Wednesday Oct 15, 2008

wxWidgets in OpenSolaris

wxWidgets has been integrated into OpenSolaris (build 100) as a shared library now. This will certainly help a lot of wxWidgets GUI applications which can now link to the integrated wxWidgets in seamless manner. According to wxWidgets' homepage, wxWidgets gives you a single, easy-to-use API for writing GUI applications on multiple platforms that still utilize the native platform's controls and utilities. On top of great GUI functionality, wxWidgets gives you: online help, network programming, streams, clipboard and drag and drop, multithreading, image loading and saving in a variety of popular formats, database support, HTML viewing and printing, and much much more.

Actually, wxWidgets existed in Solaris before build 100 but only in a statically linked form with pgAdmin, a PostgreSQL administration/monitoring tool. But, starting with build 100, it can be used as a shared library and dynamically linked to various GUI applications. The current version is wxGTK-2.8.8.

With this integration, you will see 2 new packages being added, as SUNWwxwidgets and SUNWwxwidgets-devel. SUNWwxwidgets includes all the wxGTK related libraries (including the 64bit version) and SUNWwxwidgets-devel include all the headers files that you would need to compile any application that depends upon wxGTK. So, If you are just going to run some GUI based application that depends on wxGTK, you only need to install the SUNWwxwidgets package (which is expected to be installed as a dependency by the package management system anyway). Please note that the OpenSolaris IPS repository contains only one package, SUNWwxwidgets and here SUNWwxwidgets-devel package is combined into the SUNWwxwidgets package.

wxWidgets libraries are currently being built with support for xrc, expat, sdl and opengl. You can look at the ARC materials here.

Application developers can get more information about the installed wxWidgets by doing following,


rangabhoomi % wx-config --version
2.8.8

rangabhoomi % wx-config --libs
-mt -L/usr/lib -R/usr/lib  -L/usr/X11R6/lib 
-L/usr/openwin/lib  -lwx_gtk2u_richtext-2.8
-lwx_gtk2u_aui-2.8 -lwx_gtk2u_xrc-2.8 -lwx_gtk2u_qa-2.8
-lwx_gtk2u_html-2.8 -lwx_gtk2u_adv-2.8 -lwx_gtk2u_core-2.8
-lwx_baseu_xml-2.8 -lwx_baseu_net-2.8 -lwx_baseu-2.8

So, feel free to try this out and if you find bugs, please log them in the category, solaris/library/wxwidgets.

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