[tug-summer-of-code] Parallel and daemon extensions to TeX
jfine at pytex.org
Sun Mar 8 08:17:51 CET 2009
Karl Berry wrote:
> I also have an idea to propose. In short, the idea is parallel
> version of TeX. My plan is to use OpenMP for parallelization. It
> should make TeX run faster without much more complication in the
> code base. Please give me some thoughts.
> The basic TeX code is monolithic and relies almost entirely on global
> variables. There have been some discussions of parallelizing certain
> small parts of the code, such as the output routine, but even this is
> fraught with extreme difficulty. I am not sure what can be usefully
I agree with Karl's assessment, and have another comment.
Multi-processor machines can make a speed up on processes that can be
pipelined. For example, XeTeX sets up separate processes for
typesetting (source to xdv = extended dvi) and generating PDF.
But here's another suggestion you might like. MathTran runs TeX as a
daemon, by using pipes on Unix/Linux. This has problems, and does not
work on Windows. How about writing a patch that extends TeX so that it
can run as a daemon on Windows.
This would require you to learn Pascal/C programming skills and obtain
some familiarity with the source of TeX, if you don't have these already.
> Also, in terms of doing this as a student, the people whom I can think
> that would be suitable mentors have said they unfortunately don't have
> time to mentor anything this year.
This is a problem. Although I am very keen to see this happen, I'm not
sure that this is something I'd be able to mentor.
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