[OS X TeX] TeXShop/teTeX speed using TeX+ghostscript

William Adams wadams at atlis.com
Tue Sep 17 08:28:42 EDT 2002

Warren Nagourney said:
>Using TeXtures, it would take about 1-2 seconds for a change in the  
>source to appear in the typeset window (no antialiasing). In TeXShop,  
>this takes about 7-10 seconds on a 500 MHz G4 (the TeXing takes about 2
>sec). I realize that the antialiasing and ghostscript conversion takes  
>time, but it seems that the discrepancy is too large. Does anyone have  
>any suggestions?

Anti-aliasing shouldn't be at issue---doesn't cause much of a
performance hit.

Piping through GhostScript does, 'cause going through a pipe involves
writing to disk---which is always slow---then reading from disk. You
could set up a RAMdisk to speed that up, but it's the process itself
which is the problem 'cause Textures does all this work internally, and
is able to begin previewing as soon as it generates the current page,
(using the same IPC (Inter Process Communication) system developed for
NeXTTeX / TeXView.app). While this code is still in TeX, one has to work
especially hard to make use of it---Jonathan Fine had a presentation on
his system for doing this at TUG 2000.

Even using pdfTeX, which eliminates a step won't help AIUI, 'cause
TeXShop can't tell Apple's pdfObject to begin previewing until the
_entire_ file has been generated. I suppose one could set up a method
whereby each page is split off as a separate file (this would also be an
interesting way to get two-page spreads to preview), but that would
probably be even more of a performance hit.

You could however, break up your document into logical integral? (is
that the right word for only complete pieces?) page-sized pieces, and
work on and preview each such chunk as a unit.

Not being able to grok TeXShop's source or Apple's docs on their pdf
object, I'll defer further commentary (and possible corrections) to
Peter Koch & co.

On the gripping hand, Blue Sky Research has claimed they're close to
shipping a Carbonized Textures for Mac OS X...


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