Re: [dev] GUIs

From: <>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2019 20:00:32 +0000

On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 02:55:17PM -0400, LM wrote:
> Another thing I'd want is at least minimal internationalization support
> (enough to be able to handle display and input of characters in the UTF-8
> character set).


The only really tough thing with a GUI toolkit (C or anything else) is what you
wrote above: "correct" layout/navigation and rendering of unicode text at near
global scale.

It's so tough that GUI toolkits don't do it anymore. There is only one open source
component dealing with it: harfbuzz, a gigantic pile of c++ cr*p,
microsoft/apple grade. I know coze I did dive into it to code a drop-in
replacement for basic roman scripts (at least harfbuzz has the decency to have
a C api).

There is no open source alternative, and it was maintained at redhat (now IBM)
and is maintained now at google by a full team of permanent devs (I guess the
core devs have been financed for a decade and now have google money to keep

harfbuzz is the unicode layout engine of blink(chrome), gecko(firefox), GTK+,
EFL, Qt, pdf printers/readers, etc, and could be hidden in proprietary OSes or
software since it's a "liberal" license.

That said, C GUI toolkits: I know of GTK+ and EFL. But their SDKs are insane as
it is the norm now with "mainstream" open source software (and it's getting
worse as time goes by).

Received on Mon May 20 2019 - 22:00:32 CEST

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