[cairo] cairo_select_font is just a toy (was: something about cairo_text_extents ?)

Carl Worth cworth at east.isi.edu
Fri Dec 5 12:01:59 PST 2003

On Dec 5, Bill Spitzak wrote:
 > When you run KDE/Gnome, there is a "configuration" panel that lets the user 
 > select things such as the default font to use. I think the user would be 
 > extremely disappointed if this did not allow them to choose all possible 
 > fonts on their platform by using the device-specific interface.

I agree.

 > Unless cairo provides this, we have just added the requirement for
 > a second "font naming" interface. Having two interfaces that do the
 > same thing is a *bad* idea.

I agree that two font naming interfaces would be a bad idea. That is
precisely why cairo does not have any complete font naming interface
at all. It relies on some platform-specific font system for this.

All cairo has is a "toy" cairo_select_font that probably won't make
any guarantees beyond a very short, fixed list of family
names. Applications that want to integrate nicely with a KDE/Gnome
"configuration" panel definitely belong to a class of "real"
applications, and should get their fonts via the platform-specific

 > My current recommendation for this string is to have the following form:
 > "cairo-name : gibberish"

Let's not try to turn the toy into a complete way to specify fonts. If
we do this, then we *will* be creating a second font naming
interface. We don't want to do that, remember?

I'm now inclined to dislike the idea of even enumerating family names
to be accepted by cairo_select_font. That could too easily give the
idea that this API is intended to be more than it is.

For the remainder of this discussion (if any) we should pretend that
cairo_select_font does not exist.


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