Font Rendering backends


I'm just learning how font rendering on linux works, and I'm trying to understand why my fonts look different in terminator (a gnome application) and graphical emacs.  The terminator man page says that the font config can be set to a "Pango font name", which suggests it's using Pango to render fonts.  My font, DejaVu Sans Mono, looks great in terminator, but not so good in graphical emacs.  I assume graphical emacs is using raw xft?  But I thought Pango uses xft as a backend, so they should look the same, right?  My question is, what is the separation of duties of each of these font tools, and why might the same font be rendered differently in each application?  Is there any way to get emacs to render fonts as well as terminator?


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