The Scw Widgets 


Scw is a widget set specifically designed for chat programs. It extends the Gtk+ widget set, and as such is not portable to other widget sets (in case you were wondering).

Users of Scw

While not exactly a choice for end-users, I like to consider the developers of chat applications as users of Scw. After all, the developers need to have a nice API to make coding with Scw a pleasant experience, which is one of the goals kept in mind while developing Scw. I also want to acknowledge the brave souls that have used the Scw widgets and (probably) sent suggestions and bug reports (and even patches!) and thank them. The following projects are known to have used Scw widgets:

  • Ratchet
  • Telepathy
  • The chat UI on Nokia 770 Internet Tablet
  • The chat UI on N800 Internet Tablet

Downloading Scw

The Scw library is released under the LGPL license. This makes it available for use, modifications and distribution freely, provided that the license terms are met. This includes commercial "closed-sourced" products.

The current version is 0.4. Try it out and complain, because it won't get any better if you don't.

It's still undecided if there will be binary packages made available, as this is mainly interesting to developers. It is probably best that different distributors create their own packaging as they see fit, since one package doesn't really fit all at any level these days.

Distribution support status:

  • Scw is included in the Debian release 4.0 (etch).
  • Scw can be installed from the universe component on Ubuntu
  • Scw is available for Gentoo in the stable branch
  • So far no rpm-based packages seem to be available (please fix this!)

Also the Python and Ruby bindings have Debian packaging. I'll update them to the download list after they are a little more sorted out.

Win32 is semi-supported now, but no binaries for that either (yet).

  • Scw requires the Gtk+ toolkit, version 2.4 or later.
  • The latest released version is 0.4.7
  • The latest Ruby bindings version is 0.4.0
    (the ruby bindings need ruby-gtk2 and the ruby developemental files to be built)
  • The latest Python bindings version is 0.4.7
  • The latest C++ bindings version is 0.4.7
    (the C++ bindings are based on Gtkmm)


Here is Scw on the Nokia N800:

Scw on N800