[cairo] Newbie Question

Ryan Schmidt cairo-2009a at ryandesign.com
Wed Mar 18 14:54:14 PDT 2009

On Mar 18, 2009, at 14:58, Jay Gee wrote:

> I was searching around the cairo site
> for a good introductory primer on how
> cairo is used as a font and graphics
> manager for a web site.  Unfortunately
> I could not find anything.
> Am I correct in believing that cairo
> and associated font libraries can be
> loaded on a web server in their own
> directories, then through some porting
> mechanism via html, java or javascript
> programming, linked to site visitors'
> browsers so that a wider variety of
> fonts may be used than only those
> residing in the visitors computer?

Actually, no, I don't see cairo being applicable to that situation.

Cairo is a graphics library that you might use if you are writing  
cross-platform compiled software. So if you were one of the  
developers of the Firefox web browser, and you wanted that browser to  
be able to display graphics on the screen and for it to be able to do  
so using the same graphics library regardless of whether the program  
is running on Windows or Mac OS X or Linux, then you might elect to  
have Firefox use the cairo graphics library. And in fact Firefox did  
some time ago switch to using cairo for its graphics rendering.

But that has nothing to do with the mechanisms you would use to have  
a web site display specific content to a user. For that, you just  
need the proper HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.

> Can anyone recommend some good links or
> a good book to help me get up to speed?

I'm not certain what the current state of the art is for using custom  
fonts in web pages, but one method I know of which has existed for  
several years and is used on such popular web sites as Hulu is called  
sIFR. You can read about it here:


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