Module glib::subclass

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Expand description

Module containing infrastructure for subclassing GObjects and registering boxed types.

Example for registering a glib::Object subclass

The following code implements a subclass of glib::Object with a string-typed “name” property.

use glib::prelude::*;
use glib::subclass;
use glib::subclass::prelude::*;
use glib::{Variant, VariantType};

use std::cell::{Cell, RefCell};

#[derive(Debug, Eq, PartialEq, Clone, Copy, glib::Enum)]
// type_name: GType name of the enum (mandatory)
#[enum_type(name = "SimpleObjectAnimal")]
enum Animal {
    Goat = 0,
    #[enum_value(name = "The Dog")]
    Dog = 1,
    // name: the name of the GEnumValue (optional), default to the enum name in CamelCase
    // nick: the nick of the GEnumValue (optional), default to the enum name in kebab-case
    #[enum_value(name = "The Cat", nick = "chat")]
    Cat = 2,

impl Default for Animal {
    fn default() -> Self {

#[glib::flags(name = "MyFlags")]
enum MyFlags {
    #[flags_value(name = "Flag A", nick = "nick-a")]
    A = 0b00000001,
    #[flags_value(name = "Flag B")]
    B = 0b00000010,
    AB = Self::A.bits() | Self::B.bits(),
    C = 0b00000100,

impl Default for MyFlags {
    fn default() -> Self {

mod imp {
    use super::*;

    // This is the struct containing all state carried with
    // the new type. Generally this has to make use of
    // interior mutability.
    // If it implements the `Default` trait, then `Self::default()`
    // will be called every time a new instance is created.
    pub struct SimpleObject {
        name: RefCell<Option<String>>,
        animal: Cell<Animal>,
        flags: Cell<MyFlags>,
        variant: RefCell<Option<Variant>>,

    // ObjectSubclass is the trait that defines the new type and
    // contains all information needed by the GObject type system,
    // including the new type's name, parent type, etc.
    // If you do not want to implement `Default`, you can provide
    // a `new()` method.
    impl ObjectSubclass for SimpleObject {
        // This type name must be unique per process.
        const NAME: &'static str = "SimpleObject";

        type Type = super::SimpleObject;

        // The parent type this one is inheriting from.
        // Optional, if not specified it defaults to `glib::Object`
        type ParentType = glib::Object;

        // Interfaces this type implements.
        // Optional, if not specified it defaults to `()`
        type Interfaces = ();

    // Trait that is used to override virtual methods of glib::Object.
    impl ObjectImpl for SimpleObject {
        // Called once in the very beginning to list all properties of this class.
        fn properties() -> &'static [glib::ParamSpec] {
            use once_cell::sync::Lazy;
            static PROPERTIES: Lazy<Vec<glib::ParamSpec>> = Lazy::new(|| {
                    glib::ParamSpecEnum::builder::<Animal>("animal", Animal::default())
                    glib::ParamSpecVariant::builder("variant", glib::VariantTy::ANY)


        // Called whenever a property is set on this instance. The id
        // is the same as the index of the property in the PROPERTIES array.
        fn set_property(&self, _id: usize, value: &glib::Value, pspec: &glib::ParamSpec) {
            match {
                "name" => {
                    let name = value
                        .expect("type conformity checked by `Object::set_property`");
                "animal" => {
                    let animal = value
                        .expect("type conformity checked by `Object::set_property`");
                "flags" => {
                    let flags = value
                        .expect("type conformity checked by `Object::set_property`");
                "variant" => {
                    let variant = value
                        .expect("type conformity checked by `Object::set_property`");
                _ => unimplemented!(),

        // Called whenever a property is retrieved from this instance. The id
        // is the same as the index of the property in the PROPERTIES array.
        fn property(&self, _id: usize, pspec: &glib::ParamSpec) -> glib::Value {
            match {
                "name" =>,
                "animal" => self.animal.get().to_value(),
                "flags" => self.flags.get().to_value(),
                "variant" => self.variant.borrow().to_value(),
                _ => unimplemented!(),

        // Called right after construction of the instance.
        fn constructed(&self) {
            // Chain up to the parent type's implementation of this virtual
            // method.

            // And here we could do our own initialization.

// Optionally, define a wrapper type to make it more ergonomic to use from Rust
glib::wrapper! {
    pub struct SimpleObject(ObjectSubclass<imp::SimpleObject>);

impl SimpleObject {
    // Create an object instance of the new type.
    pub fn new() -> Self {

pub fn main() {
    let obj = SimpleObject::new();

    // Get the name property and change its value.
    assert_eq!(<Option<String>>("name"), None);
    obj.set_property("name", "test");
    assert_eq!(&<String>("name"), "test");

    assert_eq!(<Animal>("animal"), Animal::Goat);
    obj.set_property("animal", Animal::Cat);
    assert_eq!(<Animal>("animal"), Animal::Cat);

    assert_eq!(<MyFlags>("flags"), MyFlags::A);
    obj.set_property("flags", MyFlags::B);
    assert_eq!(<MyFlags>("flags"), MyFlags::B);

Example for registering a boxed type for a Rust struct

The following code boxed type for a tuple struct around String and uses it in combination with glib::Value.

use glib::prelude::*;
use glib::subclass;
use glib::subclass::prelude::*;

#[derive(Clone, Debug, PartialEq, Eq, glib::Boxed)]
#[boxed_type(name = "MyBoxed")]
struct MyBoxed(String);

pub fn main() {

    let b = MyBoxed(String::from("abc"));
    let v = b.to_value();
    let b2 = v.get::<&MyBoxed>().unwrap();
    assert_eq!(&b, b2);



  • This module contains basic instance and class structs to be used for GObject subclasses that don’t require any additional data in these structs and don’t provide any new virtual methods.
  • Module for registering boxed types for Rust types.
  • Module that contains all types needed for creating a direct subclass of GObject or implementing virtual methods of it.
  • Prelude that re-exports all important traits from this crate.
  • Module for registering shared types for Rust types.
  • Module that contains the basic infrastructure for subclassing GObject.