[cairo] X extensions

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Tue Aug 9 08:58:39 PDT 2005

[All my answers regarding cairo below apply only to the xlib backend
of cairo, and in particular when the X server being used has a recent
version of the Render extension.]

On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 01:22:49 +1000, Russell Shaw wrote:
> Does cairo use Xft for font rendering, or does it render the
> character glyphs itself?

Cairo has its own code for text rendering which works very much like
the code in Xft.

> What format is the data sent from the client to the server?
> Ie, is it pdf commands, or something different for graphic
> primitives?

For shapes that cairo draws, they are sent as lists of
trapezoids. Image data is also sent directly for images, masks, and
text glyphs.

> Is text rendered on the client side, or the X server?

The text is rendered on the client side, and the client library
(cairo) manages a server-side cache of glyph images.

All of this communication with the X server, (trapezoids, pictures,
and glyphs), happens through the Render extension, for which you can
read the protocol description here:


I hope that helps answer your questions.

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