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The meaning of «gdk»

GDK (GIMP Drawing Kit) is a library that acts as a wrapper around the low-level functions provided by the underlying windowing and graphics systems. GDK lies between the display server and the GTK library, handling basic rendering such as drawing primitives, raster graphics (bitmaps), cursors, fonts, as well as window events and drag-and-drop functionality.

Like GTK Scene Graph Kit (GSK), GDK is part of GTK and licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

GTK is implemented on top of an abstraction layer called GDK, freeing GTK from low-level concerns like input gathering, Drag and drop and pixel format conversion. GDK is an intermediate layer which separates GTK from the details of the windowing system.

GDK is an important part of GTK's portability. Since low-level cross-platform functionality is already provided by GLib, all that is needed to make GTK run on other platforms is to port GDK to the underlying operating system's graphics layer. Hence, the GDK ports to the Windows API and Quartz are what enable GTK applications to run on Windows and macOS, respectively.

Starting with GTK+ 2.8, GDK supports Cairo which should be used with GTK+ 3 instead of GDK's drawing functions.[1]

GDK is an intermediate layer which isolates GTK from the details of the windowing system. GDK is a thin wrapper around Xlib. The X Window System comes with a low-level library called Xlib. Almost every function in GDK is a very thin wrapper around a corresponding Xlib function; but some of the complexity (and functionality) of Xlib is hidden, to simplify programming and to make GDK easier to port to other windowing systems, such as Wayland or Microsoft Windows. The concealed Xlib functionality will rarely be of interest to application programmers; for example, many features used solely by window managers are not exposed in GDK.

GDK lets you do low level stuff, like e.g. "blit this pixmap to the screen".

GDK provides a layer that is much more portable than say the X protocol, without sacrificing any of the low-level accessibility that systems such as X provide. The true power of this abstraction is that if you choose to use it rather than say, X, your software will automatically render on the Linux Framebuffer and Windows.

Having OpenGL (or OpenGL ES) support in GDK, facilitates a slightly better control of the graphics pipeline; OpenGL is well suited for compositing textured data but totally unsuited for drawing.

GdkFrameClock was added in GTK 3.8[2]

While GTK applications remain mainloop driven (cf. Glib event loop), meaning the application is idle inside this main loop most of the time and just waits for something to happen and then calls the appropriate subroutine when it does, GdkFrameClock adds an additional mechanism, that gives a "pulse" to the application. It tells the application when to update and repaint a window.[3] The beat rate can be synchronized with the monitor refresh rate.

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