Graphical Toolkits for Linux Programs
Linux is now a reality—it is no longer just a hacker tool or a toy for students. As such, it needs the power of console programs ported to the graphical world. People want easy-to-use desktops with good-looking programs. This is why many programmers now turn to graphical toolkits.
While many toolkits are available, they all share some basic features. Since programming languages do not include built-in functions to make graphical widgets, you must use add-ons. Graphical toolkits are actually libraries which add functions to a programming language, allowing you to integrate a graphical interface to your program.
The main differences found between various toolkits are ease of use, graphical appeal, cross-platform portability and language. If, for example, you are experienced in the Tcl scripting language, you will probably want to use the Tk graphical toolkit. If you like Perl, you may pick Perl/GTK.
The GTK toolkit seems to be one of the most popular. It is modern and easy to use. That library was made in C as the base for the GIMP, an image manipulation program. Now it is used by programmers around the world for all kinds of applications, including the GNOME desktop environment. The graphical interface looks clean and much like interfaces on other operating systems.
GTK is a good toolkit for writing applications in C, since it is a C library. The GTK toolkit is built on top of the GDK library, which is on top of GLIB. All three provide unique functions to programmers. Available functions include memory handling, graphical components and widgets. GNOME also has its own extensions. GTK and GNOME are freely available software products.
The QT toolkit was created by Troll Tech, a software company in Norway, and is used in the KDE desktop environment. It is written in C++ and used by programmers worldwide. The QT library began as a commercial product, but now Troll Tech has released a free version under an open license. Similar to GTK, it has the same kind of widgets, including labels, entry boxes and text fields. QT would be a good choice if you write applications in C++. The QT library is cross-platform, and the graphical interface of programs using it will compile without changes in both UNIX and Microsoft Windows.
The QT widgets look very much like GTK's widgets, as well as those of other operating systems.
wxWindows (w for Windows, x for X Window System) was created at the University of Edinburgh as a cross-platform toolkit. wxWindows is a C++ framework that allows you to write graphical applications. You can write your code once, then compile it under one of the many ports of the library. It currently runs under Microsoft Windows, Macintosh OS, Motif under UNIX and GTK. There is one library per platform, all providing a common API.
wxWindows is a free product, under a license similar to the L-GPL. Using it, you can write both commercial and free products.
This toolkit is a favorite of mine. GraphApp is a C library that allows you to write simple graphical applications in C. It is a cross-platform toolkit, and will work on the Macintosh OS, Microsoft Windows, Motif under UNIX and Athena. GraphApp supports a more limited number of widgets, but is truly easy to learn. You can learn how to make graphical applications in less than an hour.
A nice thing about GraphApp is that it compiles as a small static library. This means you can compile your programs with the library linked in them without increasing the size of the binary much, and the user will be able to run it without installing the toolkit.
The GraphApp toolkit is available at http://www.cs.usyd.edu.au/~loki/graphapp/. A tutorial for GraphApp is available at http://www.cs.usyd.edu.au/~loki/graphapp/tutorial/.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Interview with Patrick Volkerding
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Returning Values from Bash Functions
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide