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Gtk+/Gnome Application Development
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GtkObject is the base of GTK+'s object hierarchy. It is not a graphical component; it implements interfaces for reference counting, attaching key-value pairs to objects and object destruction ("virtual destructors" in C++ terms). GtkObject itself makes heavy use of the GTK+ type system. The signal/callback infrastructure of GTK+ works in terms of GtkObject---that is, signals are emitted from a particular GtkObject, and callbacks are connected to a particular object and signal.

the chapter called The GTK+ Object and Type System covers GtkObject in detail.

Gtk+/Gnome Application Development
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