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IBM developerWorks: Making application programming easy with GNOME libraries

Sep 28, 1999, 23:40 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by George Lebl)

"What is GNOME?
GNOME is a number of things: It's a graphical environment for UNIX; a collection of useful, small applications and utilities; and a set of application-programming libraries. For now, we'll concentrate on the GNOME libraries, which can help developers build GNOME-compliant, consistent, and powerful GUI applications quickly and with minimal effort."

"Why use GNOME libraries?
Why not just program directly with a GUI toolkit such as GTK+, Motif, or Qt, without any other libraries? These tools have their advantages, but I believe the advantages of using the GNOME libraries far outweigh them. By using the GNOME libraries, you can save a lot time, because a lot of code is already written, and a lot of widgets are already created. These widgets will also be consistent in both look and feel across all applications using the GNOME libraries. And code sharing among applications reduces your memory requirements, because the code will be part of the shared library rather than loaded into memory for each application. But GNOME's greatest advantage is that the library lets you focus on the real functionality of your application; you don't have to spend your time writing and debugging the user interface."

"Writing GNOME applications
So you're convinced you want to use GNOME? OK, let's start with the basics: A GNOME application uses a hierarchy of several libraries, with the GNOME libraries making up the highest level. The GNOME libraries contain helper routines, classes, and specialized widgets (such as GnomeCanvas, a fast, flicker-free, high-level drawing widget), and provide a framework for the application."

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