Off Topic: GUI programming

Tom Wesley tom at
Sat Mar 5 15:51:57 CET 2005

Jeff Franks wrote:
> Xavier Otazu wrote:
>> [snip]
>>     The ultimate (and the ONLY) problem is that one of the topic we teach
>> is GUI design. Thus, alumni have to work, i.e. to program, with GUI. I 
>> know
>> there exists several GUI libraries implementations for Linux (Qt, GTK+,
>> wxWindows, Motif, the GFC Jeff Franks posted in this list, etc ...), 
>> but I don't
>> know them deeply. Another problem, is that our alumni doesn't have much
>> experience with Linux. In fact, they neither know anything about MFC 
>> nor Visual
>> C++, but actually we teach them two classes about MFC to introduce basic
>> concepts.
>>     Hence, my question is, what do you think is the best GUI library 
>> to teach using
>> Linux platform? Alumni should be able to perform the most basic tasks 
>> (create a
>> dialog, insert buttons, react to button clicking, etc) with two 
>> introduction
>> sessions.
> Being an ex-Windows programmer, I can honestly say that learning Linux 
> programming required a complete mind shift, from the protective bounds 
> of Visual C++ 5.0 to C programming using my favourite Linux text editor 
> and command shell. But that's how Linux is. Most tools are run from the 
> command line. You need to know how to use the GNU autotools to write and 
> build a GNU compliant autotools project, and how to add international 
> language support.
> QT/KDevelop is a reasonable choice but it's not how the other half 
> program (Linux C GTK+ programmers). QT uses a MOC compiler and doesn't 
> use the standard C++ library. C GUI programming with GLib/GTK+ would 
> teach your Alumni more about Linux programming. GTK+ is released under 
> the LGPL so it can be used in commerical and free software. GTK+ has 
> been developed for a long time so it's very stable. It has a large 
> dedicated team of developers so GTK+ will be around for a long time to 
> come.
> Regards,
> Jeff Franks.

I second the choice for learning GTK+.  I'm working on some python 
modules for searching MySQL databases at the moment and am finding it 
reasonably easy going.
One often commented advantage of python over C is that the python 
interpreter is good at generating fast code, whereas you need to be 
smart enough to generate your own fast code with C.

Also, python is available everywhere.  I have an interpreter for it on 
my Symbian telephone...  (just need a use for it now! ;)

Tom Wesley <tom at>
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