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Migrating from libglade to GtkBuilder

Since version 2.12, GTK+ provides GtkBuilder to construct user interfaces from XML descriptions, similar to the functionality provided by GladeXML in the libglade library.

A good way to start a migration from libglade to GtkBuilder is using glade3 to convert your .glade file. If your code uses the root parameter of glade_xml_new(), you can use gtk_builder_add_objects_from_file() to construct only certain objects from a GtkBuilder file.

Alternatively, GTK+ also offers the gtk-builder-convert script you can use to do the conversion; in which case you should be careful to inspect the output and make sure you didn't lose any data.

Table 1. Step-by-step instructions for porting code from libglade to GtkBuilder

libglade GtkBuilder
#include <glade/glade.h> not needed
glade_xml_new (FILE, "first_widget", NULL)
GError* error = NULL;
GtkBuilder* builder = gtk_builder_new ();
if (!gtk_builder_add_from_file (builder, FILE, &error))
    g_warning ("Couldn't load builder file: %s", error->message);
    g_error_free (error);
glade_xml_get_widget (gxml, “widget_name”)
GTK_WIDGET (gtk_builder_get_object (builder, “widget_name”))
glade_get_widget_name (widget)
gtk_widget_get_name (widget)
glade_xml_get_widget_prefix (gxml, “prefix”)
can be emulated by gtk_builder_get_objects (builder) together with manual filtering. It returns a GSList* instead of a GList* though.

While GtkBuilder strives to be a complete replacement for libglade, there are a number of areas where it is currently still behind libglade:

  • GtkBuilder supports context information in translatable properties in a slightly different way than libglade. Intltool does support this since version 0.41.1.

  • While libglade can often tolerate multiple widgets having the same id in a glade file, GtkBuilder will not accept duplicate object ids. Both gtk-builder-convert and the GtkBuilder parser emit warnings when they see duplicate ids.

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