JewelKit: Gtk3-Perl for Windows

What is Gtk3-Perl for Windows?

Briefly, Gtk3 is a widget toolkit, used for making UIs. It’s written in C, but developers can use lots of different languages, via libraries called bindings. Gtk3-Perl is the set of bindings for Perl. They are mainly written for Linux users, but with some hacking, can be built for Windows. Below is the ‘pixbuf demo’ from the standard Gtk3 distribution, running on Windows 8.1.

pixbuf-demo

Included software, and thoughts on packaging

The download ( see the links, top-right ) available here contains:

  • Strawberry Perl ( version 5.20.1 ), an open-source Perl distribution for Windows
  • Gtk3 ( version 3.14.3 )built for Windows ( this includes lots of other dependencies as well )
  • The Gtk3-Perl ( version 0.018 ) bindings ( this also includes other Perl dependencies )
  • A working CPAN module so you can install other Perl libraries

As this is an initial release, I’m currently only offering a large all-in-one download. If there is “sufficient” interest, I’ll consider splitting things up into individual packages.

What’s with the name? It was suggested that I needed a name other than ‘Strawberry Perl’, so there was no confusion as to whether or not this was ‘vanilla’ Strawberry Perl. Fair enough. So ‘JewelKit’ is what I came up with … ‘Jewel’ is kinda like Perl, and ‘Kit’ because I don’t know what else to do with the Gtk+ portion of it 🙂 Don’t like it? Suggest a better name …

Installation & Usage

To “install”, unpack the zip file onto your C: drive. I recommend leaving the default installation folder, C:\Strawberry. Everything was built expecting this, and if you want to change this path, you’ll have to figure out what’s broken and how to fix it.

Under my Windows 8.1 installation, just unpacking this zip file should add another ‘cmd’ … “thing” … when you hit the Windows key and type cmd. There will be one already, which gives you a DOS box. The 2nd one will be the Strawberry Perl one, and I guess it sets up some environment variables, and then opens a DOS box. Hit this 2nd one, “cd” into the directory with your Perl app, and run it, ie:

perl some_app.pl

You can also set up batch files to set your environment variables and launch your app.

Roadmap / Plans

In the short term, I’ll be submitting patches to various projects that enable them to build cleanly on Windows with MinGW. I’ll also be documenting the build process as it is, so others can build things if they want to ( you never know – some people might like doing that kind of thing ).

I also plan on keeping the Windows binaries up-to-date in the medium term – basically for as long as I continue write commercial software that needs to be able to run on Windows. As mentioned above, if there is enough demand for it, I’ll work on ( preferably with other people’s help ) a more elegant installation procedure & package management. At this point, I don’t need it, so I have no current plans to do this.

Credits

The person who did all the work for this build is Ramiro Polla. I hired him to produce these binaries ( I needed them pronto for a commerical project I’m working on and I’m not so handy with compiling things under Windows ). He did an amazing job, producing patches for things that didn’t build, and documented things very nicely.

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