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Gtk+/Gnome Application Development
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Other Features

There simply isn't space to cover all of glib's features in this book. It's worth looking at glib whenever you find yourself thinking, "There really should be a function that..."---glib.h and the glib documentation on http://www.gtk.org/ are excellent resources.

Here's a brief list of features not already mentioned:

  • FLOAT_MAX, etc. equivalents for many numeric types.

  • Byte-order conversions.

  • g_memmove() is more portable them memmove().

  • G_DIR_SEPARATOR handles Windows/UNIX differences.

  • G_VA_COPY copies a va_list in a portable way.

  • Numerous macros to permit the use of compiler extensions (especially gcc extensions) in a portable way.

  • Portable g_htonl() and other host-to-network conversions.

  • A GCache generic cache facility.

  • "Callback maintenance" routines---registering and unregistering of callbacks.

  • The g_log() facility, allows you to print warnings, messages, etc. with configurable log levels and pluggable print routines.

  • GMemChunk facility allows you to allocate a large pool of small memory chunks, for efficiency gains compared to g_malloc(). Used in the GList implementation, for example.

  • A timer facility.

  • Convenience/portability routines to get the user's home directory, get the name of a /tmp directory, and similar tasks.

  • Filename manipulation, such as g_basename() and g_path_is_absolute().

  • Bitfield manipulation.

  • Enhanced string and array classes. Pointer and byte arrays.

  • GQuark---two way mapping from strings to integer identifiers.

  • Routines to associate data with strings, or with arbitrary pointers.

  • A lexical scanner.

  • Tab completions.

  • Calendrical/date-arithmetic functions.

  • A generic event loop abstraction, used to implement GTK+'s event loop.

  • A portable threads abstraction.

If you need some generally-useful routine that's not in glib already, consider writing it in glib style and contributing it to the library! You get free assistance with design, debugging, and maintenance, and other programmers benefit from the facility you've written. By the time you read this, it's also possible that the feature you want is already in the latest version of glib.

Gtk+/Gnome Application Development
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