since: 2.0


(* GClassInitFunc) (
  GObjectTypeClass* g_class,
  gpointer class_data


A callback function used by the type system to initialize the class of a specific type.

This function should initialize all static class members.

The initialization process of a class involves:

  • Copying common members from the parent class over to the derived class structure.
  • Zero initialization of the remaining members not copied over from the parent class.
  • Invocation of the GBaseInitFunc() initializers of all parent types and the class’ type.
  • Invocation of the class’ GClassInitFunc() initializer.

Since derived classes are partially initialized through a memory copy of the parent class, the general rule is that GBaseInitFunc() and GBaseFinalizeFunc() should take care of necessary reinitialization and release of those class members that were introduced by the type that specified these GBaseInitFunc()/GBaseFinalizeFunc(). GClassInitFunc() should only care about initializing static class members, while dynamic class members (such as allocated strings or reference counted resources) are better handled by a GBaseInitFunc() for this type, so proper initialization of the dynamic class members is performed for class initialization of derived types as well.

An example may help to correspond the intend of the different class initializers:

typedef struct {
  GObjectClass parent_class;
  gint         static_integer;
  gchar       *dynamic_string;
} TypeAClass;
static void
type_a_base_class_init (TypeAClass *class)
  class->dynamic_string = g_strdup ("some string");
static void
type_a_base_class_finalize (TypeAClass *class)
  g_free (class->dynamic_string);
static void
type_a_class_init (TypeAClass *class)
  class->static_integer = 42;

typedef struct {
  TypeAClass   parent_class;
  gfloat       static_float;
  GString     *dynamic_gstring;
} TypeBClass;
static void
type_b_base_class_init (TypeBClass *class)
  class->dynamic_gstring = g_string_new ("some other string");
static void
type_b_base_class_finalize (TypeBClass *class)
  g_string_free (class->dynamic_gstring);
static void
type_b_class_init (TypeBClass *class)
  class->static_float = 3.14159265358979323846;

Initialization of TypeBClass will first cause initialization of TypeAClass (derived classes reference their parent classes, see g_type_class_ref() on this).

Initialization of TypeAClass roughly involves zero-initializing its fields, then calling its GBaseInitFunc() type_a_base_class_init() to allocate its dynamic members (dynamic_string), and finally calling its GClassInitFunc() type_a_class_init() to initialize its static members (static_integer). The first step in the initialization process of TypeBClass is then a plain memory copy of the contents of TypeAClass into TypeBClass and zero-initialization of the remaining fields in TypeBClass. The dynamic members of TypeAClass within TypeBClass now need reinitialization which is performed by calling type_a_base_class_init() with an argument of TypeBClass.

After that, the GBaseInitFunc() of TypeBClass, type_b_base_class_init() is called to allocate the dynamic members of TypeBClass (dynamic_gstring), and finally the GClassInitFunc() of TypeBClass, type_b_class_init(), is called to complete the initialization process with the static members (static_float).

Corresponding finalization counter parts to the GBaseInitFunc() functions have to be provided to release allocated resources at class finalization time.

Available since: 2.0



Type: GTypeClass

The GTypeClass structure to initialize.

The data is owned by the caller of the function.

Type: gpointer

The class_data member supplied via the GTypeInfo structure.

The argument can be NULL.
The data is owned by the caller of the function.