Help me, I want to draw true type fonts in a window

Nicolas Mailhot nicolas.mailhot at
Wed Jun 25 10:18:29 PDT 2008

Le mercredi 25 juin 2008 à 19:54 +0300, Maxim Levitsky a écrit :

> Small, question just curios, is it possible to draw Unicode strings with Cairo?

Sure there is, there was an OO.o patch floating to switch OO.o's
rendering to cairo I think.

> As I know gnome uses pango for text layouting (choosing which chars to draw)
> Qt has its own text layouting.

You won't escape pango (or its new incarnation harfbuzz). QT and GTK are
converging on harfbuzz, cairo uses pango behind, etc.

Text rendering is approaching at last typographer requirements, which
means modern "smart" fonts are several orders of magnitude more complex
than old bitmap fonts (and people make use of the new features and
expect them to work). The code needed to interpret those fonts is
correspondingly more complex. In fact it's getting at the level of
complexity big projects are dropping their own text layouters fast and
pooling efforts around a common layouter stack. They can't keep up alone
anymore. (You have the same phenomenon on windows around uniscribe).

If you think freetype or xft alone is sufficient nowadays, even for
latin-only text, you've already lost.

Nicolas Mailhot
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