The Laxkit API

---Unacceptably Rough Description of the API----

   Laxkit Classes
   Assorted character string functions
   Compiling Programs
   Xlib Primer for Laxkit
   The laxrc file

Compiling Programs

You will most likely need to use something like the following line to compile programs:
g++ -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lX11 -lXft -lm -lpng -lcups imlib2-config –libs -llaxkit -o laxhello

Creating Your Own Windows

There are currently three namespaces in the Laxkit. Namespace Laxkit holds all the basic window building blocks. LaxInterfaces holds many tools for manipulating various graphical objects. LaxFiles holds the Attribute classes, and various file utilities.

When creating custom windows, you will be subclassing Laxkit::anXWindow. The constructor of that class sets up win_xatts and win_xattsmask to the minimum that it needs for the basics of windowing. If you need access to exotic events like CirculateNotify or VisibilityNotify, you must intercept them in anXWindow::event(), and also select for those events by or'ing them to anXWindow::win_xatts.event_mask.

anXWindow will deal with the basics, like clicking the window manager's delete button decoration, and delivering input events to functions like anXWindow::CharInput() and anXWindow::LBDown().

Tip: it is not a good idea to have a window's constructor depend on x,y,w,h, as those might change, for instance by the frame windows. Any size dependent initialization can be done in preinit() which is called before the window is XCreateWindow'd, or init(), which is called after it is XCreated but before it is mapped. Note that if you try to resize a window after it is XCreated but before it is mapped, the resize is ignored. This is due to mysterious goings on in Xlib.

Windows typically add any initial children in window->init(), ie after app gives window a real Xlib Window. Dialogs will typically create and add buttons and edit boxes it init(), and call anXWin::addwindow() to get them going.

If you want to have windows that really stick around (that is to say, not get deleted), for instance a file dialog that you want to have the same settings for each time it is used, then you can define a reference to it, rather than pointertoit=new WhateverWindow(...). Then, you call app->addwindow(&referencetowindow,0). That final 0 tells anXApp/anXWindow that it should not try to call delete on that pointer.

Destroying Windows

this may change. The anXWindow class may be reference counted at some point.

app does not destroy windows that say they are owned elsewhere (islocal==0) if window is not local, all its subwindows should also be not local. and vice versa. Otherwise there could be crashes with a parent being destroyed before its children, while expecting app to have destroyed its children already, depending on where kids were defined (??)

Something will call app->destroywindow(win) to tag win for deletion. app will immediately XDestroyWindow(win->window), and also its subwindows. The anXWindow structures are not deleted until after event queue is depleted, and it is called direct from app to prevent deletion of a window while control is in the window. Actual deletion is done by app->deletequeued(), where app will delete whatever window is in the stack app->todelete, by calling windowparent->deletekid(theKidToBeDeleted). The window's kid stack is flushed when win's destructor is called. If islocal==0 for any window in app's stack or in a window's kid stack, that window is not deleted. In that case, it is assumed that the programmer has set up some alternate system to control window deletion.


All anXWindows have a char *thetooltip, which defaults to NULL. Just make thetooltip point to some text, and set app->tooltips equal to the number of milliseconds to wait before popping up the tip. If app->tooltips==0, then there are no tooltips. The app actually gets the pointer to the tooltip text by calling thewindow->tooltip(), so you can have dynamically created tooltips if you wish.

Initializing anXApp

   Quick Usage Summary

anXApp app;
app->addwindow(new SomeWindow(...), mapit=1, islocal=1):
    in here, some window properties are set up,
    somewindow->preinit() is called
    somewindow->window gets a value from XCreateWindow()
    somewindow->init() is called.
    the window gets mapped now, if mapit==1
    app event loop:
        deal with all pending messages
        draw all needtodraw
        deal all idles
        destroy windows in todelete stack
    this destroys any left over windows

Derived Classes, Special Precautions

The anXWindow base class reserves style bits [0..15]. Any derived classes must not use those.

It is worth remembering that there are no copy constructors or equal operators defined for any of the Laxkit classes, except NumStack, LineStyle and FillStyle.

Mon Feb 17 2014 11:52:57, Laxkit