The real reason that I am working on Cairo and matplotlib is
> that I want a portable way to display output from ATT's
> graphviz. From my quick look through matplotlib's code, it
> looks like this may be hard to do. So, if I continue this
> project, I'll also be asking how to render ploygons,
> ellipses, and text. Do you think that matplotlib is a good
> fit given my requirements?
Without commenting on goodness of fit, I'll add that matplotlib has
fundamental elements for polygons (matplotlib.patches.Polygon) and
text (matplotlib.text.Text) and it would be straightforward to add a
dedicated ellipse class (currently we just use polygons for ellipses)
and Ted also has an interest in creating an ellipse class for scale
free renderering, eg in the postscript backend.