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                                The FOX GUI Library

	              Jeroen van der Zijp <>

What Is FOX?

FOX is a C++ based Toolkit for developing Graphical User Interfaces easily and
effectively.   It offers a wide, and growing, collection of Controls, and provides
state of the art facilities such as drag and drop, selection, as well as OpenGL widgets
for 3D graphical manipulation.  FOX also implements icons, images, and user-convenience
features such as status line help, and tooltips.  Tooltips may even be used for 3D

Considerable importance has been placed on making FOX one of the fastest toolkits
around, and to minimize memory use:- FOX uses a number of techniques to speed up drawing
and spatial layout of the GUI.  Memory is conserved by allowing programmers to create
and destroy GUI elements on the fly.

Even though FOX offers a large collection of Controls already, FOX leverages C++ to
allow programmers to easily build additional Controls and GUI elements, simply by taking
existing controls, and creating a derived class which simply adds or redefines the
desired behavior.

One of the prime design goals of FOX is the ease of programming; thus, most controls
can be created using a single line of C++ code; most parameters have sensible default
values, so that they may be omitted, and layout managers ensure that designers of GUI's
do not have to worry about precise alignments.

Another nice feature of FOX which significantly reduces the number of lines of code
which have to be written is FOX's ability to have widgets connect to each other, and
passing certain commands between them; for example, a menu entry Hide Toolbar can be
directly connected to the Toolbar, and cause it to hide.

Finally, FOX makes it easy to maintain the state of the GUI in an application by having
the GUI elements automatically updating themselves by interrogating the application's
state.  This feature eliminates the large amount of effort that may go into sensitizing,
graying out, checking/unchecking etc. depending on the application state.

Where to get it?

You can FTP the complete FOX GUI toolkit from our FTP site:

The distribution includes this on-line (HTML) documentation you see here.

Mailing List.

To stay informed, we now have a mailing list for FOX.  To subscribe, send mail to with the word subscribe in the message body.
Messages to the list can be sent to
FOX announcements will be made through the list;
you can subscribe to this list by sending a message "subscribe" to the list server at


Please refer to the file INSTALL.  FOX should compile on a large number of UNIX
systems.  The current "configure" scripts are however still somewhat primitive;
if you need to make specific alterations to the configure system, feel free to
send them to me so that I may merge them into the main distribution.
The current FOX distribution compiles on Windows NT using the eXceed system; we
expect however to get some core functionality to become available under the native
Windows environment fairly soon.

Getting started.

To get started programming with FOX, take a look at the tests directory, which contains
some example programs.  The best one to look at is probably the "glviewer" application.
Note that you need OpenGL or Mesa on your machine in order to compile it.

Finding FOX using GNU configure.

GNU auto configure has features to detect the whereabouts of a library (AC_CHECK_LIB).
Unfortunately, it assumes that you're looking for a C library, not a C++ library,
and thus name mangling prevents it from finding FOX as all of FOX's API are C++.

A special "dummy" C-linkage function was created to allow GNU auto configure to
find the FOX library; you can use it in your as follows:

        AC_CHECK_LIB(FOX, fxfindfox)


Please file bugs and questions to the list  Before
filing a bug, please take a moment to download the latest version of FOX, and make sure
the problem still persists:- FOX is being developed fairly rapidly, and it is possible
that some of the problems you may have experienced have already been fixed.


The FOX Library proper is licensed under GNU Lesser GPL; all the examples and demo
programs are licensed under GPL.

If you write software based on the FOX library, please include the following in your
About Box, or some other place where a user may be able to see it:

        This software uses the FOX Toolkit (