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A general description is here.
‘grSoftVersion()’ now reports the versions of FreeType and FontConfig if they are used directly (not _via_ Pango), as is most commonly done on macOS.
There is a new ‘configure’ option ‘--with-static-cairo’ which is the default on macOS. This should be used when only static cairo (and where relevant, Pango) libraries are available.
Cairo-based graphics devices on platforms without Pango but with freetype/fontconfig will make use of the latter for font selection.