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GUI libraries
09-19-2013, 06:54 PM
Post: #1
GUI libraries
Ran across this page at the Connochaetos wiki:
http://www.connochaetos.org/wiki/deli:archive:devel:ltk
It discusses lightweight toolkits and tries to come up with the best to use for low resource computers. The conclusion of the article was to create a small gtk library replacement that would be gtk 2.x compatible but lighter.

I've been investigating the issue for a while now as well. Considering my own personal design decisions, I did not come to the same conclusions as the article.

First, the article is a bit dated now, so building a gtk 2.x compatible library would not be as useful since most gtk applications are moving to gtk+ 3. There was a reference in the cinepaint project to creating a library compatible to gtk+ 2 using fltk. Don't know how far this project got and haven't been able to find the source code for it. Would have made a good starting point if the goal was gtk+ 2 compliance though.

Second, the article mentions drawbacks with lighter toolkits and names FLTK and Fox. I agree with the issue mentioned that there are far more options for heavier libraries like gtk and qt. However, one doesn't always need large quantities of programs. What I personally prefer is the quality of the programs. So, to me, a few very useful lightweight applications that do a particular job well would be preferable to having access to lots of programs many of which I'd probably never use. The second objection was that there are multiple incompatible versions of these libraries. However, you have the same issues with gtk moving from 2 to 3 and qt moving from 4.8 to 5.1. If one knows which versions of a library the majority of applications work with, one can narrow down the selections by choosing it. If some applications don't work with a particular version, they can usually be ported to work with a specific library version. The last comment was that using several lightweight libraries takes up more "memory" than using one heavyweight one. I can see where this might consume more hard drive space. However, looking at speed at which the application responds and RAM, I don't see any statistics to support the theory that running several applications built from one heavyweight toolkit is more efficient than running several applications built with multiple lightweight toolkits. I've done some timing tests and found that running several applications based on efficient lightweight toolkits is more responsive on a low resource system than running several applications built with the same heavier toolkit. I think one might get a memory advantage if running something as a daemon (which some terminal programs do). However, this is typically not the way many applications run.

From the existence of the article, I think there's evidence that there's a need for something better than what's currently out there. I'd be very interested in finding alternative GUI projects that can fill the gap or possibly working to create one. Finding the right combination of existing lightweight GUI libraries and useful applications built with them could also be a viable solution. Would be curious to hear what others think about the topic in general.
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Messages In This Thread
GUI libraries - lmemsm - 09-19-2013 06:54 PM
RE: GUI libraries - tavvva - 09-20-2013, 11:47 AM
RE: GUI libraries - lmemsm - 09-20-2013, 12:51 PM
RE: GUI libraries - tavvva - 09-22-2013, 10:44 AM
RE: GUI libraries - lmemsm - 09-23-2013, 12:53 PM

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