Course details

Graphical User Interfaces in X Window System

GUX Acad. year 2021/2022 Winter semester 5 credits

Interaction between user and application, different application classes. Graphical User Interface in Unix and its history. X Window System structure, X server concept, X Protocol. Application programming interface, Toolkits. Standard X Toolkit and its usage. Object orientation features in X Toolkit and Gtk. Widget names, attributes and manipulation. Event processing, translation and action table. Base X Toolkit and Gtk classes. Programming with OSF/Motif and Gtk.


Lampa Petr, Ing. (CC FIT BUT)

Language of instruction



Examination (written)

Time span

26 hrs lectures, 26 hrs projects

Assessment points

60 exam, 20 mid-term test, 20 projects



Lampa Petr, Ing. (CC FIT BUT)


Subject specific learning outcomes and competences

Students will get knowledge of application programming in X Window, Gtk (3 and 4) and OSF/Motif environment and basic principles of user interface design.

Learning objectives

The goal is to make students familiar with the design and programming of graphical user interfaces in Unix/X Window System environment.

Prerequisite kwnowledge and skills

C language programming in Unix environment.

Study literature

Fundamental literature

  • Hix, D., Hartson, H., R.: Developing User Interfaces: Ensuring Usability Through Product & Process, John Wiley & Sons, 1993, ISBN 0-471-57813-4
  • Scheifler, R., W., Gettys, J.: X Window System, The Complete Reference to Xlib, X Protocol, ICCCM, XLFD, Digital Press, 1990, ISBN 1-55558-050-5
  • Nye, A., O'Reilly, T.: X Toolkit Intrinsics Programming Manual, OSF/Motif Edition, O'Reilly & Associates, 1990, ISBN 0-937175-62-5
  • Krause, A.: Foundations of GTK+ Development, Apress, 2007, ISBN13: 978-1-59059-793-4
  • Heller, D.: Motif Programming Manual, O'Reilly & Associates, 3rd ed 2002, ISBN 1-56592-016-3
  • Sheets, J.R.: Writing GNOME applications, Addison-Wesley, 2001, ISBN 0-201-65791-0
  • Dallheimer, M.K.: Programming with Qt, O'Reilly Verlag GmbH, 2001, ISBN 0-596-00064-2

Syllabus of lectures

  1. Application classes from the point of view of user interaction.
  2. X Window System structure, X Protocol, input and output graphic operations.
  3. Xlib level programming, simple application example, Toolkits, example of application using toolkit.
  4. OOP features in X Toolkit and Gtk, instance and class of widgets, properties, internal implementation.
  5. Widget naming system, resources, convertors.
  6. Built-in X Toolkit and Gtk widget classes and their usage.
  7. Event processing, translation table, action table.
  8. User interface design rules
  9. Common OSF/Motif features, keyboard navigation, compound strings, font lists and renditions.
  10. Simple widget classes and their usage.
  11. Composite widget classes.
  12. Menu and dialogs.

Syllabus - others, projects and individual work of students

  1. Simple application based on given skeleton and examples, common assignment.
  2. X Toolkit/Motif or Gtk/GNOME application, individual assignment.

Progress assessment

Written mid-term exam (max. 20 points) and submitting 2 projects in due dates. There is no alternative term of mid-term exam.

Controlled instruction

Projects have to be submitted before the deadline, late project submission will be graded 0 points.


Wedlecturelectures D0206 08:0009:50 1MIT 2MIT xx

Course inclusion in study plans

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