Shifting towards an advanced windowing system, GTK4 has remodeled the traditional way of data transfer between the applications.
Matthias Clasen, a core team maintainer, mentioned in his latest blog that GDK is being revised to support the Wayland API, replacing the older X11. Hence, GTK4 includes a new method to deal with the transfer of any data type between the process.
Improvements in APIs
GTK4 is an object-oriented toolkit that’s used to create GUI for applications, desktop environments, and other tools that can run on various platforms like Linux, Windows, and macOS.
And, GDK is a low-level library under GTK that acts as an interface between the display server and GTK library. It enables basic stuff like drag-n-drop functionality.
But as GDK APIs are based on the X11 display server protocol, it limits the data transfer if receiving end-application does not support the same data format.
Hence, the GTK4 team has introduced an API, GdkContentFormats object, that will contain a list of formats to match and identify the data type in both the case of a cross and single application data transfer.
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In order to convert the mismatched data format, GTK4 also includes GdkContentSerializer and GdkContentDeserializer APIs that will change the GTypes into mime data types and vice-versa.
Moreover, GTK4 restructures the copy/paste and drag-n-drop operation to support its implementation on cross-platform using new APIs.