[cairo] Serious concerns about cairo

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Mon Sep 25 09:46:03 PDT 2006

On Sat, 23 Sep 2006 15:45:07 -0700, "Mike Emmel" wrote:
> argument to just use pango but if pango is not a viable solution then
> you the open source community has nothing more to offer.

Here you argue that if pango isn't suitable, then there's currently
nothing else available.

So, granting your premise for the moment, then some new API would need
to be implemented. All we've been saying so far is that such new API
should not be provided by cairo itself.

> The current font api does not meet any of these needs. I'm not agianst
> helping do the work if people were willing to work out the api. I even
> started work already on
> such a library and called it demontic as a companion library for cairo.

So that's the route I would recommend you continue to take.

> But the resistance to even trying to develop a cairo based companion
> is pretty high.

I'm not familiar with what resistance you're referring to. But it that
simple "market" factors should solve the problem. You've argued that
there's some "missing" functionality and you've discussed some

1) pango

2) cut-and-paste of code to many places

3) a new companion library to cairo

4) augmenting cairo's toy (text-based) API

And these ideas should simply compete on their merits.

I've argued in this thread already that there is no merit in (4)
compared to (3) or (2). So as the cairo maintainer, I won't be
accepting any augmentation to the toy API. The more it "improves" the
more it sets users up for let down when they run into its
limitations. [And your arguments for augmenting cairo's toy API
fulfill the predictions made by people (such as Vlad) who tried to
convince me to never put that API into cairo in the first place.]

> It would be nice to get the cairo community to at least discuss the
> api for a companion font engine but hey I'm the one that needs it I'll
> write it initally it
> will simply be gobject stripped pango maybe at that point people will be willing
> to reconsider.

I think you should feel free to use this mailing list to
discuss/present your work on a new API. Any free software companion
library to cairo is on-topic for this list. One of the reasons we
avoided putting a "complete" text API into cairo is that it's complex
enough that we were not sure we could make it as "correct" as the more
general graphics API in cairo. So that's an argument that there's room
for some experimentation in this space.

Now, I wouldn't expect that the people who are happy with pango would
invest a lot of work into a competing library. But if you've
accurately identified a substantial need, then you should be able to
find interest in your new library here.

Happy hacking,

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