Saturday, December 18, 2004

GTK 2.6.0 Released

GTK+ 2.6.0 is now available for download at:

gtk+-2.6.0.tar.bz2 md5sum: ca717c728264fa0b3302ca00da2bcfe4
gtk+-2.6.0.tar.gz md5sum: 79727f992114c0d04b542d8027a318f7

along with new versions of the 3 base libraries, GLib, Pango and ATK.

Release notes are available at:

What is GTK+

GTK+ is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user
interfaces. Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK+ is
suitable for projects ranging from small one-off tools to
complete application suites.

GTK+ has been designed from the ground up to support a range
of languages, not only C/C++. Using GTK+ from languages such
as Perl and Python (especially in combination with the Glade
GUI builder) provides an effective method of rapid application

GTK+ is free software and part of the GNU Project. However,
the licensing terms for GTK+, the GNU LGPL, allow it to be
used by all developers, including those developing proprietary
software, without any license fees or royalties. GTK+ is the
only 100% free-of-cost open source industrial-strength GUI
toolkit available today.

Since its origins as the toolkit for the GNU Image
Manipulation Program (GIMP), GTK+ has been used in a wide
range of software. Notably, GTK+ is the foundation of the
GNOME desktop; GTK+ 2.6 will be incorporated into version
2.10 of the GNOME desktop.

What's new in GTK+ 2.6

GTK+ 2.6 adds significant new functionality while maintaining
source and binary compatibility with GTK+ 2.4. Highlights of
new features and improvements in GTK+ 2.6 are:

New icon view widget

The GtkIconView widget displays a tree model as a grid of
labeled icons. Items can be selected by clicking or rubber-banding.
GtkIconView uses the same GtkTreeModel data storage interface
as GtkTreeView.

New about dialog widget

The GtkAboutDialog widget is a replacement for the GnomeAbout
dialog in the libgnomeui library. In addition to the features
found in the GnomeAbout dialog, it supports displaying of
license information and http: and mailto: links.

New file chooser button

The GtkFileChooserButton widget can be embedded in a dialog to
allow the user to select a file or folder. It replaces the
GnomeFileEntry widget in the libgnomeui library

New menu tool button

The GtkMenuToolButton widget is a toolbar button which
displays a dropdown menu, like 'Back' and 'Forward' buttons
commonly found in web browsers.

New cell renderers

The GtkCellRendererCombo cell renderer displays a string in a
cell, and allows to edit it using a combo box. The
GtkCellRendererProgress cell renderer displays a numeric value
in the form of a progress bar.

Changes in the file chooser widget

The new GtkFileChooser widget which was introduced in 2.4 has
been improved in many ways. It is possible to enter paths in
the location dialog now, the file list has typeahead search
and loading large directories has been made faster.

Changes in GtkComboBox

The combo box can now display trees, insensitive rows and
separators. In themes where the combobox is displayed as a list,
scrolling is now supported, and selection follows the mouse.

Changes in the tree view widget

GtkTreeView has acquired the necessary features to support the
improvements in the file chooser and combo box: typeahead,
hover selection, hover expand, separators and insensitive

Changes in GtkEntry, GtkLabel and GtkTextView

GtkLabel now supports rotated and ellipsized text. GtkEntry and
GtkTreeView respect the backspace-deletes-character Pango attribute.
Selectable labels are in the focus chain and the selection can be
copied using drag and drop.

Changes in Clipboard/Selection/Drag and drop handling

GTK+ provides notification about selection ownership changes
and supports clipboard persistency. There is a convenience API
for handling text, image and file targets.

Icon Themes

GTK+ follows the icon theme specification for directory
locations. Window icons and images can be themed. There are
various new stock icons, e.g. media player icons.

Performance improvements

The chunk size for incremental transfers of big selections
has been increased, reducing the number of necessary
roundtrips. GTK+ uses sync counters to speed up window
resizing. The efficiency of GtkListStore and GtkUIManager
has been improved by changing the used algorithms and data
structures. Icon themes are cached in an mmap()able cache file
to reduce memory consumption and disk seek overhead. The cost
of intra-library function calls has been reduced by avoiding
PLT redirections.

Win32-specific changes

The ms-windows (Wimp) theme engine and the IME input method
module have been integrated into the GTK+ sources.

Other changes

- gdk-pixbuf loaders can be disabled at runtime
- gdk-pixbuf supports simple rotation
- GTK+ provides an API to create HIG-conform
message dialogs
- GTK+ provides an API for stock-like buttons
- gtk_init() has been reimplemented on top of
the new GLib GOption API
- Applications can provide an alternative button
order, and there is a setting to activate it
- Modules to be loaded can be specified by a
- The pixbuf theme engine has been integrated into
the GTK+ sources
- The scroll wheel can be used to switch notebook
tabs and to scroll menus
- Ellipsization is supported in treeview cells,
progress bars and status bars
- The ABI has been cleaned up and the list of exported
symbols is enforced

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