The GTK Rust bindings are not ready yet? Yes they are!

When talking to various people at conferences in the last year or at conferences, a recurring topic was that they believed that the GTK Rust bindings are not ready for use yet.

I don’t know where that perception comes from but if it was true, there wouldn’t have been applications like Fractal, Podcasts or Shortwave using GTK from Rust, or I wouldn’t be able to do a workshop about desktop application development in Rust with GTK and GStreamer at the Linux Application Summit in Barcelona this Friday (code can be found here already) or earlier this year at GUADEC.

One reason I sometimes hear is that there is not support for creating subclasses of GTK types in Rust yet. While that was true, it is not true anymore nowadays. But even more important: unless you want to create your own special widgets, you don’t need that. Many examples and tutorials in other languages make use of inheritance/subclassing for the applications’ architecture, but that’s because it is the idiomatic pattern in those languages. However, in Rust other patterns are more idiomatic and even for those examples and tutorials in other languages it wouldn’t be the one and only option to design applications.

Almost everything is included in the bindings at this point, so seriously consider writing your next GTK UI application in Rust. While some minor features are still missing from the bindings, none of those should prevent you from successfully writing your application.

And if something is actually missing for your use-case or something is not working as expected, please let us know. We’d be happy to make your life easier!

P.S.

Some people are already experimenting with new UI development patterns on top of the GTK Rust bindings. So if you want to try developing an UI application but want to try something different than the usual signal/callback spaghetti code, also take a look at those.

4 thoughts on “The GTK Rust bindings are not ready yet? Yes they are!”

  1. seriously consider writing your next GTK UI application in Rust

    At first I was about to say that Rust should be offered as a possible choice in the new project wizard of Builder. Then I checked and realized it was actually already there. That should definitely be advertised more.

    Unrelatedly, how soon after the GTK 4 release can we expect to be able to use it via the bindings?

    1. Unrelatedly, how soon after the GTK 4 release can we expect to be able to use it via the bindings?

      There are already GTK4 bindings available in git: https://github.com/gtk-rs/gtk4. Once there’s a stable GTK4 release these will be released, or maybe even earlier when the API stabilized a bit and there are release candidates.

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