Changes to GLib

Changes to GLib — Incompatible changes made between successing versions of GLib

Incompatible changes from 2.0 to 2.2

  • GLib changed the seeding algorithm for the pseudo-random number generator Mersenne Twister, as used by GRand and GRandom. This was necessary, because some seeds would yield very bad pseudo-random streams. Also the pseudo-random integers generated by g_rand*_int_range() will have a slightly better equal distribution with the new version of GLib.

    Further information can be found at the website of the Mersenne Twister random number generator at

    The original seeding and generation algorithms, as found in GLib 2.0.x, can be used instead of the new ones by setting the environment variable G_RANDOM_VERSION to the value of '2.0'. Use the GLib-2.0 algorithms only if you have sequences of numbers generated with Glib-2.0 that you need to reproduce exactly.

Incompatible changes from 1.2 to 2.0

The GNOME 2.0 porting guide on has some more detailed discussion of porting from 1.2 to 2.0. See the section on GLib.

  • The event loop functionality GMain has extensively been revised to support multiple separate main loops in separate threads. All sources (timeouts, idle functions, etc.) are associated with a GMainContext.

    Compatibility functions exist so that most application code dealing with the main loop will continue to work. However, code that creates new custom types of sources will require modification.

    The main changes here are:

    • Sources are now exposed as GSource *, rather than simply as numeric ids.

    • New types of sources are created by structure "derivation" from GSource, so the source_data parameter to the GSource virtual functions has been replaced with a GSource *.

    • Sources are first created, then later added to a specific GMainContext.

    • Dispatching has been modified so both the callback and data are passed in to the dispatch() virtual function.

    To go along with this change, the vtable for GIOChannel has changed and add_watch() has been replaced by create_watch().

  • g_list_foreach() and g_slist_foreach() have been changed so they are now safe against removal of the current item, not the next item.

    It's not recommended to mutate the list in the callback to these functions in any case.

  • GDate now works in UTF-8, not in the current locale. If you want to use it with the encoding of the locale, you need to convert strings using g_locale_to_utf8() first.

  • g_strsplit() has been fixed to:

    • include trailing empty tokens, rather than stripping them

    • split into a maximum of max_tokens tokens, rather than max_tokens + 1

    Code depending on either of these bugs will need to be fixed.

  • Deprecated functions that got removed: g_set_error_handler(), g_set_warning_handler(), g_set_message_handler(), use g_log_set_handler() instead.