GTK+ is a multi-platform toolkit that will help developers easily create graphical user interfaces. Offering a complete set of widgets, GTK+ is suitable for projects ranging from small one-off projects to complete application suites.
GTK+ is free software and part of the GNU Project. However, the licensing terms for GTK+, the GNU LGPL, allow it to be used by all developers, including those developing proprietary software, without any license fees or royalties.
GTK+ is based on four libraries developed by the GTK+ team :
· GLib is the low-level core library that forms the basis of GTK+ and GNOME. It provides data structure handling for C, portability wrappers, and interfaces for such runtime functionality as an event loop, threads, dynamic loading, and an object system.
· Pango is a library for layout and rendering of text, with an emphasis on internationalization. It forms the core of text and font handling for GTK+-2.0.
· The ATK library provides a set of interfaces for accessibility. By supporting the ATK interfaces, an application or toolkit can be used with such tools as screen readers, magnifiers, and alternative input devices.
· Cairo, a library for 2D graphics with support for multiple output devices (including the X Window System, Win32) while producing a consistent output on all media while taking advantage of display hardware acceleration when available.
GTK+ has been designed from the ground up to support a range of languages, not only C/C++.
Using GTK+ from languages such as Perl and Python (especially in combination with the Glade GUI builder) provides an effective method of rapid application development.