[cairo] About cairo_show_text and UTF-8...

Scott Robert Ladd graphics at coyotegulch.com
Fri Jan 6 10:54:48 PST 2006

Carl Worth wrote:
> I would be glad to see this improved, but it's not really that 
> significant an issue. The cairo_show_text is part of cairo's "toy 
> text API" which is really intended to be used in demos etc. More 
> practical uses of cairo should use cairo_show_glyphs as pango does.

I was trying to display a single non-ASCII character, and to invoke
Pango seems like excessive complication for a simple task.

By calling it a "toy", Cairo implies that there are only two types of
apps: those that display exceptionally simple text, and those that need
the power of a full WYSIWYG word processor. However, there exist a large
selection of applications with needs *between* those extremes. Cairo's
"toy" API is too minimal, and Pango is vast overkill for such programs.

Also, the Cairo documentation (which is *very* sparse, and somewhat 
incomplete) implies that cairo_show_text is more capable than it is, by 
stating that it supports UTF-8 when it really does not.

Scott Robert Ladd <scott.ladd at coyotegulch.com>
Coyote Gulch Productions

More information about the cairo mailing list