Glade Interface Designer

Glade Interface Designer is a graphical user interface builder for GTK+, with additional components for GNOME. In its third version, Glade is programming languageindependent, and does not produce code for events, but rather an XML file that is then used with an appropriate binding (such as GtkAda for use with the Ada programming language). See List of language bindings for GTK+ for the available ones.

Designing a preferences dialog in Glade
Original author(s)Damon Chaplin[1][2][3][4][5]
Developer(s)The GNOME Project
Initial release18 April 1998 (1998-04-18)[6]
Stable release3.22.0 (for GTK+ 3.x) / 22 March 2018 (2018-03-22)[7] 3.8.5 (for GTK+ 2.x) / 12 May 2014 (2014-05-12)[7] [±]
Written inC, XML
Operating systemUnix-like, Windows[8]
LicenseGNU General Public License

Glade is free and open-source software distributed under the GNU General Public License.

History and development

The first Glade release, version 0.1, was made on 18 April 1998.[6]

Glade 3 was released on 12 August 2006. According to the Glade Web site, the most noticeable differences for the end-user are:

  • Undo and redo support in all operations.
  • Support for multiple open projects.
  • Removal of code generation.
  • Contextual help system with Devhelp

Most of the difference is in the internals. Glade-3 is a complete rewrite, in order to take advantage of the new features of GTK+ 2 and the GObject system (Glade-3 was started when Glade-1 hadn't yet been ported to GTK+ 2). Therefore, the Glade-3 codebase is smaller and allows new interesting things, including:

  • Catalogs of "pluggable" widgets. This means that external libraries can provide their set of widgets at runtime and Glade will detect them. In fact, Glade 3 supports only standard GTK+ widgets; GNOME UI and DB widgets are provided separately.
  • The various Glade Tools (palette, editor, etc.) are implemented as widgets. This allows for easier integration in IDEs like Anjuta, and makes it easier to change the Glade UI.

On 5 April 2011, two parallel installable stable Glade versions[9][10][11] were released:

  • Glade 3.8: That includes all support for GTK+ up till version 2.24. This version is to serve as a decent migration path for older projects migrating to GTK+ 3.0.
  • Glade 3.10: That includes support only for widgets that are still included in GTK+ 3.0 and additionally drops support for Libglade.

On 11 June 2015 Glade 3.19.0 was released. It depends at least on GTK+ 3.16.0. Among many bug fixes this version is the first to support the widgets GtkStack, GtkHeaderBar and GtkSidebar.[12]


GtkBuilder is the XML format that the Glade Interface Designer uses to save its forms. These documents can then be used in conjunction with the GtkBuilder object to instantiate the form using GTK. GladeXML is the XML format that was used with conjunction with libglade, which is now deprecated.[13]

Glade Interface Designer automatically generates all the source code for a graphical control element.

The "Gtk.Builder class" allows user interfaces to be designed without writing code.[14] The class describes the interface in an Extensible Markup Language (XML) file and then loads the XML description at runtime and creating the objects automatically. The Glade Interface Designer allows creation of the user interface in a WYSIWYG manner. The description of the user interface is independent from the programming language being used.

Code sketching

Code sketchers are software applications that help a user create source code from a GladeXML file. Most code sketchers create source code which uses libglade and a GladeXML file to create the GUI. Some sketchers are able to create raw code that does not need the GladeXML file. The table below compares basic information about GladeXML code sketcher packages.

Name Author Programming languages Software license
eglade Daniel Elphick Eiffel Eiffel Forum License
Gladex Christopher Pax and Charles Edward Pax Perl, Python, Ruby GPLv3
glc Bill Allen Python LGPL
ruby-glade-create-template Masao Mutoh Ruby
Tepache Sandino Flores Moreno Python LGPL
GladeToBac Thomas Freiherr FreeBASIC (includes headers for GTK-3 and

GTK-2.22.0 / GTKGlExt-1.2.0)

Glade2FB Arnel Borja FreeBASIC GPLv3
gate3 F. J. Fabien Ada MIT License

See also


  1. Reed, David (1 July 2004). "Rapid Application Development with Python and Glade]". Linux Journal. Damon Chaplin wrote the Glade program
  2. Chaplin, Damon (2000). "Glade FAQ version 1.0".
  3. Welsh, Matt; Kalle Dalheimer, Matthias; Kaufman, Lar (August 1999). Running Linux (3rd ed.). Appendix B The GNOME Project > B.5.3 Programming Tools > ..."Of particular interest is Damon Chaplin's Glade..."
  4. "Damon Chaplin (author of the original Glade tool)". Archived from the original on 3 November 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. "Historical Glade website". Archived from the original on 23 April 1999. Retrieved 18 February 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. "GLADE GTK+ User Interface Builder > History > The first release, Version 0.1, was on 18. Apr 1998". Archived from the original on 8 October 1999. Retrieved 18 February 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. "Glade - News". Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  10. Glade 3.8.0 and 3.10.0 released, Tuesday 5 April 2011 by Tristan Van Berkom - Glade 3.8.0 and 3.10.0 are now available for download. 3.8 is the last stable series of Glade for GTK+2 and 3.10 is the first stable series for GTK+3
  12. "Glade 3.19.0 Released!". Archived from the original on 14 June 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  13. "Libglade officially deprecated in favor of GtkBuilder". Gnome devel-announce-list (Mailing list). 11 May 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  14. "Gtk 3.0 documentation on github".
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