[cairo] changed semantics of cairo_destroy

M Joonas Pihlaja jpihlaja at cc.helsinki.fi
Mon Aug 30 15:59:52 PDT 2010

On Mon, 30 Aug 2010, Maarten Bosmans wrote:

> Last week I chased down a bug that was causing rendering artifacts in
> Gtk+ when used with a recent Cairo snapshot. It bisected to this
> commit in Cairo:
> http://cgit.freedesktop.org/cairo/commit/?id=4438cc6a49e7e902dce045706f7125a2c3e2174b
> (Gtk bug report is here: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=628291)

It's not clear from the Gtk bug report how the rendering was 
incorrect.  From looking at the code, the main difference from 
flushing a win32 surface vs. not, is that flushing resets the clip on 
the drawing context.  Could the artifacts be due to missing/misclipped 
native rendering?

> I think this change warrants an explicit notice in the release notes
> for 1.10, as it is certainly something for Cairo users to be aware of
> and I didn't see the change announced in one of the 1.9.x snapshot
> notes.

We discussed this change (on the irc channel #cairo, not on the 
mailing list, sorry!) and decided in the end to drop flushing from 
cairo_destroy().  As far as I recall the main motivation was that 
applications are making lots of very short lived cairo_t objects and 
flushing the surface was causing a lot of needless overhead, 
especially considering that apps should be using cairo_surface_flush() 
in all the right places anyway (since cairo 0.9.0.)  The feeling was 
that it's not technically a change in the API since the 
cairo_destroy() documentation doesn't actually say anything about 
flushing surfaces, even if it is an actual change in behaviour.

> By the way, I proposed a patch in Gtk+ to overcome this problem by adding a
>     cairo_surface_flush (cairo_get_target (cr));
> before every
>     cairo_destroy (cr);
> where relevant. Is this the correct approach (it certainly resolves
> the bug I was seeing), 

Yes, this would be a correct fix.  An even better fix would be to 
flush the surface only before doing any non-cairo rendering.

> or should there be something done with
> cairo_device_t?

No, there's nothing to do with a cairo_device_t that would cause the 
surface to flush, because the win32 surfaces of cairo don't have a 


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