[pdftex] TeX as a composition server?

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Mon Oct 25 22:27:11 CEST 2010

Hi James,

Sent from my iPad

On 26/10/2010, at 6:59 AM, James Quirk <jjq at galcit.caltech.edu> wrote:

> Ross,
>> Why write it into a long file?
> One reason is that the timing will then include
> the overhead of reading the file, which will be
> missing with your approach. And as that overhead
> would be present for a real application, 
> it really ought to be their in the timeing test.

True, if that is what he wants.

My ... Blah blah ... could contain \input lines.
By providing the loop in TeX, he can explore with all kinds of things to get an idea of the timings for different tasks. As well as file I/O there is page-composition, headers & footers, indexing, etc. which can all be varied and tested.

 In the actual situation, these may be able to be optimized by different kinds of technique, for best performance. You want to make the actual looping aspect as innocuous as possible, yet retain flexibility to be able to test other things.

It is precisely this kind of thing that makes TeX continue to be relevant. 
Workflows can be stitched together, as you have done with AMRITA, taking data from whatever source and producing a high-quality, feature enriched, representation within a PDF document which is accessible to everyone (through commercially produced, but still essentially free, readers.

Personally, I do not see any part of TeX that needs to be deprecated.
Rather, it is an ever-expanding suite of software, much of it being developed to be able to prepare documents for the ever-expanding realms of display devices and software techniques appearing on the market, over which there is no real control whatsoever --- and neither should there be. (They will live and die on their merits.)   

> James



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