UI Library

The UI library (in the package ui) allows creating graphical applications in Storm. The library integrates with the layout library to allow convenient specification of layout. It also provides hardware-accelerated 2D rendering to applications.

The library aims to provide a native look-and-feel while remaining cross-platform. As such, it uses the native Win32 API on Windows, and Gtk on Linux.

The library can be thought of as consisting of three parts:

Finally, a note on DPI awareness. Modern systems have the ability to specify a custom DPI value to increase or decrease the size of elements on the screen. The UI library in Storm takes this into account by internally scaling all measurements. As such, values visible to the application do not always represent pixels, but rather pixels in a 100% scale (96 DPI on Windows). This means that applications that use the UI library generally do not have to worry about the current DPI. There are, however, some implications of this decision. Perhaps the most relevant one is related to bitmaps. Namely, a 100% scale of a bitmap does not necessarily mean it will be displayed pixel by pixel on the screen. Similarly, a line with a width of one, does not necessarily occupy exactly one pixel on the screen.

On Linux, the UI library relies on the support present in Gtk. As such, setting the GDK_SCALE environment variable behaves as expected. Storm does not, however, fully support the GDK_DPI_SCALE variable since that only affects font sizes. Widgets will respect this variable, but not custom rendering code. Windows supports fractional DPI scaling natively, so DPI scaling works as expected there.