[Matplotlib-devel] mplcairo 0.1 release

Antony Lee anntzer.lee at gmail.com
Sun Jul 22 16:52:22 EDT 2018

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce the release of mplcairo 0.1

# Description

mplcairo is a Matplotlib backend based on the well-known cairo library,
supporting output to both raster (including interactively) and vector
formats.  In other words, it provides the functionality of Matplotlib's
{,qt5,gtk3,wx,tk,macos}{agg,cairo}, pdf, ps, and svg backends.

Per Matplotlib's standard API, the backend can be selected by calling


or setting your MPLBACKEND environment variable to `module://mplcairo.qt`
Qt5, and similarly for other toolkits.

The source tarball, and Py3.6 manylinux and Windows wheels, are available on
PyPI (I am looking for help to generate the OSX wheels).

See the README for more details.

# Why a new backend?

Compared to Matplotlib's builtin Agg and cairo backends, mplcairo presents
following features:

- Improved accuracy (e.g., with marker positioning, quad meshes, and text
- Support for a wider variety of font formats, such as otf and pfb, for
  (PDF, PS, SVG) backends (Matplotlib's Agg backend also supports such
- Optional support for complex text layout (right-to-left languages, etc.)
  using Raqm.  **Note** that Raqm depends on Fribidi, which is licensed
  the LGPLv2.1+.
- Support for embedding URLs in PDF (but not SVG) output (requires
- Support for multi-page output both for PDF and PS (Matplotlib only
  multi-page PDF).
- Support for custom blend modes (see `examples/operators.py`).

See the README for more details.

# Changelog from mplcairo 0.1a1 to mplcairo 0.1

- Integration with libraqm now occurs via dlopen() rather than being
  at compile-time.
- Various rendering and performance improvements.
- On Travis, we now run Matplotlib's test suite with mplcairo patching the
  default Agg renderer.


Antony Lee
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