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Desktop Applications Development - what's out there!

I've recently been exploring (again) the creation of desktop applications. I'm not overly bothered about them being available for multiple operating systems, for the projects I want to work on I'd be happy to focus purely on Linux and Gnome.

I started playing around with Vala and GTK - and I liked it. Vala is a nice language to program in. I've found plenty of resources online to help when I hit issues. Also, as I've recently adopted elementary os - it works nicely with that.

I also wanted to try some other options. A while ago I built a small tool using Lazarus IDE. This was fine, it worked well and it had a nice visual environment for development. My only issue was it felt clunky to go back to programming in Pascal - something I hadn't done for about 26 years. I wasn't sure if I wanted to invest too much time relearning Pascal to become productive.

I recently looked into node-gtk. This looks neat. There is a big BUT. when I use nexe to produce a self contained executable - we have a file that's a massive 56mb (and that's just for a hello world type app!) - that's not acceptable for me.

Neither is Electron for similar reasons.

I think I'll carry on with Vala and GTK for the time being. If people have any other alternatives, I'd love to hear.

Top comments (2)

t00m profile image
Tomás Vírseda

Hi there!

I couldn't live without Python and GTK.

At the beginning, I used to build the interface with Glade but after a painful experience trying to get an application working in Windows and Linux, I learnt the hard way, coding the interface line by line, widget by widget.

My editor of choice is Geany.

Long long time ago, I started with C and GTK, but I gave up. I have only one life :)

Have fun!

mabhishek7081 profile image
abhishek maurya

You can package Node-gtk app as flatpak. Use pkg to package node app as single excutable. And then use flatpak bundler.