[XeTeX] XeTeX 0.99 released

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Wed Dec 7 00:33:18 CET 2005

On 6 Dec 2005, at 11:25 pm, Stephen Moye wrote:
>> I can understand a somewhat slower startup, perhaps, if you have  
>> very large numbers of fonts installed; how many does Font Book  
>> report? Still, I wouldn't have thought it should be that bad.
> I am now working on my computer at home and everything is fine and  
> working as expected. I have recently been required to install  
> Norton AntiVirus at work. It seems to slow just about everything  
> down -- I will run a few tests tomorrow to see if, as I suspect,  
> this is the culprit.

That's very suspicious. I haven't touched NAV in years, partly  
because of such negative experiences with it in much earlier versions.

During startup (actually, the first time you ask it to load a non-TFM- 
based font), XeTeX actually accesses every font you have installed in  
your system; it has to do this in order to deal with things like the / 
B and /I modifiers, and especially optical sizing. (It can't know  
which fonts are part of an "optical family" without actually reading  
some of the tables.) I suspect NAV is intercepting all these accesses  
and that's costing a lot of time.

A possible future optimization may help by caching some of this  
information, and detecting whether the font configuration has changed  
since the last run.... though this is complicated by the fact that if  
you use any legacy TeX fonts, xdv2pdf has to "activate" these in  
order to render them through Quartz. But it's something I'm thinking  


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