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Old 15th January 2011, 02:58 AM
AstralAbraxas Offline
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I'm new to developing on linux and I'm wondering what is recommended for developing GUI's on linux I've heard about Qt, Motif, Xlib, wxWidgets and GTK+ but I'm not really sure what I should go with. I'm going to want to be using OpenGL in addition with one of these eventually. I don't really know much about any of them though.
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Old 15th January 2011, 03:21 AM
pete_1967 Online
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Re: Linux GUI API

GNOME (and XFCE etc) uses GTK, KDE uses QT. wxWidgets is platform independent so if you want to develop for Windows & Macs as well, it's the easiest to use.

It's a question of your preferences, QT apps run just as well on GNOME as GTK apps run on KDE.
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Old 15th January 2011, 03:21 AM
Cygn Online
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Re: Linux GUI API

I've picked QT and never looked back.
People's choices widely differ, though.
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Old 15th January 2011, 05:55 AM
RupertPupkin Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API

You could also try GNUstep. It has OpenGL support as part of the AppKit libraries.
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Old 15th January 2011, 05:54 PM
assen Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API


More often than not the choice depends on one's programming skills and preference of language: GTK is written in C, so you'll do your coding in C; Qt is written in C++, so your own code will likely be C++. (Lots of bindings are available for other languages, but they are mostly suitable for drafting an app and not for heavy production).

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Old 15th January 2011, 06:46 PM
Darton Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API

Just to add my 2 cents:

If you're planning to use OpenGL, then your options are even wider because many OpenGL apps such as games don't use GTK or Qt UI widgets other than to paint and get a handle to the main window. They don't even have to use X. See http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/OpenGL for a good overview.

Also, check out your options on 3D Engines. OGRE is my personal favorite. They have a forum where you can get many of your 3D programming questions answered.

Choice of language, in addition to your preferences, depends on the features required by the application, which will determine the maturity of the platform required. I'm attempting a simple OGRE 3D visualization project (map flyovers) using C# on Mono, but I wouldn't build an MMORPG from the ground up using that platform. I would turn to something more like WorldForge, which is largely C++.

This is the great thing about open source - the majority of wheels have already been invented. If you are flexible and willing to learn, you will find an existing project that almost meets your requirements, whatever they are. You are then free to modify that project to precisely meet your requirements.

Last edited by Darton; 15th January 2011 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 18th January 2011, 08:27 AM
bioinfornatics Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API

If you want a window + event + OpenGL + portable code you can look:

SDL is know for historical reason and SFML seem to be better
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Old 1st February 2011, 02:10 PM
Jamwa Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API

And also not forgetting that you can use Java to create GUI apps on Linux
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Old 1st February 2011, 05:55 PM
pythonsyntax Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API

What are some good GUI for java?
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Old 1st February 2011, 06:35 PM
mk27 Offline
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Re: Linux GUI API

For what it's worth, I've used pthreads with glut/openGL in one thread and a GTK+ interface in another, this works fine and dandy in real time. It's a nice way to experiment with OGL as you can create a generic set of controls in GTK for lighting, etc and use that in side by side windows with your OGL to model objects or whatever. You can also use OGL fullscreen and keep the GTK window hidden until the user presses some key combo.

That's a heaping helping of API to learn of course. The key is to use main() for the glut/OGL stuff and pthread_detach() for the gtk stuff (this can be either before you initialize glut, or anytime after that but before glutMainLoop() is called).
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