[NTG-context] Recommendations for Speed?

Duane Johnson canadaduane at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 22:53:08 CEST 2007


I've been perusing the list archives for a couple of days now, and  
reading up on articles (such as Hans' regarding optimizing in TeX and  
eTeX) to find guidance on a handful of decisions.  Our company makes  
a web-based publishing solution called MemoryPress.com that uses  
conTeXt for on-demand creation of PDFs which are then converted to  
jpeg format for display in a web browser.

We are currently looking into ways to speed things up and since many  
of you are far more qualified than I am in this area, I wondered if  
you might advise me on the following:

1. Is there a way to keep TeX in-memory (i.e. as a server or daemon  
process) so that it doesn't have to load and reload fonts and the  
environment?  Our system makes repeated requests for typeset  
documents and we are wondering if there's a way to remove the  
overhead of re-running pdftex.

2. Among the many different command-line TeX options, what might  
optimize for speed?  I've done some rudimentary benchmarking and  
found that executing etex (without conTeXt) is much faster than  
texexec, and wondered if there is any advice in this area.  Is there  
any way to shave off some of the overhead of using conTeXt?

3. I've noticed that there is some kind of caching going on (tui/tuo  
files?) that helps speed things up after the first run.  How can I  
best take advantage of this facility?  What kinds of things will  
require TeX to start from scratch, vs. use some or all of this cached  

4. Are there any other areas I should consider when looking for ways  
to use TeX as an on-demand typesetting engine?

Thank you,

Duane Johnson
Programming Manager

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