0055: MVC VIII – Dynamically Loading a TreeView

Results of this example:
Current example output
Current example output
Current example terminal output
Current example terminal output (click for enlarged view)

This time we’re going to dynamically load the TreeView with a list of all fonts available on your computer. We’ll use PgFontDescriptions (Pango fonts) so we can play with not just the names, but the sizes, styles, and weights. And on top of that, we’ll use a bit of math to mix things up and give the list some variety.

A Note for Windows Users

In the Command Prompt window, you may or may not see Pango warnings for a bunch of fonts. They still load and the fonts are certainly usable, so it’s no big deal.

And now, let’s dig in and start by talking about…

The Imports

To get all this working takes a whole mess of imports:

import std.stdio;
import std.math;

import gtk.MainWindow;
import gtk.Main;
import gtk.Widget;
import gtk.Box;
import gtk.ScrolledWindow;
import gtk.TreeView;
import gtk.ListStore;
import gtk.TreeIter;
import gtk.TreePath;
import gtk.TreeViewColumn;
import gtk.CellRendererText;
import pango.PgCairoFontMap;
import pango.PgFontMap;
import pango.PgFontFamily;
import pango.PgFontDescription;

Now, since the TreeView and TreeViewColumns are pretty much the same as what we’ve done (by now) so many times before, I’ll just comment on things that are different.

FontTreeView Class

The constructor is very much the same as what we’ve seen before and only departs from that norm with this:

fontFamilyColumn = new FontFamilyColumn(fontListStore);

The zeroth column constructor (FontFamilyColumn) needs access to the fontListStore so it can pass along data from the PgFontDescriptions in the Model to its CellRenderer as it displays the names of the fonts.

The Callback

The other thing that’s done here in the constructor is, we hook up a callback to react whenever the user double-clicks on a cell in the TreeView. The signal is onRowActivated and the hook-up is the simple one we’ve used so often:


The purpose of the callback is to report which cell has been clicked and it looks like this:

void onRowActivated(TreePath treePath, TreeViewColumn tvc, TreeView tv)
	int columnNumber;
	TreeIter treeIter = new TreeIter(fontListStore, treePath);
	// find the column number...
	if(tvc.getTitle() == "Font Family")
		columnNumber = 0;
	else if(tvc.getTitle() == "Size")
		columnNumber = 1;
	else if(tvc.getTitle() == "Pango Units")
		columnNumber = 2;
	else if(tvc.getTitle() == "Style")
		columnNumber = 3;
	else if(tvc.getTitle() == "Weight")
		columnNumber = 4;

	writeln("TreePath (row): ", treePath, " columnNumber: ", columnNumber);
	writeln(); // a blank line to separate each report

	auto value = fontListStore.getValue(treeIter, columnNumber);
	writeln("cell contains: ", value.getString());

And here’s what it does:

  • use the TreePath to get the row number,
  • also using the TreePath, we create a TreeIter as a handle for the row data (in other words, the TreePath gives us the visible row in the TreeView, the TreeIter gives us the corresponding row in the ListStore),
  • look up the column number using the column’s header text,
  • (purely for informational purposes) echo the row and column numbers to the terminal, and
  • use the TreeIter (which, remember, is a handle for the row where the data is stored), and
  • the columnNumber to grab the value of the specific cell that was clicked.

The FontListStore Class

This class is a bit different from others we’ve used, starting with the initialization section:

class FontListStore : ListStore
	SysFontListPango sysFontListPango;
	PgFontDescription[] fontList;
	TreeIter treeIter;
	enum Column
		FAMILY = 0,
	} // enum Column

We’re only working with one array, the fontList which is an array of Pango font descriptions.

In the Column enum, we take advantage of D’s enum auto-numbering which amounts to: number the first item and D fills in the numbers for the rest automatically.

The FontListStore Constructor

	super([GType.STRING, GType.STRING, GType.STRING, GType.STRING, GType.STRING, PgFontDescription.getType()]);

	sysFontListPango = new SysFontListPango();
	fontList = sysFontListPango.getList();
	foreach(font; fontList)
		treeIter = createIter();
		setValue(treeIter, 0, font.getFamily());
		setValue(treeIter, 1, font.getSize() / 1024);
		setValue(treeIter, 2, font.getSize());
		setValue(treeIter, 3, font.getStyle());
		setValue(treeIter, 4, font.getWeight());
		setValue(treeIter, 5, font);

} // this()

I’ll throw in a quick reminder here that text and numbers are both rendered as strings—which explains the first five GTypes in the array passed to the super-class constructor. But you’ll notice the last item in the array self-identifies using PgFontDescription.getType().

Then we:

  • instantiate a SysFontListPango object that we’ll look at in a moment,
  • get the list of PgFontDescriptions from it, and
  • use the data from each PgFontDescription in the foreach() loop to set up the data for the columns.

The SysFontListPango Class

Here’s the constructor (note: all variables starting with an underscore (_) are private to this class and so is counter):

	_pgFontMap = PgCairoFontMap.getDefault();

	counter = 1;
	foreach(_font; _pgFontFamilies)
		_fontDesc = new PgFontDescription(_font.getName(), _fontSize);
		_pgFontDescriptions ~= _fontDesc;

		if(fmod(counter, 4) == 0)

		if(fmod(counter, 5) == 0)
		else if(fmod(counter, 6) == 0)


		if(_fontSize > 19)
				_fontSize = 9;

} // this()

We grab a list of fonts from the system and use it to create a Pango FontMap (referred to as a PgFontMap). From the PgFontMap (essentially just a list of font names) the constructor uses a foreach() loop to create the array of PgFontDescriptions.

And right in the middle of this, we see why std.math was imported…

The fmod() function is used three times so we can make:

  • every 4th font italics,
  • every 5th font heavy (bold), and
  • every 6th font light (thin).

I’ll leave you to explore the other class functions—varyFontBySize(), varyFontByWeight(), and getList()—which are all straightforward.

Reiteration of the Font-grabbing Process

Even though this example is about populating a TreeView on the fly and the font stuff is secondary, I’d feel remiss if I didn’t go over this process in a more linear fashion to make it as clear as possible. Here’s what happens:

  • in the SysFontListPango class, we:
    • get the default font map from the system using PgCairoFontMap.getDefault() and
    • stuff it into a PgFontMap,
    • then we call PgFontMap.listFamilies() to stuff this list into a PgFontFamily array.
    • Then—in a foreach() loop—we use PgFontFamily.getName() to instantiate an array of PgFontDescriptions.
  • That array of PgFontDescriptions is then accessed by the FontListStore class to build its model.
  • Finally, the FontTreeView class uses the FontListStore model to decorate itself.


A bit long this time, but it was either go long or break this out into two posts which I really didn’t want to do.

And what we’ve covered—fiddling with fonts in a ListStore—is really just a precursor for what we’ve got coming next time. We’ll go back to the ComboBox and do some serious window dressing on it, using images and PgFontDescriptions to make something really fancy.

Until then, happy computing.

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