Gtk+ Overview

Gtk+ is a graphical toolkit designed originally to run on UNIX systems, including Linux.

A graphical toolkit is a software that displays graphical controls. In UNIX, the graphical interface uses the X11 standard, which allows for different graphical toolkits (unlike Windows and Mac interfaces).

A graphical toolkit is the UNIX software that provides a common user experience, displaying buttons, menus, drop downs, and any other graphical element that can be used as input/output on graphical programs.

Gtk+ was created by two students at the University of California Berkeley. They designed the toolkit originally to simplify the creation of the Gimp program. Gimp is a graphics manipulation program that was written for Linux. In functionality, it is similar to Adobe Photoshop.

Gtk+ is now used as the toolkit for the Gnome project, a large scale UNIX desktop project that is used in most Linux distributions. Therefore Gtk+ is a central library in most graphical software used on Linux/Unix these days.

Gtk+ has been ported to other architectures too. Currently, there is a Windows port, which allows most Gtk+ software to run unmodified on Windows machines.

The other advantage of Gtk+ is the high number of bindings available for other languages. While originally written in C, due to the simplicity of the C language it is easy to create bindings for other, higher level languages. Currently, one can find Gtk+ bindings for languages such as Perl, Python, Ruby, scheme, and many others.

Tags: Unix, Linux, programming, Gtk
Article created on 2010-08-18 08:44:00

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