[Xcb] [cairo] cairo + xcb binaries

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Tue Dec 9 01:18:57 PST 2008

Cross posting to the cairo list.

Matthew Allen wrote:
> I'm currently implementing a xcb + pango + cairo backend for a
> widget library and I'm having issues getting the xcb part of
> cairo working. Basically the function cairo_xcb_surface_create
> doesn't exist in the headers (and the libs as well). From what
> I read you have to --enable-xcb when you install it. However I
> want to be able to make binaries of my apps that just run on
> current distros. Am I facing a dead end because the distros
> don't compile in xcb support?

FWIW, Fedora is not enabling the xcb backend because apparently it
changes the ABI of libcairo.so:


This prevents the window manager Awesome from appearing in Fedora 10.
 Ubuntu Intrepid has it though, and seems to ship an XCB enabled
version of Cairo.

> My impression was that people wanted to move more stuff towards
> xcb and away from xlib? Aren't the major widget sets doing that?
> So if thats the case, how to the distros gets away with not
> compiling in xcb support in cairo?

I don't see a big rush to XCB among the toolkit folks yet.

Maybe some benchmarks showing how XCB would improve throughput or
latency would help convince people?  If there's any evidence you could
share, I'd be interested in
seeing them.

For now, most distros ship an XCB enabled version of libX11, which
made some things slightly slower, iirc.  A comparison against new
version of libX11 would be a bit unfair.

> I'm running ubuntu 7.04 at the moment. But I don't mind targeting
> later builds if necessary.

If you're working with bleeding edge technology, you might want a
bleeding edge distro shipping the latest upstream releases of Cairo
and XCB.

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://www.codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://www.sugarlabs.org/
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