SIP (software)

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Original author(s)Phil Thompson
Written inC, C++
LicenseGPL and other

SIP is an open source software tool used to connect computer programs or libraries written in C or C++ with the scripting language Python. It is an alternative to SWIG.

SIP was originally developed in 1998 for PyQt — the Python bindings for the Qt GUI toolkit — but is suitable for generating bindings for any C or C++ library.[1]


SIP takes a set of specification (.sip) files describing the API and generates the required C++ code. This is then compiled to produce the Python extension modules. A .sip file is basically the class header file with some things removed (because SIP doesn't include a full C++ parser) and some things added (because C++ doesn't always provide enough information about how the API works).

Notable applications that use SIP[edit]

  • PyQt, a python port of the application framework and widget toolkit Qt
  • QGIS, a free and open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system (GIS)
  • QtiPlot, a computer program to analyze and visualize scientific data


  1. ^ "Introduction — SIP". Retrieved 2010-08-14.
  2. ^ "Phil Thompson Talks About PyQt". 2006. Retrieved 2010-08-13.