SWT migration to GTK+ 3.x: Use Cairo Instead GDK : First Patch – Tracker Widget

I am continuing series of posts about   SWT migration to GTK+ 3.x . Today, I will  write about patch for SWT Tracker Widget, that omits some of GTK+ 3.x deprecated methods.

When I started working on patch for Tracker, it was very important for me understand what Tracker Widget is intended to do. I found very good implementation of  SWT Tracker widget   here 

Actual code is:

import org.eclipse.swt.SWT;
import org.eclipse.swt.graphics.Rectangle;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Display;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Event;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Listener;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Shell;
import org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Tracker;

public class Tracker_test {

public static void main(String[] args) {
Display display = new Display();
final Shell shell = new Shell(display);
shell.addListener(SWT.MouseDown, new Listener() {
public void handleEvent(Event e) {
Tracker tracker = new Tracker(shell, SWT.NONE);
tracker.setRectangles(new Rectangle[] { new Rectangle(e.x, e.y, 100, 100), });
while (!shell.isDisposed()) {
if (!display.readAndDispatch())

When you run this code, you see small rectangle. It appears when you  right-mouse click and disappears when you  release right-mouse click. It looks like this:

From this example, we can see that Tracker is intended to track mouse movements and mouse clicks. It works great, the only problem is that some code in Tracker Widget is outdated, and it won’t built with GTK+ 3.x. I am talking about code in drawRectangles() method inside Tracker.java.

Let’s look at this code:

void drawRectangles (Rectangle [] rects) {
int   window = OS.gdk_get_default_root_window();
if (parent != null) {
window = OS.GTK_WIDGET_WINDOW (parent.paintHandle());
if (window == 0) return;
//TODO: Use Cairo
int gc = OS.gdk_gc_new (window);
if (gc == 0) return;
int /*long*/ colormap = OS.gdk_colormap_get_system ();
GdkColor color = new GdkColor ();
OS.gdk_color_white (colormap, color);
OS.gdk_gc_set_foreground (gc, color);
OS.gdk_gc_set_subwindow (gc, OS.GDK_INCLUDE_INFERIORS);
OS.gdk_gc_set_function (gc, OS.GDK_XOR);
for (int i=0; i
Rectangle rect = rects [i];
int x = rect.x;
if (parent != null && (parent.style & SWT.MIRRORED) != 0) x = parent.getClientWidth () - rect.width - x;
OS.gdk_draw_rectangle (window, gc, 0, x, rect.y, rect.width, rect.height);
OS.g_object_unref (gc);

If we take a look at  GDK documentation , we will find out that gdk_gc_newgdk_color_white gdk_gc_set_foreground, gdk_gc_set_subwindow, gdk_gc_set_function and even  gdk_draw_rectangle are all deprecated since GTK version 2.22 and should not be used in newly written code. And as a hint, there is ‘ // TODO: Use Cairo’.

So I here is some of the changes I made to this code:

1. I replaced gdk_gc_new  with  gdk_cairo_create

2. OS.gdk_gc_set_function (gc, OS.GDK_XOR)  was replaced with equivalent function  Cairo.cairo_set_operator(cairo,Cairo.CAIRO_OPERATOR_DIFFERENCE)  (this function is responsible for rectangle to disappear on mouse release)

3. gdk_draw_rectangle was replaced with cairo_rectangle, as cairo saves everything to buffer first, you need to release changes. In my case I used cairo_stroke. ( it fills just contour of rectangle)

4. gdk_color_white was replaced with  cairo_set_source_rgb(cairo, 1, 1, 1);

5. I also had to add line width,  and antialising (without antialising  line width didn’t work)

So my code looks like this:

int /*long*/ cairo = OS.gdk_cairo_create(window);
if (cairo == 0) error (SWT.ERROR_NO_HANDLES);

Cairo.cairo_set_source_rgb(cairo, 1, 1, 1);
Cairo.cairo_set_line_width(cairo, 1);
Cairo.cairo_set_antialias(cairo, Cairo.CAIRO_ANTIALIAS_NONE);

for (int i=0; i<rects.length; i++) {
Rectangle rect = rects [i];
Cairo.cairo_rectangle (cairo, rect.x, rect.y, rect.width, rect.height);

After run with Cairo, I have the same output as GTK version does.

I have posted bug report with my patch here:  https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=380287  ( As for June 7, patch is not reviewed yet, as Eclipse reviewers are extra-busy with new version of Eclipse coming out very soon)
I have coded couple of other patches, and I will definitely do some posts on them after this first patch is reviewed.




Unfortunately there is one case where current patch does not work properly, as it supposed to. This case is when you pass “display” to the Tracker constructor. In GDK version it is supposed to use GDK_INCLUDE_INFERIORS that puts rectangle on top of all other windows, however Cairo does not have this luxury, and all my attempts to put in on top is clipped by child windows.

I keep on working on it, and I will keep you updated!


Check out more posts on “SWT migration From GTK+ 2 to GTK+ 3”

About Anatoly Spektor

My name is Anatoly Spektor (originally Anatolijs Spektors) I am Software and Web Developer. I have worked in Seneca Center for Development of Open Technology on Big Blue Button Add-on - Polling Module, Red Hat and some other places :) I am an author of the book 'Eclipse Debugging How To', Muay Thai fighter and amateur photographer ;)
This entry was posted in Cairo Graphics Library, Eclipse Development, Fedora, Java, open-source, Red Hat, SWT and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to SWT migration to GTK+ 3.x: Use Cairo Instead GDK : First Patch – Tracker Widget

  1. Pingback: SWT migration to GTK+ 3.x : Tracker Dilliemma « My Programming Blog

  2. Pingback: SWT migration to GTK+ 3.x : Tracker Dilliemma - My Programming Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s