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LAF: The Lost Application Framework

Build Status Build status MIT Licensed

A library to create Windows, macOS, and Linux desktop applications.

This library is under active development so we don't provide API or ABI compatibility at this moment.


  • base: Base functions for any kind of application.
  • gfx: Generic graphics classes (rectangle, point, region, etc.)
  • ft: FreeType wrapper used by the os module (requires freetype library as dependency)
  • os: Functions to create windows in your Operating System desktop.


laf can be compiled with two back-ends (LAF_BACKEND): skia or none.

When LAF_BACKEND=skia, laf requires a compiled version of the Skia library from branch aseprite-m81. You can check the aseprite/skia fork which includes a release with pre-built versions, or the check the instructions to compile skia from scratch.

When LAF_BACKEND=none, the Pixman library can be used as an alternative implementation of the gfx::Region class (generally if you're using laf-os you will link it with Skia, so there is no need for Pixman at all).


To compile laf with Skia as backend you have to specify some variables pointing to a valid compiled version of Skia in your disk. In the following example /skiadir is the absolute path to a directory where the Skia source code + compiled version is, or just where you've uncompressed a pre-built package of Skia (note that in this case /skiadir/out/Release-x64 should contain the Skia library files, i.e. skia.lib on Windows or libskia.a on other platforms):

git clone
cd laf
mkdir build
cd build
cmake -G Ninja \
  -DLAF_BACKEND=skia \
  -DSKIA_DIR=/skiadir \
  -DSKIA_LIBRARY_DIR=/skiadir/out/Release-x64 \

To compile only the library (without examples and tests) you can disable the LAF_WITH_EXAMPLES/LAF_WITH_TESTS options:


Running Tests

You can use ctest to run all tests:

cd build


laf is distributed under the terms of the MIT license.

Some functions in laf depends on third party libraries (you should include these license notices when you distribute your software):


A C++ library to create desktop applications




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