cdk(3) Curses Development Kit


cc [ flag ... ] file ... -lcdk [ library ... ]

#include <cdk.h>

Cdk provides functions to use a large number of predefined curses widgets. To use the Cdk widgets the header file cdk.h must be included in the source.

The widgets available from Cdk are listed below.

Widget TypeManual Page Name

Alphalistcdk_alphalist (3)
Buttoncdk_button (3)
Buttonboxcdk_buttonbox (3)
Calendarcdk_calendar (3)
Dialogcdk_dialog (3)
DoubleFloat Scalecdk_dscale (3)
Entry Fieldcdk_entry (3)
File Selectorcdk_fselect (3)
File Viewercdk_viewer (3)
Floating Scalecdk_fscale (3)
Floating Slidercdk_fslider (3)
Graphcdk_graph (3)
Histogramcdk_histogram (3)
Integer Scalecdk_scale (3)
Integer Slidercdk_slider (3)
Item Listcdk_itemlist (3)
Labelcdk_label (3)
Marqueecdk_marquee (3)
Matrixcdk_matrix (3)
Multiple Line Entry Fieldcdk_mentry (3)
Pulldown Menucdk_menu (3)
Radio Listcdk_radio (3)
Scrolling Listcdk_scroll (3)
Scrolling Selection Listcdk_selection (3)
Scrolling Windowcdk_swindow (3)
Templatecdk_template (3)
Unsigned Scalecdk_uscale (3)
Unsigned Slidercdk_uslider (3)

The rest of the manual pages describe supporting functions:

Manual Page NameDescription

cdk_binding (3) Outlines how to create user definable key bindings.
cdk_display (3) Shows how to add special display attributes, colors, and justification into a widget.
cdk_draw (3) Outlines functions used for drawing text and lines.
cdk_screen (3) Demonstrates the use of screens within Cdk.
cdk_misc (3) Outlines miscellaneous functions provided with the Cdk library.
cdk_process (3) Demonstrates the use of the pre- and post-process function class.


Cdk is a library of functions which allow a programmer to quickly create a full screen interactive program with ease. The Cdk widgets support the following features:
• Ncurses library.
Instead of using the standard curses library, Cdk can take advantage of the colors that Ncurses provides. To learn how to take advantage of Cdk's color capabilities, see cdk_display (3).

• Key Bindings.
Individual keys can be overridden with a callback. The callback is set up using the bindCDKObject function. To learn more about this see cdk_binding (3).

• Pre and Post Processing.
Certain widgets allow the user to trap a character before and after the character has been applied to the widget. This allows programmers to `filter' character input. To learn more about this see cdk_process (3).

• Self Test Widgets.
With the use of the inject function class and the activate function, programmers can have the widgets test themselves. This allows the programmer to perform automated tests on a final program.

• Special Display Formats
There are special character format commands that can be inserted into any string in Cdk and the contents will get mapped to a chtype (see the curses manual page) with character attributes. This allows the programmer to insert format types on each character if they wish.

• The Ability To Build Predefined Screens
Widgets can be associated to any given screen. If there is more than one screen defined, then Cdk has the ability to "flip" from one screen to another with ease. See the cdk_screen manual page for more details.


All of the widgets have a member of the structure called exitType. This member states how the widget exited. There are three values in which to check for, they are as follows:


vNORMAL This means the widget exited normally. This value is set when the widget is given the characters TAB or RETURN.
vEARLY_EXIT This means the widget exited early. This value is set when characters such as TAB or RETURN are injected into the widget via the injectCDKXXX function and the character injected does not exit the widget.
vERROR This value states that an error was returned by curses, e.g., if the terminal was disconnected.
vESCAPE_HIT This value states the user hit ESCAPE to leave the widget.
vNEVER_ACTIVATED This is the initial state of the value. This means that the widget has not been activated.


The header file <cdk.h> automatically includes the header files <curses.h>, <stdlib.h>, <string.h>, <ctype.h>, <unistd.h>, <dirent.h>, <time.h>, <errno.h>, <pwd.h>, <grp.h>, <sys/stat.h>, and <sys/types.h>. The <curses.h> header file includes <stdio.h> and <unctrl.h>.