Canvas (GUI)

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In computer science and visualization, a canvas is a container that holds various drawing elements (lines, shapes, text, frames containing other elements, etc.). It takes its name from the canvas used in visual arts. It is sometimes called a scene graph because it arranges the logical representation of a user interface or graphical scene. Some implementations also define the spatial representation and allow the user to interact with the elements via a graphical user interface.

See this article for an overview (2010-08-15) of a small handful of canvas implementations.

Library support[edit]

Various free and open-source canvas or scene-graph libraries allow developers to construct a user interface and/or user-interface elements for their computer programs.

Examples of free and open-source scene-graph canvas options include:

Some canvas modules within various libraries do not provide the power of a full scene-graph - they operate at a lower level which requires programmers to provide code such as mapping mouse-clicks to objects in the canvas. Examples of libraries which include such a canvas module include:

Proprietary canvas libraries include, for example: