[pdftex] TeX as a composition server?

Peter Davis pfd at pfdstudio.com
Sun Oct 24 10:10:02 CEST 2010

Wow!  Thank you all for the wealth of information about TeX and its various
diaLeXts.  So the good news is that with care, I should be able to get the
kind of throughput (thousands of pages per minute - kppm?) I'm looking for.
 Sounds like I may have conflicting requirements in having to support the
common desktop font formats and having to support hz-program style glyph
scaling in DVI output.

I'm not interested in producing e-books, HTML or XML output, or single-word
images.  I want to be able to produce whole document pages at a time, either
in PostScript/PDF or JPEG/PNG/GIF format.

What I was thinking of was writing some wrapper code around a TeX engine
that would do the composition for me.  The wrapper code would take page and
style parameters (page size, printable area, etc.) and XML for the contents.
 I could turn the XML into TeX mark up, feed that to the TeX engine, and
then interpret the resulting DVI to incorporate into finished pages.  I was
thinking that I could invoke the TeX engine separately for each "box" of
text on the page, and the results would then also be composed with other
image data, placed PDF content, etc.  This whole package, including my
wrapper code and the TeX engine, would be my "server" ... basically just a
body of code I could call to compose a page at a time.  I'm happy to learn
as much TeX as it takes to do this successfully.

So, this has given me a lot more to look into: CONTeXT, LuaTeX, XeTeX,
pdfTeX, etc.

Thank you!

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