[cairo] Fonts

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Mon Aug 22 10:09:21 PDT 2005

On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 01:47:51 +1000, Russell Shaw wrote:
> Is Xrender supposed to replace Xft?

If I'm not mistaken, from its beginning Xft is a layer on top of the
glyph functionality in Xrender, (with another non-Xrender-based path
for when the Render extension is not available).

So Xrender pre-dates Xft and as such cannot be construed as an attempt
to replace it.

Meanwhile, cairo does post-date Xft. It has a very similar
architecture in that it builds on top of the functionality of the
Render extension (as made available through the Xrender library), and
it also provides non-Render fallback paths. This similarity is no
accident as the experience of Xft guided the implementation of cairo.

A significant difference between cairo and Xft is that it provides
convenient access to Render's general geometric functionality,
(ie. trapezoid and image compositing), in addition to glyph
support. So, in some sense, cairo does provide a superset of Xft
functionality, so it might very well make sense for some applications
to replace their use of Xft with cairo instead.


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