> I have had the same problem! When I try to do a "stroke path" selection, there
> are just gaps that go missing from the stroke. It's so frustrating, and I 
> don't
> know how to fix it!

You are using way too many nodes for the path you are creating. You
either need to pull out each handle in the proper direction, or zoom in
on each node and delete the handles all together. 

Have a look at the new path I added.

> "Inkscape", another free program, was recommended to me for vector work.
> Check it out.

I use Inkscape all the time and am pretty proficient for my needs. If I
only need to trace something out as a path without the need for vertical
guides, I prefer to just work in gimp. This was never a problem before
the cairo changes. 

> I suspect that this is a bug in the cairo library: the problematic
> points have the property that the control handle is very short and goes
> into the opposite direction than the actual path. Seems this triggers
> some cairo misfeatures...
> How did you create that path?

I honestly think that maybe the new cairo is "too" precise. What happens
is when you lay down your nodes and your mouse isn't completely still,
it will drag out a handle as if you were holding down the button and
dragging intentionally. I'm not sure if it has to do with the resolution
of your mouse, meaning the more precise your mouse is, the more likely
you are to drag out a handle? No matter the case, the faster you lay
down your nodes, the more likely this is to happen. 

I've never had a problem as bad willthefifth, but I'm conscious of how
it happens so I do my best to avoid it. Unfortunately it still happens. 
If the ability to drag out handles could be suppressed with a setting or
a modifier, this could be avoided.

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