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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Cairo as well as OpenGL

From "The (Re)Architecture of the X Window System" a progress report on Cairo...

This integration of the familiar PostScript operational model within the native application language environments provides a simple and powerful new tool for graphics application development...

Cairo's rendering algorithms use work done in the 1980's by Guibas, Ramshaw, and Stolfi [GRS83] along with work by John Hobby [Hob85], which has never been exploited in Postscript or in Windows. The implementation is fast, precise, and numerically stable, supports hardware acceleration, and is in advance of commercial systems...

Cairo is in the late stages of development and is being widely adopted in the open source community. It includes the ability to render to Postscript and a PDF back end is planned, which should greatly improve applications' printing support. Work to incorporate Cairo in the Gnome and KDE desktop environments is well underway, as are ports to Windows and Apple's MacIntosh, and it is being used by the Mono project. As with Xft2, Cairo works with all X servers, even those without the Render extension.

Also regarding X and OpenGL...
Using OpenGL as the basis for the X server itself will place X objects such as pixmaps and off-screen window contents inside OpenGL objects allowing applications to use the full OpenGL command set to manipulate them...

Whether the "core" X graphics will require any OpenGL extensions is still somewhat an open question.

In concert with the new compositing extensions, conventional X applications can then be integrated into 3D environments such as Croquet, or Sun's Looking Glass. X application contents can be used as textures and mapped onto any surface desired in those environments.

I think this is huge. (Yes, even huger than Avalon). Turning X, per se, into a legacy window system within a portable, modern vector and 3D graphics environment. Just remember, Don't Fidget With Widgets, Draw!

Where did those OpenGL patents go, again? Oh. Yeah. Now I remember.

Via Miguel de Icaza. (Microsoft must be wetting their pants trying to get de Icaza to sign up with them. I'd like to see the offer sheet.)

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.