skinnable, portable widgets?

Tim Evans t.evans at
Mon Jan 27 11:57:16 CET 2003

"Brandon Van Every" <vanevery at> writes:

> I'm looking for a GUI widget toolkit that:

You could use GTK (  Here is how it rates
according to your requirements:

> - has a python binding

Yes (  You probably want to go
with GTK v2.0 and PyGTK 1.99.14, even though the python bindings aren't
quite finished.

> - is skinnable

Yes.  GTK uses 'engines' and 'themes' that can completely change the
rendering of widgets.  This is normally set by the user for all GTK
applications, but can also be application-specific.  For a game, look
into the 'pixbuf' engine, which allows you to specify a theme using
images for every part of the widgets, and supports full alpha channels
on those images.  For some examples of GTK themes, including
screenshots, see

> - is portable/ported to at least Win32 and Linux

Originally developed on Linux, so that's where it runs best.  Win32
version quite good and getting better.

> - does not try to own the application's event pump

GTK does have its own event loop code, but you don't have to use it,
just tell it to update every so often to get your events.

> - is amenable to displaying my own 3D code in a window

Yes, look for gtkgl.  The python interface for which is part of pygtk.

> - is mature, ready for prime time

On Linux, definitely.  On Windows, probably close enough.

> - is open source

Yes.  GTK is LGPL.

> - whose implementation is not overly complicated, so that as things bitrot
> over the next 10 years, I can maintain it and port it to new platforms

You probably wouldn't want to maintain GTK all by yourself, but the
chance of it disappearing within 10 years is zero.

> The primary application is for games.  I must be able to control the look
> and feel of the widgets, so skinnability is a hard requirement.  Any
> recommendations?

Try GTK, and see what you think.

Tim Evans

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