[cairo] X11 v. XQuartz

Jennifer Adams jma at cola.iges.org
Tue Aug 6 14:13:02 PDT 2013

Dear Experts,
I am a developer of GrADS, a visualization tool for meteorological data. GrADS uses X11 for its interactive display window, but it also has a batch mode, so you can create graphics without the use of X. We have developed an interface for Cairo to do the rendering, not only to the X window, but also to create png, ps, eps, pdf, and svg output. 

The problem I am having is with the X rendering when using XQuartz. Everything looks right when I use the old (deprecated) X11 application on my Mac, but if I use XQuartz, I get an incomplete rendering, illustrated by two screen shots (links are given below.) The graphical elements are very basic, these plots contain nothing but line segments and filled rectangles. 


The batch-mode renderings by Cairo are correct, and the non-Cairo version of GrADS does not exhibit the problem with the X window display, so I am pretty sure that Cairo and XQuartz are not playing well together. 

I am running Mac OS X 10.7.5. When running the old X11 application, the version information in the "About X11" window says: XQuartz 2.6.5 (xorg-server 1.10.6). When running XQuartz, the version numbers are more recent: XQuartz 2.7.4 (xorg-server 1.13.0). The Cairo version is 1.12.8.

I searched through my 2-yr archive of forum emails and found nothing related to rendering problems with XQuartz. Any suggestions or ideas about what might be going wrong would be most welcome. 


Jennifer M. Adams
Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA)
111 Research Hall, Mail Stop 2B3
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030 

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