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Inkscape used the Gnome Docking Library to support docking dialogs either in the main window or in floating windows.

To create a docked dialog see the "Prototype Dialog" which is a simple example of deriving from the Inkscape::UI::Widget::Panel widget. Dialogs must be registered in dialog-manager.cpp.

Dialogs are never destructed.

Functionality is very confusing!

GDL code:


Gtk Error Messages

To break at warning:

 $ G_DEBUG=fatal_warnings gdb inkscape
  • Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_box_gadget_distribute: assertion 'size >= 0' failed in GdlSwitcher
  • Gtk-WARNING **:: Allocating size to GdlDock 0x..... without calling gtk_widget_get_preferred_width/height(). How does the code know the size to allocate?
  • Gdk-Message: Window 0x..... is a temporary window without a parent, application will not be able to postion it on screen. (WAYLAND)


Wayland cannot position windows relative to each other: This screws drag-n-drop of dialogs.

Widget Tree

To see the tree:

 $ GTK_DEBUG=interactive inkscape

With the "Objects Tab", click on the "Target" icon in the upper left corner and the select a widget in the Inkscape window; then click on the icon next to the "Target" icon to show the tree.


gtkmm_GtkPaned: Canvas_and_Dock
gtkmm__GtkScrolledWindow: DockScrolledWindow: Scrollbar only appears if pane is too small for dialog.
GtkViewport: Unnamed: Auto created by scrolled window?
gtkmm__GtkBox: DockBox
gtkmm__GtkPaned: DockBoxPane: Why is this needed. Can't we just add GdlDock with Gtk::PACK_SHRINK?
gtkmm__GtkFrame: : Why? Adds shadow.
gtkmm__GtkVBox: : Why?
gtkmm__GtkBox: InkscapePanel (vertical)
gtkmm__GtkHBox: PanelTopBar
gtkmm__GtkLabel: : Panel name
gtkmm__GtkHBox: PanelBoxY
gtkmm__GtkVBox: PanelContents
Different depending on panel
gtkmm__GtkVBox: PanelRightBar
filler: DockBoxFiller: An empty box to fill the pane.

When there is more than one panel a GdlDockNotebook->GdlSwitcher is inserted between GdlDock and GdlDockItem. More than one GdlDockNotebook can exist grouping different panels.