Chapter 30. Recommended Techniques

Table of Contents

This section is simply a gathering of wisdom, general style guidelines and hints for creating gtkmm applications.

Use Meson! It is your friend :) It examines C and C++ files, determines how they depend on each other, and generates or an equivalent file so the files can be compiled in the correct order. Meson permits automatic configuration of software installation, handling a large number of system quirks to increase portability.

Subclass Widgets to better organize your code. You should probably subclass your main Window at least. Then you can make your child Widgets and signal handlers members of that class.

Create your own signals instead of passing pointers around. Objects can communicate with each other via signals and signal handlers. This is much simpler than objects holding pointers to each other and calling each other's methods. gtkmm's classes use special versions of sigc::signal, but you should use normal sigc::signals, as described in the libsigc++ documentation.

Application Lifetime

Most applications will have only one Window, or only one main window. These applications can use Gtk::Application::make_window_and_run(int argc, char** argv, T_Args&&... args). It creates and shows a window. When the window is hidden, make_window_and_run() deletes the window and returns to the caller. This might happen when the user closes the window, or when your code decides to hide the window with set_visible(false). You can prevent the user from closing the window (for instance, if there are unsaved changes) by overriding Gtk::Window::on_close_request().

Most of our examples use this technique.