Struct gtk::Builder []

pub struct Builder(_, _);

A Builder is an auxiliary object that reads textual descriptions of a user interface and instantiates the described objects. To create a Builder from a user interface description, call Builder::new_from_file, Builder::new_from_resource or Builder::new_from_string.

In the (unusual) case that you want to add user interface descriptions from multiple sources to the same Builder you can call Builder::new to get an empty builder and populate it by (multiple) calls to Builder::add_from_file, BuilderExt::add_from_resource or BuilderExt::add_from_string.

A Builder holds a reference to all objects that it has constructed and drops these references when it is finalized. This finalization can cause the destruction of non-widget objects or widgets which are not contained in a toplevel window. For toplevel windows constructed by a builder, it is the responsibility of the user to call WidgetExt::destroy to get rid of them and all the widgets they contain.

The functions Builder::get_object and BuilderExt::get_objects can be used to access the widgets in the interface by the names assigned to them inside the UI description. Toplevel windows returned by these functions will stay around until the user explicitly destroys them with WidgetExt::destroy. Other widgets will either be part of a larger hierarchy constructed by the builder (in which case you should not have to worry about their lifecycle), or without a parent, in which case they have to be added to some container to make use of them. Non-widget objects need to be reffed with gobject::ObjectExt::ref to keep them beyond the lifespan of the builder.

The function BuilderExt::connect_signals and variants thereof can be used to connect handlers to the named signals in the description.

Builder UI Definitions # {BUILDER-UI}

Builder parses textual descriptions of user interfaces which are specified in an XML format which can be roughly described by the RELAX NG schema below. We refer to these descriptions as “Builder UI definitions” or just “UI definitions” if the context is clear. Do not confuse Builder UI Definitions with [UIManager UI Definitions][XML-UI], which are more limited in scope. It is common to use .ui as the filename extension for files containing Builder UI definitions.

RELAX NG Compact Syntax

The toplevel element is <interface>. It optionally takes a “domain” attribute, which will make the builder look for translated strings using dgettext in the domain specified. This can also be done by calling BuilderExt::set_translation_domain on the builder. Objects are described by <object> elements, which can contain <property> elements to set properties, <signal> elements which connect signals to handlers, and <child> elements, which describe child objects (most often widgets inside a container, but also e.g. actions in an action group, or columns in a tree model). A <child> element contains an <object> element which describes the child object. The target toolkit version(s) are described by <requires> elements, the “lib” attribute specifies the widget library in question (currently the only supported value is “gtk+”) and the “version” attribute specifies the target version in the form “<major>.<minor>”. The builder will error out if the version requirements are not met.

Typically, the specific kind of object represented by an <object> element is specified by the “class” attribute. If the type has not been loaded yet, GTK+ tries to find the get_type function from the class name by applying heuristics. This works in most cases, but if necessary, it is possible to specify the name of the get_type function explictly with the "type-func" attribute. As a special case, Builder allows to use an object that has been constructed by a UIManager in another part of the UI definition by specifying the id of the UIManager in the “constructor” attribute and the name of the object in the “id” attribute.

Objects may be given a name with the “id” attribute, which allows the application to retrieve them from the builder with Builder::get_object. An id is also necessary to use the object as property value in other parts of the UI definition. GTK+ reserves ids starting and ending with ___ (3 underscores) for its own purposes.

Setting properties of objects is pretty straightforward with the <property> element: the “name” attribute specifies the name of the property, and the content of the element specifies the value. If the “translatable” attribute is set to a true value, GTK+ uses gettext (or dgettext if the builder has a translation domain set) to find a translation for the value. This happens before the value is parsed, so it can be used for properties of any type, but it is probably most useful for string properties. It is also possible to specify a context to disambiguate short strings, and comments which may help the translators.

Builder can parse textual representations for the most common property types: characters, strings, integers, floating-point numbers, booleans (strings like “TRUE”, “t”, “yes”, “y”, “1” are interpreted as true, strings like “FALSE”, “f”, “no”, “n”, “0” are interpreted as false), enumerations (can be specified by their name, nick or integer value), flags (can be specified by their name, nick, integer value, optionally combined with “|”, e.g. “GTK_VISIBLE|GTK_REALIZED”) and colors (in a format understood by gdk::RGBA::parse).

GVariants can be specified in the format understood by glib::Variant::parse, and pixbufs can be specified as a filename of an image file to load.

Objects can be referred to by their name and by default refer to objects declared in the local xml fragment and objects exposed via BuilderExt::expose_object. In general, Builder allows forward references to objects — declared in the local xml; an object doesn’t have to be constructed before it can be referred to. The exception to this rule is that an object has to be constructed before it can be used as the value of a construct-only property.

It is also possible to bind a property value to another object's property value using the attributes "bind-source" to specify the source object of the binding, "bind-property" to specify the source property and optionally "bind-flags" to specify the binding flags Internally builder implement this using GBinding objects. For more information see gobject::ObjectExt::bind_property

Signal handlers are set up with the <signal> element. The “name” attribute specifies the name of the signal, and the “handler” attribute specifies the function to connect to the signal. By default, GTK+ tries to find the handler using gmodule::Module::symbol, but this can be changed by passing a custom GtkBuilderConnectFunc to BuilderExt::connect_signals_full. The remaining attributes, “after”, “swapped” and “object”, have the same meaning as the corresponding parameters of the g_signal_connect_object or g_signal_connect_data functions. A “last_modification_time” attribute is also allowed, but it does not have a meaning to the builder.

Sometimes it is necessary to refer to widgets which have implicitly been constructed by GTK+ as part of a composite widget, to set properties on them or to add further children (e.g. the vbox of a Dialog). This can be achieved by setting the “internal-child” propery of the <child> element to a true value. Note that Builder still requires an <object> element for the internal child, even if it has already been constructed.

A number of widgets have different places where a child can be added (e.g. tabs vs. page content in notebooks). This can be reflected in a UI definition by specifying the “type” attribute on a <child> The possible values for the “type” attribute are described in the sections describing the widget-specific portions of UI definitions.

A Builder UI Definition

  <object class="GtkDialog" id="dialog1">
    <child internal-child="vbox">
      <object class="GtkBox" id="vbox1">
        <property name="border-width">10</property>
        <child internal-child="action_area">
          <object class="GtkButtonBox" id="hbuttonbox1">
            <property name="border-width">20</property>
              <object class="GtkButton" id="ok_button">
                <property name="label">gtk-ok</property>
                <property name="use-stock">TRUE</property>
                <signal name="clicked" handler="ok_button_clicked"/>

Beyond this general structure, several object classes define their own XML DTD fragments for filling in the ANY placeholders in the DTD above. Note that a custom element in a <child> element gets parsed by the custom tag handler of the parent object, while a custom element in an <object> element gets parsed by the custom tag handler of the object.

These XML fragments are explained in the documentation of the respective objects.

Additionally, since 3.10 a special <template> tag has been added to the format allowing one to define a widget class’s components. See the [Widget documentation][composite-templates] for details.


BuilderExt, ObjectExt


impl Builder


Creates a new empty builder object.

This function is only useful if you intend to make multiple calls to Builder::add_from_file, BuilderExt::add_from_resource or BuilderExt::add_from_string in order to merge multiple UI descriptions into a single builder.

Most users will probably want to use Builder::new_from_file, Builder::new_from_resource or Builder::new_from_string.


a new (empty) Builder object


Builds the [Builder UI definition][BUILDER-UI] at resource_path.

If there is an error locating the resource or parsing the description, then the program will be aborted.

Feature: v3_10


a gio::Resource resource path


a Builder containing the described interface


Builds the user interface described by string (in the [Builder UI definition][BUILDER-UI] format).

If string is None-terminated, then length should be -1. If length is not -1, then it is the length of string.

If there is an error parsing string then the program will be aborted. You should not attempt to parse user interface description from untrusted sources.

Feature: v3_10


a user interface (XML) description


the length of string, or -1


a Builder containing the interface described by string

impl Builder


Builds the [Builder UI definition][BUILDER-UI] in the file filename.

If there is an error opening the file or parsing the description then the program will be aborted. You should only ever attempt to parse user interface descriptions that are shipped as part of your program.

Feature: v3_10


filename of user interface description file


a Builder containing the described interface



Trait Implementations

impl Clone for Builder

Returns a copy of the value. Read more


Performs copy-assignment from source. Read more

impl Debug for Builder

Formats the value using the given formatter.

impl Hash for Builder

Feeds this value into the given [Hasher]. Read more


Feeds a slice of this type into the given [Hasher]. Read more

impl StaticType for Builder

Returns the type identifier of Self.

impl<T: IsA<Object>> PartialEq<T> for Builder

This method tests for self and other values to be equal, and is used by ==. Read more


This method tests for !=.

impl Eq for Builder

impl IsA<Object> for Builder

impl Default for Builder


Returns the "default value" for a type. Read more