Re: Newbie questions

Ed Winchester <edward e winchester lmco com> writes: 
> I know that there are other GIU development tools out there, like Qt.
> Is GTK+ the best place for me to be starting?  I know, I'm asking to
> start a flame war, and this is not my desire.  I really don't know, and
> want to know.

GTK is what we would recommend on this list. ;-) Both are certainly
reasonable. Qt requires a license fee if your software is
proprietary. GTK uses C and Qt C++. 

> I see that GTK+ has some kind of resource files.  Is there any kind of
> graphical screen design tool, similar to the Microsoft Resource Editor,
> where I can drag and drop controls; use a property box to define their
> properties; stretch, mangle and bend them till I get the look I want;
> and have all this saved in a file somewhere,  automatically part of my
> program?  I know, I'm spoiled, but I'm used to that.

What you want to do here is use Glade with libglade. libglade is a
library that gives you a GtkWidget from a resource file. Glade is the
actual GUI builder.

For an IDE type of thing, Anjuta is pretty nice, it's not quite
finished but you might like it and it seems usable. See

> I plan to install the latest 2.4 kernel, Red Hat 7.1 distro.  I'm sure
> it will include GTK+, glibc, etc.  Will that be GTK+ 1.2 or 2.0, or
> both? 

7.1 includes only 1.2, which is the current stable version. 2.0 is a
lot nicer, but not yet released as stable. So you'll want to use 1.2
but be thinking about moving to 2.0 eventually.

> Is there a reason why I would want one over the other? 

2.0 solves a lot of the frustrations and annoying aspects of 1.2, and
has more features, but ain't finished (yet).

>  Also, I have probably every RH distro from recent years available.
> I wanted the 2.4 kernel, because I understand its implementation of
> pthreads is better, but am I choosing unwisely here?

Either 2.2 or 2.4 should really work fine for this. Be a bit careful
with threads; it's worth reading some of the archive posts on them
that have been on this list or gtk-app-devel-list. Things aren't
totally threadsafe as on Windows, instead you normally want all GUI
stuff in a single thread and only spawn threads to do non-GUI work
that blocks.

> How resource intensive is GTK+?  I have freely available a Pentium 166
> PC which is compatible with the 1397 card.  Will that be powerful
> enough, and how much memory will it need?  It has 16 MB now, which I
> know is too little for X, but I could probably get it up to 80 MB pretty
> painlessly.  Would that do?

80 mb with a P166 should be fine for a GTK app. It will be a bit slow
for an entire desktop with mail, web browser, apps running most
likely. If the P166 seems too slow with the Red Hat default setup, you
might try using a plain window manager such as fvwm or WindowMaker
instead of the full GNOME desktop.

As a random suggestion, I think "Teach Yourself GTK Programming in 21
Days" is probably a newer/more comprehensive book than Eric's older

Several people have suggesting using a language binding such as PyGTK
or Gtk--; that adds a bit of complexity to getting started, e.g. PyGTK
has bad docs and Gtk-- doesn't come with Red Hat 7.1 (it's only on
powertools). But if you're a lot more comfortable in those languages
than plain C it might be worth it.


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