[OS X TeX] (OT?) TeX and MacOSX (or what we should pretend from OSX applications).

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Fri Dec 3 08:13:05 EST 2004

Le 3 déc. 04, à 11:27, Massimiliano Gubinelli a écrit :

> Currently available native DVI viewers draw fonts on screen bypassing 
> the operating system which is again a wast of money. Quartz (the 
> graphics engine of OSX) is optimized for the hardware and to use the 
> vector unit inside any G4 or G5 processors. As so it should be the 
> natural candidate to implement output rendering.

This is the way how XeTeX works (its extended-DVI to PDF converter 
xdv2pdf, actually) but that currently comes at a price in terms of 
speed, precisely. For example, a document of mine, containing several 
relatively large images (JPEG files), compiles in, say, 15 seconds in 
pdfTeX and more than a minute in XeTeX.

I've got a 17" PowerBook, with graphic card having 64 Mb of RAM. 
Generally, when I compile in XeTeX I can hear the fan functioning, 
whereas with pdfTeX it mostly keeps quiet. So yes, leaving the 
resource-consuming tasks to Quartz would seem like the logical thing to 
do, but one has to be ready for the demands this may set in terms of 
resources; like going for the highest-RAM graphic card, etc.

In any case, from user experience I'm not sure about the real 
optimization inside Quartz: compare for example the relative speeds of 
converting a PS file to PDF using Ghostscript's /usr/local/bin/ps2pdf 
(used for example by TeXShop) and OS X's /usr/bin/pstopdf (used for 
example by Preview.app).

Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not against this philosophy at all, 
I'm indeed a fan of XeTeX and all for using as much elements of the OS 
as possible instead of external additions. But I think this means 
currently slower and less compatible output, not the other way round. 
I'm willing to pay this price (I wouldn't be using a Mac instead of a 
PC otherwise), but other people may not.

>  The best way would be to force pdflatex not to embed fonts (so output 
> is smaller, no font subsetting is necessary and fonts can be loaded 
> once for all in the viewer).

But then forget about the ability to collaborate with people, to send 
PDF files to them, to submit papers electronically. (Exactly what Peter 
Dyballa just wrote, I realize.) Doing that would, I think, just 
alianate the whole academic community to TeX, and this is precisely 
where it comes from.


Bruno Voisin

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