New GTK+3 is Released

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 10, 2011

Today GTK+3 was officially released. After two years of development, the GIMP toolkit for developing graphical interface elements was finally unveiled. GTK is used to develop popular window managers and environments like GNOME, Xfce, and LXDE. Many individual programs use GTK for their interface development as well, such as The GIMP, Evolution, Pidgin, Inkscape, and Abiword. This release means more functionality for your favorite software, and it just may mean better looks too.

GTK+3 brings improvements such as the use of Cairo throughout instead of the older X11 wrapper. Device handling has been upgraded with XI2 support. The more familiar CSS theme basis will make things easier for the do-it-yourselfer as well as developers. A single GDK backend will enable easier porting to other window systems such as Wayland. D-Bus support in GIO allows easier window and device polling and re-use. Matthias Clasen says there are lots of new fun and useful widgets as well.

Like all Open Source projects, the release of one major version of something doesn't mean vacation-time. Developers are back at work already cooking up plans for the future. Clasen explains, "I expect us to complete the extended layout and theming work inside GTK+, and generally make sure that GTK+ 3 works well for GNOME 3.0. I also expect that will pick up the application support topic again and add some of the bells and whistles that are needed for GNOME 3 applications, such as jump list and application menu support."

GTK+2 will continue to be supported and receive bug fixes. So, environment and application developers won't have to migrate right away. But this is Open Source, expect to see new and interesting things in your favorite distributions real soon.