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Pugl (PlUgin Graphics Library) is a minimal portable API for GUIs which is suitable for use in plugins. It works on X11, MacOS, and Windows, and optionally supports OpenGL and Cairo graphics contexts.
Pugl is vaguely similar to libraries like GLUT and GLFW, but with some distinguishing features:
Minimal in scope, providing only a thin interface to isolate platform-specific details from applications.
Zero dependencies, aside from standard system libraries.
Support for embedding in native windows, for example as a plugin or component within a larger application that is not based on Pugl.
Simple and extensible event-based API that makes dispatching in application or toolkit code easy with minimal boilerplate.
Suitable not only for continuously rendering applications like games, but also event-driven applications that only draw when necessary.
Explicit context and no static data whatsoever, so that several instances can be used within a single program at once.
Small, liberally licensed Free Software implementation that is suitable for vendoring and/or static linking. Pugl can be installed as a library, or used by simply copying the headers into a project.
Pugl is currently being developed towards a long-term stable API. For the time being, however, the API may break occasionally. Please report any relevant feedback, or file feature requests, so that we can ensure that the released API is stable for as long as possible.
Pugl is designed for flexible distribution. It can be used by simply including the source code, or installed and linked against as a static or shared library. Static linking or direct inclusion is a good idea for plugins that will be distributed as binaries to avoid dependency problems.
If you are including the code, please use a submodule so that suitable changes can be merged upstream to keep fragmentation to a minimum.
When installed, Pugl is split into different libraries to keep dependencies minimal. The core implementation is separate from graphics backends:
The core implementation for a particular platform is in one library:
pugl_win. This does not depend on backends or their dependencies.
Backends for platforms are in separate libraries, which depend on the core:
pugl_mac_cairo, and so on.
Applications must link against the core and at least one backend. Normally,
this can be achieved by simply depending on the package
pugl-cairo-0. Though it is possible to compile everything into a monolithic
library, distributions should retain this separation so that GL applications
don't depend on Cairo and its dependencies, or vice-versa.
Distributions are encouraged to include static libraries if possible so that developers can build portable plugin binaries.
-- David Robillard firstname.lastname@example.org