What is this project about?

This project allows you use to use SFML 2 from Python. As SFML’s author puts it, “SFML is a free multimedia C++ API that provides you low and high level access to graphics, input, audio, etc.” It’s the kind of library you use for writing multimedia applications such as games or video players.

What isn’t this project about?

This binding currently doesn’t aim to be used as an OpenGL wrapper, unlike the original SFML library. This is because there are already such wrappers available in Python, such as Pygame, PyOpenGL or pyglet.

Doesn’t SFML already have a Python binding?

It does, but the binding needed to be rewritten, mainly because the current binding is directly written in C++ and is a maintenance nightmare. This new binding is written in Cython, hence the name.

Also, I find that the current binding lacks some features, such as:

  • It doesn’t follow Python’s naming conventions.
  • It lacks some fancy features such as properties, exceptions and iterators (for example, my binding allows you to iterate on events with a simple for loop).

You should also note that the current PySFML release on SFML’s website is buggy (for example, Image.SetSmooth() doesn’t work). You’d need to compile the latest version yourself to avoid these bugs.

Why SFML 2?

SFML 1 is now part of the past; it contains some important bugs and apparently won’t be updated anymore.

SFML 2 is still a work in progress, but it’s stable enough for many projects and it only breaks a few parts of SFML 1’s API.

SFML 2 brings in important changes, such as new features, performance improvement and a more consistent API. In my opinion, if you aren’t tied to SFML 1, you should stop using it and try SFML 2.

What does “Cython” mean? Can I use this module with Python 2/3?

I use it in the binding’s name to help distinguish it with other bindings. The fact the it’s written with Cython means that it’s easier to maintain, and as fast as a C or C++ binding (although some parts might need optimizations).

Don’t worry, the module works with the traditional Python interpreter (CPython), version 2 or 3. (For more information, see Building the module.) However, it doesn’t work with other interpreters like PyPy.