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Applications and libraries/GUI libraries

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This page contains a list of libraries and tools in a certain category. For a comprehensive list of such pages, see Applications and libraries.

There is a large number of GUI libraries for Haskell. Unfortunately there is no standard one and all are more or less incomplete. In general, low-level veneers are going well, but they are low level. High-level abstractions are pretty experimental. There is a need for a supported medium-level GUI library.


1 Maintained

1.1 High-level

1.1.1 Fudgets

Fudgets is primarily a Graphical User Interface Toolkit for Haskell and the X Windows system. Fudgets also makes it easy to create client-server applications that communicate via the Internet. It runs on Unix but not on Windows.

See the homepage and Programming with Fudgets which is a short presentation of the Fudget Library and the ideas underlying it.

1.1.2 Grapefruit

Grapefruit is an arrow-based declarative library. Widgets, windows and control components communicate via discrete and continuous signals. The use of signals is explicit in the interface to avoid certain inefficiencies. Internally, Grapefruit uses the event handling mechanisms of the underlying GUI toolkit.

Currently, Grapefruit is build on top of Gtk2Hs but implementations based on other toolkits are planned for the future.

See Grapefruit.

1.1.3 Keera Hails

Keera Hails is a library to connect values that change with one another using rules or relations. Keera Hails is back-end agnostic; it has backends for Gtk+ but also hardware (wiimotes), files, sockets and FRP-driven networks (using Yampa), and experimental backends for wx, qt, HTML DOM (using GHCJS) and Android's widget toolkit.

It has been used commercially in production in medium-sized applications (10K-20K locs).

See .

1.1.4 Threepenny-gui

Threepenny-gui is a GUI framework that uses the web browser as a display. It supports Functional Reactive Programming.

1.1.5 Binding

binding-core is a framework for binding mutable data to IO objects. binding-gtk and binding-wx provide convenient wrappers for Gtk2Hs and WxHaskell respectively.

1.2 Medium-level

1.2.1 Gtk2Hs

Gtk2Hs is a GUI library for Haskell based on Gtk+. Gtk+ is an extensive and mature multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces. Gtk2Hs is actively developed, supporting the latest version of the Gtk+ 2.x series. It provides automatic memory management, Unicode support and also bindings for various Gnome modules. It runs on Windows, Linux, MacOS X, FreeBSD and Solaris.

See Gtk2Hs.

1.2.2 HGL

HGL is actually only a graphics library.

See the Hackage page.

1.2.3 HsQML

HsQML provides a Haskell binding to the Qt Quick framework. It allows you to write graphical applications where the front-end is written in Qt Quick's QML language (incorporating JavaScript) and the back-end is written in Haskell.

See the HsQML homepage.

1.2.4 HTk

Htk is a typed, portable encapsulation of Tcl/Tk into Haskell. Its distinctive features are the use of Haskell types and type classes for structuring the interface, an abstract notion of event for describing user interaction, and portability across Windows, Unix and Linux.

See the HTk homepage.

1.2.5 Qtah

Qtah is a interface to Qt 4/5. It's young and supports a limited subset of Qt (currently parts of QtCore, QtGui, QtWidgets), but is growing and is easily extensible.

See the Qtah homepage.

1.2.6 qtHaskell

qtHaskell is a set of bindings for the Qt Widget library from Trolltech. Haskell programmers can now access the Qt "signals and slots" based interface methodology (no Qt precompilation necessary), runtime loading of xml based interfaces designed with Qt Designer, ECMA/Javascript based apps (signal/slot calls can be passed through from javascript to Haskell and vice/versa) and so on.

There is a version of Qt that compiles with GHC 7.8 (tested and working, as of 2015/10/16). See

1.2.7 wxHaskell

wxHaskell is a portable and native GUI library built on top of wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows)—a comprehensive C++ library that is portable across all major GUI platforms; including GTK, Windows, X11, and MacOS X. wxWidgets is a mature library (in development since 1992) that supports a wide range of widgets with the native look-and-feel, and it has a very active community.

See wxHaskell.

1.3 Low-level

1.3.1 allegro-raw

A binding to Allegro. Mahogny has a partial implementation but not formally released. Mail mahogny AT if interested.

Some partial bindings to allegro5 are at

1.3.2 GLFW

This is a binding to the GLFW OpenGL framework. It provides an alternative to GLUT for OpenGL based Haskell programs.


1.3.3 GLUT

This is a binding to the OpenGL GLUT library.

1.3.4 Win32

A binding to parts of the Win32 API.

1.3.5 X11

A binding to parts of the X11 libraries.

1.4 Textual

1.4.1 hscurses

This is a Haskell binding to the NCurses library, a library of functions that manage an application’s display on character-cell terminals. hscurses also provides some basic widgets implemented on top of the ncurses binding, such as a text input widget and a table widget.

See the hscurses homepage.

1.4.2 Nanocurses

Nanocurses is a minimal binding to curses and ncurses. It is smaller than hscurses and has fewer features. It also provides fast packed string support. It provides a Curses.hsc derived from Hmp3.

See the Hackage page.

1.4.3 vty

Another text-based UI library; attempts to be easy to use.

See the Hackage page.

1.4.4 vty-ui

vty-ui is a high-level user interface library for applications running in terminal emulators. It provides similar functionality to what you might expect from graphical toolkits like GTK and QT. vty-ui is written in the Haskell programming language.

2 Unsupported

The following libraries seem to be no longer maintained. However, someone might pick up one of them or at least profit from some design ideas.

2.1 High-level

2.1.1 FG

FG is an arrow-based high-level functional approach to composable GUIs, built on top of Gtk2Hs. It is inspired by Fruit but uses discrete events instead of continuous signals.

See the FG homepage.

2.1.2 FranTk

FranTk is a library (that seems to have disappeared from Internet) for building GUIs in Haskell. FranTk uses behaviours and events, concepts from Conal Elliott’s Functional Reactive Animation. FranTk provides good support for developing complex dynamic systems, and is built on top of Tcl/Tk. This makes it platform independent. FranTk was developed by Meurig Sage. It runs on Unix and Windows.

A short description can be found at the GNU-Darwin site. For more information, see the PDF document FranTk – A declarative GUI language for Haskell.

2.1.3 Fruit

Fruit is another high-level approach to GUIs in Haskell. It is based on the concepts of Functional Reactive Programming and arrows. There is also another implementation of this approach, called wxFruit (see below).

See the Fruit homepage.

2.1.4 GuiTV

GuiTV is a small library for GUI-style visualizing functional values. It can also be viewed as an approach to functional GUIs. It is implemented very simply by using Phooey in the TV framework.

See GuiTV.

2.1.5 Phooey

Phooey is simple, functional, arrow-based library. Currently it is implemented atop wxHaskell. Phooey supports dynamic input bounds, flexible layout, and mutually-referential widgets.

See Phooey.

2.1.6 wxFruit

wxFruit is a GUI library based on the ideas of Fruit but built on top of wxHaskell.

2.2 Medium-level

2.2.1 Functional Forms

An addition to wxHaskell, Functional Forms is a combinator library/domain specific language which enables a very concise programming style for forms: dialogs which only show and edit a set of values. Forms are used in many applications as Options or Settings dialogs.

See the Functional Forms homepage.

2.2.2 HQK

HQK is an effort to provide Haskell bindings to large parts of the Qt and KDE libraries. The goal is to auto-generate most of the binding code from C++ header files. We plan to develop a HQK GUI backend for the Functional Reactive Programming library Grapefruit, thereby making Grapefruit multi-platform.

See HQK.

2.2.3 HToolkit

HToolkit is a portable Haskell library for writing graphical user interfaces (GUI's). The library is built upon a low-level interface that will be implemented for each different target platform. The low-level library is called Port and is currently implemented for GTK and Windows. The middle-level library is named GIO (the Graphical IO library) and is built upon the low-level Port library.

See the HToolkit homepage.

2.2.4 Object I/O for Haskell

This is a port of Clean Object I/O library for Haskell.

See the Object I/O for Haskell homepage.

2.3 Low-level

2.3.1 TclHaskell

TclHaskell is a library of functions for writing platform independent, graphical user interfaces in Haskell. The library provides a convenient, abstract and high-level way to write window-oriented applications. It also provides a more low level interface to write primitive Tcl code where helpful. For Unix and Windows and maybe Macintosh.

See the TclHaskell homepage.

2.4 Uncatagorised

2.4.1 AutoForms

AutoForms is a library to ease the creation of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI). It does this by using generic programming to construct GUI components.

2.4.2 Budgets

Budgets is a library of Fudget-like combinators based on the Openlook widget library was developed by Alastair Reid and Satnam Singh. The code has suffered tremendous bit-rot (Does anyone have a copy of ghc-0.16?) but all the reusable ideas are described in the respective paper.

2.4.3 Embracing Windows

This is a framework for developing graphical user interfaces. It runs under Windows 95 using a modified version of Hugs 1.3.

See the Embracing Windows paper (PDF).

2.4.4 Gadgets

Gadgets are lazy functional components for graphical user interfaces, developed by Rob Noble under the supervision of Colin Runciman.

See LNCS 982, pages 321-340.

2.4.5 Gtk+HS

Gtk+HS is a Haskell binding for GTK+. It provides a transcription of the original GTK+ API into Haskell. GTK+ is a modern, portable GUI library and forms the basis of the Gnome desktop project. The binding, while not complete, covers most of GTK+'s core functionality and is ready for use in applications that require a GUI of medium complexity. It was developed under Unix, but should also be usable with the Windows port of GTK+.

See the Gtk+HS homepage.

2.4.6 Haggis

Haggis is a graphical user interface framework for Haskell, running under the X Window system. It is being developed using the Glasgow Haskell Compiler with its concurrent extensions to achieve more comfortable interaction with the outside world.

See the Haggis homepage.

2.4.7 iHaskell

iHaskell is a functional wrapper on top of GTK+HS that provides convenience functions for frequently used programming patterns, and eliminates the need for explicit mutable variables.

See the iHaskell homepage.

2.4.8 Pidgets

Pidgets, developed by Enno Scholz, unifies pictures and widgets in a constraint-based framework for concurrent functional GUI programming.

2.5 Hackage