[cairo] best way to get cairo for Mac OS X?

Carl Worth cworth at cworth.org
Mon Sep 25 14:20:07 PDT 2006

On Mon, 25 Sep 2006 15:38:01 -0400, Travis Griggs wrote:
> I've been doing cairo<->Smalltalk binding work under Linux, but now
> going to be doing it on OSX. Is the OSX version of cairo pretty
> stable?

Not yet, no.

That is, for the "supported" backends which work there, (image, xlib,
ps, pdf, svg), cairo is just as stable on Mac OS X as it is on Linux.

But I'm guessing you would be interested in the OS X-specific backend
which is named the "quartz" backend in cairo. This backend is
available on in an unsupported, experimental state in current cairo
releases, (meaning some functionality may be missing, and the API is
subject to change).

And the quartz backend in the releases is little more than a wrapper
around the image surface, so not entirely interesting anyway.

Meanwhile, Vladimir has been hard at work on a new backend for OS X,
which is currently available only by grabbing the latest cairo via
git, (though we should probably push out a snapshot soon with both it
and the new tessellator in it).

Vlad's new backend is currently named nquartz, (think native quartz),
and is much more interesting than the old one in terms of how it
works. It's still not totally finished, (cairo_mask won't do anything
for example), but it's coming along well. My guess is that the first
supported quartz backend in a cairo release will be based on this
code, (and we'll just rename it to "quartz" and replace the old one).

Vladimir, please correct me if I got any of that wrong.

> What is the best approach for getting the library? Just
> download and compile? or fink or some other tool?

I don't really have any input here. The times I've done testing on a
mac I've just downloaded and compiled, (I maybe had to grab a newer
fontconfig or XRender implementation than existed on the system, but I
don't recall specifics).

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