building glade-3.8.1 on windows

With the arrival of my daughter in 2009, spare time became a lot more restricted (why didn’t anyone tell me? 😉 OK, so getting back in the saddle, time to rebuild my development environment. As always I like to have GTK+ stuff working on both Linux and Windows. So what does the setup look like now?

Install mingw (as I write this we have gcc 4.6.2)

Install a GTK+ bundle (

Then, I need Glade. Since we are still on the 2.4 series of GTK+ we need Glade 3.8.x. The last Glade Windows binary offered is 3.6.7 (from 2009!), so lets build from source. Of course we need a few dependencies:

./configure –prefix=/c/apps/gtk-2.24.10
make install

./configure –prefix=/c/apps/gtk-2.24.10 –without-threads
make install

./configure –prefix=/c/apps/gtk-2.24.10 –disable-python
make install

Oh dear, something is broken with the icon loader I guess:

At this stage I’ve done no investigation. But given the GTK+ stack is always a bit fragile on windows, I guess I expected this.

Downloading Glade 3.6.7 installer (incorporating GTK+ 2.16.2) gave:

At least the icons are loaded properly, but it wants to be a “system”. Therefore it modifies various environment variables without asking (GTK_HOME, INCLUDE, LIB) and it installs a shortcut to the start menu with the wrong version number (3.6.6 vs 3.6.7)…

On the philosophy side, I wonder if I should care about this. For reasons of work, I mainly write for Windows when I’m getting paid. For a period, some apps were written with a separate display layer so that GTK+/Win32 were both supported. But since I was the sole user on GTK+, eventually I stopped. One app might get ported to Qt as a learning exercise, but honestly, the poor state of the business makes this a “for the love, not the money” project.

In the past, I’ve hacked about in the GTK+ internals (trying to get GTK+ to integrate with VTK for example, eventually this was the catalyst to go win32 for new projects by default). Internally, GTK+ is a bit hard to get a handle on when your main job is numerical simulation and analysis. So while I’d like GTK+ on windows to work better, that whole available time thing kicks in again. I guess the general slow progress in that department really shows that there are relatively few people interested in Windows/GTK+ as a platform.