GTK+ user interface libraries, version 2.4
- From: Owen Taylor <otaylor redhat com>
- To: gnome-announce-list gnome org, gtk-list gnome gnome org, gtk-app-devel-list gnome org, gtk-devel-list gnome org
- Subject: GTK+ user interface libraries, version 2.4
- Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 16:52:30 -0500
The GTK+ team is pleased to announce the release of version 2.4 of the
GTK+ widget toolkit and associated libraries (GLib, Pango, and
ATK). GTK+-2.4 continues to enhance the state of the art of free
software user interface toolkits while maintaining binary and
interface compatibility with GTK+-2.2 and GTK+-2.0
What is GTK+
GTK+ is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user
interfaces. Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK+ is suitable for
projects ranging from small one-off projects to complete application
GTK+ is based on three libraries developed by the GTK+ team:
- GLib is the low-level core library that forms the basis of GTK+ and
GNOME. It provides data structure handling for C, portability
wrappers, and interfaces for such runtime functionality as an event
loop, threads, dynamic loading, and an object system.
- Pango is a library for layout and rendering of text, with an
emphasis on internationalization. It forms the core of
text and font handling for GTK+
- The ATK library provides a set of interfaces for accessibility.
By supporting the ATK interfaces, an application or toolkit can
be used with such tools as screen readers, magnifiers,
and alternative input devices.
GTK+ has been designed from the ground up to support a range of
languages, not only C/C++. Using GTK+ from languages such as Perl and
Python (especially in combination with the Glade GUI builder) provides
an effective method of rapid application development.
GTK+ is free software and part of the GNU Project. However, the
licensing terms for GTK+, the GNU LGPL, allow it to be used by all
developers, including those developing proprietary software, without
any license fees or royalties. GTK+ is the only 100% free-of-cost open
source industrial-strength GUI toolkit available today.
Since its origins as the toolkit for the GNU Image Manipulation
Program (GIMP), GTK+ has been used in a wide range of software.
Notably, GTK+ is the foundation of the GNOME desktop; GTK+-2.4
will be incorporated into the soon-to-be-released version 2.6
of the GNOME desktop.
What's new in GTK+-2.4
More extensive information about new features in GLib-2.4, Pango-1.4,
and GTK+-2.4 can be found in the individual release
announcements; to list just a few of the major highlights:
New file selector widget
The new GtkFileChooser widgets provide a radically simplified
and improved way for users to select files. Application writers
now are provided with such capabilities such as customizable
filters and previews. The filesystem access is encapsulated
as a dynamically loaded module; as an example of what this
allows, libgnomeui now provides a gnome-vfs backend for
GtkFileChooser so that it has the same view of remote
filesystems as applications such Nautilus.
New drop-down selection widget
The GtkComboBox widget replaces the old GtkOptionMenu and
GtkCombo widgets with a single unified appearance
and programming interface for both editable and non-editable
dropdowns. Other enhancements provided include customizability
of the main display widget and grid layouts for the drop-down
Action-based toolbar and menu API
GtkUIManager allows the application to specify a set of
"actions", then create menus and toolbars using those actions
from an XML-like interface description. This separation makes it
easier to coordinate having the same item both in a menu and in
a toolbar and simplifies the implementation of toolbar editing.
Glib and Pango now fully support characters outside the
basic-multilingual-plane of Unicode; character properties
have been updated to match Unicode-4.0.
Bidirectional editing and interface flipping improvements
GTK+ now automatically determines the base direction for
label and text-entry widgets based on their contents, rather
than requiring it to be specified by the application; this
gives a much better user experience when editing mixed
right-to-left and left-to-right text. Support for user-interface
mirroring in right-to-left locales has now been extended to
cover virtually all widgets.
Where to get more information about GTK+-2.4
Information about GTK+ including links to documentation can be
found at http://www.gtk.org/
More information about Pango can be found at http://www.pango.org/
More information about ATK can be found at
- GLib-2.4.0 release announcement
- Pango-1.4.0 release announcement
- Complete GTK+-2.4.0 release announcement
An installation guide for GTK+-2.4 is found at:
16 March 2004
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