[cairo] Variable line width

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Tue Aug 2 16:55:18 PDT 2005

On Wed, 3 Aug 2005 10:13:05 +1200, Piotr Zurek wrote:
> Is it possible to draw paths or curves with variable width in Cairo?

It's not currently possible. I think it would have some non-trivial
impacts on some of the algorithms.

> If not, don't You think it would be really useful?

I think it would be really useful, and I've often been tempted to sit
down and work out what it would take to do it.

It is perhaps interesting to note that in the world of text rendering,
(which is the most prevalent case of rendering shapes that look like
variable-width strokes), systems that rely on filled outlines have
gained much wider adoption than systems that provide variable-width

That's just one datapoint though, and I'm not sure how relevant it
is. It might be that text glyphs vary enough from variable-width
strokes that it's easier for the designer to just deal with outlines
in order to get the shapes they want. Or perhaps it's a question of
missing tools to provide the designer the necessary control. Or maybe
there's some other historical explanation for the system adoption
independent of the stroke vs. outline distinction.

In any case, I think this would definitely be an interesting area to
explore. We might as well try it and see what we can do with it.


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