the target platform is shaky, you just can't know how to deploy without user assistance, and we are trying to make this easy for the user, which means that's not acceptable.

So, what's a stable deployment target we can provide?

  • PyQt (so we can deploy GUIs to all major desktop platforms)
  • Python standard library
  • Selected modules

What can be (and should be) bundled with the app?

  • Pure python modules
  • Artwork and other resources

What may be bundled:

  • Python modules written in C/C++, but you then have to redo the app for each platform, and that kinda sucks.

Deployment Services

  • Apps should be able to check if there is a new version of them in the store, to ask for upgrades.
  • Apps should be added by the deployment platform nicely into the host system's menus, desktop, etc.

Monetization Services

  • Some way to charge for apps. Even for open source apps, you could ask for U$S0.99 if you install them through the store. Optional, of course, and up to the app owner.
  • Ad platform? There must be a good one for desktop apps somewhere?

The Store Itself

  • A website that downloads a "package" associated with a local deployment application.
  • A app store app. Install things not via web, but via a desktop application.

I don't expect a functional version of this would take me more than a week working fulltime to implement. Of course then there are all sorts of usability, looks, etc. things to consider.

And... I am going to do something I very rarely do. I am going to ask for money.

As an experiment, I have setup a project at http://www.indiegogo.com/Qt-Shop and set a funding goal of U$S 600.

There you can fund me. I promise that if the project is totally funded, I will deliver. If it isn't, I may deliver anyway. I would prefer to have the money though.

The platform would be released under GPLv2 or later.

2010-07-24 20:37

This is why Qt (and PyQt) are cool

Alejandro Dolina once wrote (and this is from memory that's probably 25 years old) of a round table discussing "What's Tango?", and how after two hours of discussing the nature, characteristics and history of tango, one of the members of the panel picked up a bandoneón, played "El apache argentino" stood up and left without saying a word.

So, why are Qt and PyQt cool?

Audio player widget:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

import sys, os
from PyQt4 import QtCore, QtGui, uic
from PyQt4.phonon import Phonon
import icons_rc

class AudioPlayer(QtGui.QWidget):
    def __init__(self, url, parent = None):

        self.url = url

        QtGui.QWidget.__init__(self, parent)
        self.setSizePolicy(QtGui.QSizePolicy.Expanding,
            QtGui.QSizePolicy.Preferred)


        self.player = Phonon.createPlayer(Phonon.MusicCategory,
            Phonon.MediaSource(url))
        self.player.setTickInterval(100)
        self.player.tick.connect(self.tock)

        self.play_pause = QtGui.QPushButton(self)
        self.play_pause.setIcon(QtGui.QIcon(':/icons/player_play.svg'))
        self.play_pause.clicked.connect(self.playClicked)
        self.player.stateChanged.connect(self.stateChanged)

        self.slider = Phonon.SeekSlider(self.player , self)

        self.status = QtGui.QLabel(self)
        self.status.setAlignment(QtCore.Qt.AlignRight |
            QtCore.Qt.AlignVCenter)

        self.download = QtGui.QPushButton("Download", self)
        self.download.clicked.connect(self.fetch)

        layout = QtGui.QHBoxLayout(self)
        layout.addWidget(self.play_pause)
        layout.addWidget(self.slider)
        layout.addWidget(self.status)
        layout.addWidget(self.download)

    def playClicked(self):
        if self.player.state() == Phonon.PlayingState:
            self.player.pause()
        else:
            self.player.play()

    def stateChanged(self, new, old):
        if new == Phonon.PlayingState:
            self.play_pause.setIcon(QtGui.QIcon(':/icons/player_pause.svg'))
        else:
            self.play_pause.setIcon(QtGui.QIcon(':/icons/player_play.svg'))

    def tock(self, time):
        time = time/1000
        h = time/3600
        m = (time-3600*h) / 60
        s = (time-3600*h-m*60)
        self.status.setText('%02d:%02d:%02d'%(h,m,s))

    def fetch(self):
        print 'Should download %s'%self.url

def main():
    app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
    window=AudioPlayer(sys.argv[1])
    window.show()
    # It's exec_ because exec is a reserved word in Python
    sys.exit(app.exec_())

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

Video player widget:

import sys, os
from PyQt4 import QtCore, QtGui, uic
from PyQt4.phonon import Phonon
import icons_rc

class VideoPlayer(QtGui.QWidget):
    def __init__(self, url, parent = None):

        self.url = url

        QtGui.QWidget.__init__(self, parent)
        self.setSizePolicy(QtGui.QSizePolicy.Expanding,
            QtGui.QSizePolicy.Preferred)


        self.player = Phonon.VideoPlayer(Phonon.VideoCategory,self)
        self.player.load(Phonon.MediaSource(self.url))
        self.player.mediaObject().setTickInterval(100)
        self.player.mediaObject().tick.connect(self.tock)

        self.play_pause = QtGui.QPushButton(self)
        self.play_pause.setIcon(QtGui.QIcon(':/icons/player_play.svg'))
        self.play_pause.clicked.connect(self.playClicked)
        self.player.mediaObject().stateChanged.connect(self.stateChanged)

        self.slider = Phonon.SeekSlider(self.player.mediaObject() , self)

        self.status = QtGui.QLabel(self)
        self.status.setAlignment(QtCore.Qt.AlignRight |
            QtCore.Qt.AlignVCenter)

        self.download = QtGui.QPushButton("Download", self)
        self.download.clicked.connect(self.fetch)
        topLayout = QtGui.QVBoxLayout(self)
        topLayout.addWidget(self.player)
        layout = QtGui.QHBoxLayout(self)
        layout.addWidget(self.play_pause)
        layout.addWidget(self.slider)
        layout.addWidget(self.status)
        layout.addWidget(self.download)
        topLayout.addLayout(layout)
        self.setLayout(topLayout)

    def playClicked(self):
        if self.player.mediaObject().state() == Phonon.PlayingState:
            self.player.pause()
        else:
            self.player.play()

    def stateChanged(self, new, old):
        if new == Phonon.PlayingState:
            self.play_pause.setIcon(QtGui.QIcon(':/icons/player_pause.svg'))
        else:
            self.play_pause.setIcon(QtGui.QIcon(':/icons/player_play.svg'))

    def tock(self, time):
        time = time/1000
        h = time/3600
        m = (time-3600*h) / 60
        s = (time-3600*h-m*60)
        self.status.setText('%02d:%02d:%02d'%(h,m,s))

    def fetch(self):
        print 'Should download %s'%self.url

def main():
    app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
    window=VideoPlayer(sys.argv[1])
    window.show()
    # It's exec_ because exec is a reserved word in Python
    sys.exit(app.exec_())

if __name__ == "__main__":
    main()

...

2010-07-23 02:50

Desktop apps and clouds (with video)

I enjoy creating desktop applications. That means I may be a member of a dying breed, since web apps are going to make us all obsolete next week, but I do enjoy doing it.

The bad side of it is, of course that sometimes it's much more convenient to use a web application. For example, I have abandoned my own baby (uRSSus) because google reader is just easier and more convenient to use.

But then I thought... what bothers me of uRSSus? And there are quite a few things!

  1. It's not in all computers I may use

    That means I will not ever be able to use it exclusively.

  2. It's pretty useless without an Internet connection (but so is google reader mostly)

  3. Since I can't use it exclusively, I end with feeds on uRSSus that are not on google reader and viceversa.

  4. It's freaking slow

So, I decided to see what I could do about that without giving up the good side of uRSSus:

  1. It looks much nicer than a web app, because it looks like a desktop app
  2. It does things like opening the site instead of showing the feed item (great for partial content feeds)
  3. I wrote it (yes, that's a feature for me. I like self-made programs)

So, this attempt at rewriting the desktop RSS reader produced this:

As you can see in the above video, this reader syncs the subscription list to google reader. It will also eventually sync your read/unread posts.

It still can open full sites instead of feed items, it has/will have a heck of an offline mode (full pages captured as images, for example), and... it's very very fast.

It's much faster than google reader in Chromium, and hella faster than uRSSus. That was done via smarter coding, so it probably means I was braindead before and experienced a minor recovery.

The code is not fit for release (for example, the database schema will change) but you can try it: http://code.google.com/p/kakawana/source/checkout

2010-07-17 03:53

Slow-Slow and Fast-Fast (video)

My previous post explained how to cache whole web pages as images. Now see it in action. This is a lightweight RSS reader, optimized for comic books (but it works for any feed) and for offline use (but it works online too, of course).

Not ready for public use yet, but if you look around you can find the code somewhere ;-)

2010-07-16 19:58

Capturing a webpage as an image using Pyhon and Qt

For a small project I am doing I wanted the capability to see web pages offline. So, I started thinking of a way to do that, and all solutions were annoying or impractical.

So, I googled and found CutyCapt which uses Qt and WebKit to turn web pages into images. Good enough for me!

Since I wanted to use this from a PyQt app, it makes sense to do the same thing CutyCapt does, but as a python module/script, so here's a quick implementation that works for me, even if it lacks a bunch of CutyCapt's features.

With a little extra effort, it can even save as PDF or SVG, which would let you use it almost like a real web page.

You just use it like this:

python  capty.py http://www.kde.org kde.png

And here's the code [download capty.py]

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

"""This tries to do more or less the same thing as CutyCapt, but as a
python module.

This is a derived work from CutyCapt: http://cutycapt.sourceforge.net/

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//
// CutyCapt - A Qt WebKit Web Page Rendering Capture Utility
//
// Copyright (C) 2003-2010 Bjoern Hoehrmann <[email protected]>
//
// This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
// modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
// as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2
// of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
//
// This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
// but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
// MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
// GNU General Public License for more details.
//
// $Id$
//
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

"""

import sys
from PyQt4 import QtCore, QtGui, QtWebKit


class Capturer(object):
    """A class to capture webpages as images"""

    def __init__(self, url, filename):
        self.url = url
        self.filename = filename
        self.saw_initial_layout = False
        self.saw_document_complete = False

    def loadFinishedSlot(self):
        self.saw_document_complete = True
        if self.saw_initial_layout and self.saw_document_complete:
            self.doCapture()

    def initialLayoutSlot(self):
        self.saw_initial_layout = True
        if self.saw_initial_layout and self.saw_document_complete:
            self.doCapture()

    def capture(self):
        """Captures url as an image to the file specified"""
        self.wb = QtWebKit.QWebPage()
        self.wb.mainFrame().setScrollBarPolicy(
            QtCore.Qt.Horizontal, QtCore.Qt.ScrollBarAlwaysOff)
        self.wb.mainFrame().setScrollBarPolicy(
            QtCore.Qt.Vertical, QtCore.Qt.ScrollBarAlwaysOff)

        self.wb.loadFinished.connect(self.loadFinishedSlot)
        self.wb.mainFrame().initialLayoutCompleted.connect(
            self.initialLayoutSlot)

        self.wb.mainFrame().load(QtCore.QUrl(self.url))

    def doCapture(self):
        self.wb.setViewportSize(self.wb.mainFrame().contentsSize())
        img = QtGui.QImage(self.wb.viewportSize(), QtGui.QImage.Format_ARGB32)
        painter = QtGui.QPainter(img)
        self.wb.mainFrame().render(painter)
        painter.end()
        img.save(self.filename)
        QtCore.QCoreApplication.instance().quit()

if __name__ == "__main__":
    """Run a simple capture"""
    app = QtGui.QApplication(sys.argv)
    c = Capturer(sys.argv[1], sys.argv[2])
    c.capture()
    app.exec_()

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