Re: OpenGL support in GTK+

Sven Neumann wrote:

- api/abi changes will be easier to propagate across branches
 (example: A decission passes that all gtk_signal_* should
  be changed to g_signal_* calls, developer "A" implements
  this effortlessly because of his particular knowlage of the
  signal system and GtkGLExt is also updated accordingly).

- one can respond to the question "does gtk have support for
 graphics acceleration ?" with the simple answer "yes" instead
 of "well there's some dudes on sourceforge..."

These two points can be easily achieved by putting the GL library into
GNOME CVS so that everyone who has access to gtk+ may contribute to
gtk+-gl as well.
IMHO, the centralization of such related libraries will always increase
the perfection of the end product.

IMHO, libraries improve by modularizing them. GTK+ has already grown
too large and I would welcome if it would be split into smaller pieces
instead of more stuff being added. Other people have expressed similar
Much in the same way that glib/gdk/gtk/atk/pango are seperate libraries ?
              *nodding agreement*

Of course there are two ways of looking at the name "GTK+".

   A.)  A widget kit that uses gdk/glib/gobject....
   B.)  An ensemble of libraries including gdk/glib/gobject...

I think its clear that is makes no sence to add OpenGL API
accesability to the "definition A" (Is that how I came across ? oh well).

It may even be wise to avoid writing widgets (in the gtk+ library itself) that
depend on (or make use of) gdk-gl.

I think the question here is:
- "What is the scope of a multi-platform graphics based user
interface tool kit ?"
- "Does hardware graphics acceleration accessability enter that scope ?"

First of all, unless I am completely mistaken, we are not talking about
hardware graphics acceleration here. We are talking about adding a way
to use OpenGL 3D API from GTK+. On some platforms the 3D functions may
be hardware accelerated but this is completely out of our scope here.

3D support is not something a lot of applications need. The scope of
GTK+ should be to provide a framework for applications to build
on. This means that it should offer a couple of widely useful widgets
and the framework to extend this set.

If you argue that GL support belongs into GTK+, you can also argue
that there should be a HTML renderer, an application server, a
database as well as video and audio support. But all these things
exist and they integrate nicely with GTK+, although they are not part
of the toolkit.

unnecessary bloat for a linux distribution to include ? or unnecessary
bloat for an application to have to link against ? or unnecessary
bloat to maintained in the same package ?

The latter is indeed an important point. The more code lives in GTK+,
the more bugs are there and the more work has to be put into

What I really meant here is for example unnecessary bloat for people
trying to use GTK+ on embedded devices. Due to the size of GTK2, a
couple of projects decided against porting their software to the GTK2
platform. If we could manage to split GTK+ into a number of smaller
packages or at least allow to configure what widgets to include, GTK+
would become a lot more interesting for the rather large area of
software development on embedded devices.
On one hand; OpenGL is a standard which already has a few
implementations so by consiquence it should be relatively easy to
port from one system to another provided that the implementation
already exists for that platform, and even if there isnt, (excuse me
I'm a little rusty, its been a while since I read that code) there
is a software fallback already implemented in the glx libraries
(thats what I forget...  was it the "dri" branch that has the
software fallback operations ?).

You are raising another point here. OpenGL (especially with hardware
acceleration) has always been a nightmare to install. People are
already having a hard time with all the dependencies that have been
added lately. I'm sure that a dependency on some OpenGL implementation
would not improve this situation.

Please don't get me wrong. I believe that it should be easy to
integrate 3D into your GTK+ application and I would welcome if there
was an officially supported GTK+ GL widget library, but I don't think
that it should be part of GTK+ itself.

Hmmm, I have the feeling that for the most part.... correct me if I'm wrong...
we are arguing the same point ;-)


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