What happend to Gtk Reference Manuals at develoeper.gnome.org?

Why are all the reference manuals now shown in the black two column layout instead of the easy to navigate and use old html single column form at, e.g. “https://developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/”.

Are the old single column manuals still available? The new class based layout is very difficult and frustrating to use.

1 Like

Well, we had it both (almost) at the same time.

I am also curious why the documentation got this more (complicate) changes.

Because the tool that generates the documentation has been changed from the (unmaintained) gtk-doc to gi-docgen.


It was class-based before, for heavily object oriented libraries. The new tool does not use the “let’s write a book” approach of gtk-doc, and instead groups everything by type. This is common to other documentation tools, in different languages.

The changes were introduced after taking into account feedback from the past 10 years, as well as looking at what everyone else does in the API documentation space.

Feedback most of the times comes from the few that do not like something, but not from the thousand that like it.

The new docs have the advantage that we can see the source code easily, which is indeed a serious advantage. And they may work better for cell phones. But for me it is still very hard to use the new docs. Google support is very restricted currently, I hope it will improve soon. In the last weeks I had searched for a few not too popular gtk related functions or data types, and spend some minutes, 10 minutes in the worst case, to get the docs. Not a problem for me, as I have already some minimal gtk knowledge, so I may doing 2 or three searched a week only. Is there a change that we will devhelp app to work for GTK4? I was using devhelp some years ago for GTK3, but then google get so smart that I mostly just asked google, which was working for GTK4 too. My Gentoo Linux had no devhelp support for GTK4 in the past.

That’s not always the case. Feedback comes from the people that use the documentation for the first time, as well as people who use it every day; all feedback gets weighted and included into the changes.

In many cases, though, people who use a bad website every day and develop workarounds end up resenting any change that makes things better for others, because now they have to adapt. It’s a fact of life.

That’s why there’s a whole client-side search mechanism.

Devhelp 41 will be released next week, and it works with the gi-docgen-based references.

In the future, the Devhelp app will also see additional changes—especially when it comes to searching. Those are planned for GNOME 42.

1 Like

It is really a bit hard currently. Took me more than 7 minutes to get this page:


In the last years “gobject-introspection API” was the fine working search term. But now google fully refuses all related terms. OK, tried devhelp. But current devhelp seems to have no GIR support at all. So search in my own source texts for a hint, and finally found it, had only to add the -old.

And when you wonder why I was concerned with GIR again – it is related to an old Debian Buster install of a user where g_struct_info_find_method() seems to fail, see


Google finally found https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gobject-introspection/-/issues/86

but I have no idea what happened with that issue. Well it is only one user currently with such an old Debian Buster, for all others it works, and I think I can somehow prevent the crash. I was going to create a test case in plain C, but I guess the GTK devs have really more important tasks to do.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.