Freshen Your Apps with Glade

By Eric Foster-Johnson, ITworld |  Opinion

Glade, a Linux GUI-builder, takes a slightly different spin on building
user interfaces. Unlike most GUI builders, you can take advantage of
Glade's functionality more than most similar tools. Glade just
concentrates on laying out the widgets in the display. Additionally,
Glade works with many programming languages and supports XML.

Glade stores the user interface's description you create in an XML
file. At runtime, you call code from the programming language that
loads in the XML description of the user interface and populate the
display with the appropriate user interface elements -- called widgets.
The Glade XML file format is documented with the application. Add to
that the fact that XML is a human-readable format and you should have a
good head start.

Pre-built software routines perform this task for each of the
programming languages supported by Glade, which include Ada95, C, C++,
Eiffel, Perl, and Python. In addition, extending Glade to support your
favorite programming language primarily requires that you write the
routines that can read-in the XML files output by Glade and create the
user interface on the display.

From the main Glade page (, you can find
information on this GUI builder. Note that this is a different site
than the older Glade site ( A list of applications
built using Glade appears at You can
see quite a variety. A frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) list appears at Other than the FAQ, there is not a lot of
documentation on the Web site. The Glade application comes with a
documentation directory though, starting with the FAQ list. Online,
you'll also find a "turbo" start guide and a user's guide.

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