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need help for new guile-cairo release

From: Daniel Llorens
Subject: need help for new guile-cairo release
Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2018 00:20:36 +0200

Hi Guilers,

Cairo ( is a popular, high level 2D drawing library. 
Andy Wingo wrote Guile bindings for it: guile-cairo. Cairo lets you draw 
directly to a bitmap, to SVG, to PDF, etc. and the Guile bindings cover most of 
the library. The only real competition might be Skia ( which 
doesn't seem to have Guile bindings.

guile-cairo is in all the common distros and I've come to rely on it for a big 
part of my plotting needs. But it hasn't seen a release in many years. It 
didn't take long to find bugs after I started using it. I'd like to release the 
fixes, but there are a couple issues with the release process that I haven't 
been able to solve. 

1) make distcheck fails. I think the error is not in the tests themselves but 
in the way they are run. One of the commands in tests/unit-tests/ 

../../env guile -s $SHELL ...

which of course fails. I don't understand what that's supposed to do. 

2) I cannot rebuild the documentation. To try this, you have to (assuming you 
build guile-cairo in-tree)

  a) download the Cairo source
  b) configure Cairo with --enable-gtk-doc
  c) > make doc

  or get the Cairo .xml files in some other way. Maybe you can download them 
somewhere? Then

  d) install guile-lib and guile-gnome
  e) go to guile-cairo and configure it with 

CAIRO_XML_DIR=<cairo-build-dir>/doc/public/xml ./configure etc

  f) go to <guile-cairo-build-dir>/doc
  g) > make generate-defuns

This will fail on a command like this:

../env guile  -c "(apply (@ (gnome gw support gtk-doc) gtk-doc->texi-defuns) 
(cadr (program-arguments)) 'heuristics '((cairo)) (cddr (program-arguments)))" 

The failure is on the first definition on the first xml file. I asked Andy on 
#guile and he said that the cairo*.xml format might have changed. I tried going 
back a couple versions of Cairo and I still couldn't get it to work. 

Unfortunately this machine is too complicated for me to repair. Cairo has been 
stable for a few years, so worst case I would maintain the docs by hand going 

If you think you can help please go clone master from


and see at least if you can figure out what the issue with ‘make distcheck’ is. 
The doc generation looks fragile and sits on top of other stuff which isn't 
well maintained either, so I have less hope. But if you feel adventurous, 
please give that a try as well.

The bug tracker is here

The source browser is here:

If you're looking to contribute directly, there's a group and page in savannah:



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