Kivy 1.9 Released
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Thursday, 09 April 2015

Kivy 1.9 is a major release of a popular cross-platform open source framework which makes use of OpenGL to create a standardized UI and graphics environment for Python.

The main internal change in this release is a shift to using SDL2 as the backend provider on all Kivy platforms apart from Android, which continues to uses the old Pygame/SDL backend.

This isn't expected to change the external user API at all, but provides features that Pygame lacked, such as proper support for high-DPI displays and the ability to retain an OpenGL context on resize (previously lacking in Windows and OS X), as well as resolving some old Pygame related bugs. Pygame is now deprecated on  Windows, Linux, OS X and iOS although it will be supported for a while and is unlikely to stop working.

In response to user requests for SVG support, preliminary support, in included in this release. Announcing this Alexander Taylor comments:

This is still experimental and currently supports only Python 2, but much of the work has been done and even complex SVG images are reproduced well. 

Kivy 1.9 also introduces an EffectWidget, which behaves as a normal RelativeLayout but also lets you add one or more shader effects to its rendered output. 



Taylor explains:

The API is designed to make it very easy to create simple effects even without knowing about GLSL ... Since [the effects] are applied at a very low level they are very efficient (although not optimised for too many effects at once) and can be applied even to video or moving scenes such as in games.

Another convenient new feature is the addition of a rebind option to Kivy properties now makes it possible to enable a second level of binding when required.

Other enhancements in Kivy 1.9 include a new, faster video provider via Cython and ffmpeg; Window modes to detect and react to the presence of a software keyboard on Android; an internal rewiring of focus handling for widgets; plus many bugfixes and smaller new features which are listed in its changelog.




The new version is available for download on the Kivy website


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