[tex-live] running programs from texlive tlc2

Tigran Aivazian tigran at aivazian.fsnet.co.uk
Thu Dec 9 11:50:41 CET 2004

On Wed, 8 Dec 2004, Sebastian Rahtz wrote:

> Tigran Aivazian wrote:
>> I have seen some reasonably complex books typeset in LaTeX which can take 
>> about a month of computer time to be processed under Windows Xp on a 2GHz 
>> with 1G RAM machine and took only a few hours on a Linux Celeron 600MHz 
>> with 256M RAM.
> I can't imagine what your books are like. I have been typesetting books for 
> 20 years using LaTeX and I can't recall a LaTeX run for more than
> an hour. I count 10 minutes these days as a really big TeX job.

books with Hebrew or/and "interlinear" (bilingual) layout do take an awful 
long time to typeset. My Hebrew OT takes 1 hour to process on Celeron 
600MHz 256M RAM but only 9.5 minutes on x86_64 2x4GHz 1G RAM (using 
natice 64bit binaries).

>> So, the Windows OS can make things tens if not hundreds of times slower
> I find that a fairly extraordinary claim. What do you suggest the operating 
> system may be doing
> to hold up the processor, the disk, and the memory by that much? I have to 
> assume that your LaTeX job
> which takes so long is "computing", rather gthen vast amounts of disk access

actually, there was a tiny little "white" lie in there :)

i.e. in reality, it was a _combination_ of several factors. Someone 
(Victor Zhuromsky) complained that his Interlinear Russian-Greek NT takes 
about a month to do all three passes on a reasonably fast Windows machine 
(the one I mentioned). He asked me to have a look. I tried his sources on 
my very very slow Celeron 600MHz 256M RAM and it was painfully slow but 
the progress it was making I estimated the completion at about 3-3.5 
hours, which was still a lot better than Windows.

Then I had a look at his sources and noticed that he is not making any 
paragraphs but only explicit line breaks \\ and manual indentation to 
simulate paragraphs (which makes TeX very slow). So I fixed this and the 
resulting sources passed all three passes (it has to pass three times in 
his case) within a matter of an hour or so.

So, the above story I "averaged" as "1 month -> 1 hour" conversion, 
skipping some details :)

Kind regards

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