Learning about GTK apps with Vala (ElementaryOS Apps Pt 2)

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Shared February 3, 2017

Vala is the main programming language used by the ElementaryOS team to develop apps for ElementaryOS and Pantheon.

Unlike many common programming languages, the Vala compiler does not compile Vala code into machine code. Instead, Vala code is compiled to C code with Gnome's Gobject libraries. The C code is then compiled to machine code and used to produce an executable. All of this functionality happens within the compiler and the programmer doesn't have to worry about it.

Vala is primarily used for developing GTK apps however there's nothing technically preventing it from being used for any other application. Since Vala is trans-compiled into C code, technically an application written in Vala has to potential to be as performant as an application written in C.

Vala's main target is GTK+ / GTK3 but it can be used with GTK2.

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