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Cairo is a free software graphics library with multiple backends that provides a vector based device-independent API for software developers. Currently, it has backends that support output to the X Window System, Win32 GDI, Quartz, the BeOS API, OpenGL contexts (via glitz), local image buffers, PNG files, PDF, PostScript and SVG files. cairo is designed to use hardware acceleration when available. Although written in C, there are bindings for using the cairo graphics library from many other programming languages, including C++, C#, Common Lisp, Haskell, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, Smalltalk, Factor and several others.

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Cairo is a 2D graphics library that provides a unified imaging model for screen and printer. It takes advantage of hardware acceleration where available. Here is some of the software on OLPC that uses Cairo as a graphics back-end:

There is a low-level Python module that allows applications programmers to use the Cairo canvas to full effect. This is in addition to the GTK+ API layer above Cairo.

The pycairo source can be helpful. Eg,

Improvements for XO-1s

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with places that link here should by all rights use wikipedia links. (Discuss)