Why GTK doesn't care about providing documentation?


I’ve been trying several times to learn GTK, but unfortunately every time, no matter how I try, I always do not find any decent documentation. I have also seen some people complaining about it and I fully understand that and I never find the responses to be convincing. I can’t point you to where exactly it sucks, but nearly everything sucks and nothing really looks to be documented at all.

Please take a look at the Qt framework to see exactly what I mean. The documentation is everywhere, simple, clear, videos on Youtube, tens of training courses on other platforms such as Udemy. For GTK none! I simply can’t understand why you don’t pay attention to documentation.

Thank you

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I hope you realise that if you cannot point about what sucks, and what you’d need instead, then how can we know what sucks and how to fix it?

Saying something “sucks” isn’t nearly as helpful as you might think it is, except maybe for venting your frustrations.

What were you trying to achieve? Where did you look? What did you find? Why wasn’t it enough to complete your task? What would you need, instead?

I didn’t even go into “helping out” territory; GTK is volunteer-driven: things happen because people contribute them. If you want the documentation to improve, then you have to help out: either by figuring out “what sucks” so that people can fix it, or by fixing it yourself.

Incidentally, and I say this with all the kindness possible: going to the people who make a free software project out of their good will, and ask for nothing in return, and telling them that “nearly everything sucks” is very rude, and makes it incredibly easy to dismiss anything you say as mere ranting. You have to help us out in order for us to help you out, and you need to be kind and respectful.

You’re confusing a commercial product with paid technical writers, like Qt, with a volunteer-driven project, like GTK.

Well, for starters, we do pay attention to the documentation of GTK. We even have a whole new website for it: docs.gtk.org, with a whole new infrastructure to ensure that the documentation is easy to write, contribute to, and consume.

We are missing video tutorials (even though I find them particularly unhelpful, as you cannot search their contents and you cannot copy-paste code from them), though you can find a few of them on YouTube; and we are missing training courses because, well: GTK does not rely on a consultancy-based model for its funding, and volunteers don’t really do “training courses”.


Thank you very much for your reply. I do really apologize if you find my post to be rude. I can’t really express that properly since english is not my first language.

I am very ready to help (at least by providing donations) if there is a project to create some training courses.

Another reason for that frustration, is this: No GTK example works with Python3 (#18395) · Issues · VTK / VTK · GitLab
I spent more than year, and the result, I can’t find any example on the internet.

Thank you

I’m sorry, but the GTK project has nothing to do with VTK, so we can’t really help you with missing documentation in that project. Additionally, the language bindings for GTK are maintained by different people, and are not part of GTK. They consume the same documentation as the C API, though, so the documentation on docs.gtk.org should be easily translatable.

For Python, you want to look at:

It seems that the VTK developers would be willing to add documentation, as well.

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I am also interested in using GTK with VTK so I tried giving it a spin again. Unfortunately, I am not very familiar with OpenGL and it just displays garbled mess of parts of different windows. Perhaps we need to change the data format the same way it is required for Qt widgets:

But I have not found any API like that in GTK.