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Underlying Architecture

Underlying Architecture — how the canvas fits together.

Underlying Architecture

The GooCanvas Widget

GooCanvas is a GtkWidget (it is actually a subclass of GtkContainer), and so can be placed in an interface just like any normal widget. Usually a GooCanvas widget would be placed inside a GtkScrolledWindow in order to enable scrolling of the canvas.

The size of the canvas can be set explicitly using goo_canvas_set_bounds(), or if the "automatic-bounds" property is set to TRUE the bounds will be automatically calculated to include all of the canvas items. The units used in the canvas can be set with the "units" property. The canvas units can be pixels, points, inches or millimeters and apply to the canvas and all items.


The Structure of the Simple Canvas

The simple canvas consists of a hierarchy of canvas items. The root item is automatically created by the canvas and can be accessed using goo_canvas_get_root_item(). New items and groups can then be created and added to the root item.

Each item in the canvas keeps a GooCanvasBounds structure which stores the bounding rectangle of the item and all of its descendants. This makes it easy to find out which items in the canvas need repainting or which item the mouse is over. (The bounds are stored in the canvas coordinate space, which is the coordinate space of the entire canvas, after any item transformation matrices have been applied.)


The Structure of the Model/View Canvas

The model/view canvas consists of a hierarchy of item models, and an identical hierarchy of canvas items, with each canvas item corresponding to one item model.

The hierarchy of item models can be used in several GooCanvas widgets, to allow multiple views of the same model. Though different canvas items will be used in each GooCanvas.

The root item model is set with goo_canvas_set_root_item_model(). The canvas will automatically create canvas items to display the hierarchy of item models, and will automatically add and remove canvas items as the item model hierarchy is changed.


The Update Procedure

When items are added to the canvas or their properties are changed they may need to recalculate their bounds. To do this they set an internal flag such as need_update, and make a call to goo_canvas_item_request_update().

GooCanvas handles all the update requests at once, to avoid multiple redraws of the same parts of the canvas. To do this it installs an idle handler, goo_canvas_idle_handler(), which is called as soon as the application is idle (and before any part of the canvas is redrawn).

The idle handler calls goo_canvas_item_update() on the root item, which recursively calls goo_canvas_item_update() on any items as necessary, recalculating their bounds and requesting redraws as appropriate.

If a container item (e.g. GooCanvasGroup) is changed it needs to ensure that all descendants recalculate their bounds so it calls goo_canvas_item_update() for all of its children with the entire_tree argument set to TRUE.


How Changes to Items are Handled

When an item is changed (e.g. if the "x" property of a GooCanvasRect is changed), the item calls goo_canvas_item_simple_changed() with a flag indicating if the bounds of the item need to be recalculated.

If the bounds don't need to be recalculated, then goo_canvas_request_redraw() is called to simply request that the item is redrawn. This results in a call to gdk_window_invalidate_rect() and the redraw proceeds just like a normal GtkWidget.

However, if the bounds do need to be recalculated then goo_canvas_item_request_update() is called to request that the item be updated the next time the canvas performs an update.


How Changes are Handled in the Model/View Canvas

In the Model/View canvas it is the underlying item models which are initially changed. The item models emit "changed" signals which the items respond to. For the standard canvas items the goo_canvas_item_model_simple_changed() signal handler is called, which calls goo_canvas_item_simple_changed() and the procedure continues as in the simple canvas case above.

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