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UnixInsider: FOX, Fltk, and other specialty GUI toolkits

Feb 12, 2001, 15:10 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird, Kathryn Soraiz)

"Why are there so many GUI toolkits? Who's using all of those non-mainstream libraries? Last year, Cameron Laird and Kathryn Soraiz profiled the leading GUI toolkits for general Unix development: Motif, Tk, Qt, GTK+, and wxWindows. Now they round up the alternatives and summarize the state of their art."

"Closer to traditional GUI practices are toolkits such as free objects for X (FOX) and Fltk. FOX emphasizes performance and portability; many developers like it because its incarnation on Windows looks at-home. Jeroen van der Zijp created FOX in mid-1997, first for Linux and then for other Unix ports. This is much like the history of several other toolkits."

"Fltk (pronounced full tick) shares many features with FOX. It's a C++ toolkit, built for Digital Domain's Unix projects. It's fast, and relatively small and light: a static linking of a demonstration of every Fltk widget is under 400 KB on x86 Linux. It boasts an associated GUI builder that's currently more advanced than FOX's. While Qt and GTK+ use signals mechanisms for callbacks, Fltk has a more direct model that its fans find easier to program."

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