Cross-Platform Native-Looking GUI Development: What Should I learn?

I want to develop a GUI for a backup/restore program (think zip or tar.gz or iso) on Windows, Macos, and Linux that looks native on each platform. I think QT is a non-starter, because they may charge $5,000/user. I think tkinter and GTK are out, because the apps are not native-looking.

Primarily, my app needs to present a window with three widgets:

  • a native-looking file selector (browser),
  • a date-time-selector,
  • and a few buttons.

The only novelties are that I want to provide the file system myself (which I presumably could do by creating a pseudo filesystem) and that I want to mark some files in the display of the file selector somehow…say, by color, or font, or icon. Specifically, when the date-time selector moves, I want to grey out any files that did not exist at that moment.

what should I learn? (ideally, I would pay some beers for someone who can sketch for me a quick-and-dirty ugly starter. any alcoholics?)

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You wrote:

I think QT is a non-starter, because they may charge $5,000/user.

But that depends on how you want to license your program. See this page for more information about your options:

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Give tkinter (in particular, tkinter.ttk) another look. By default it’s actually quite native-looking in most cases, with options to be more or less (mostly less :)) so.

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