[XeTeX] Xetex TexLife and fc-cache

Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster, Ret'd) P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Wed Aug 10 10:18:01 CEST 2011

Nicolás Hatcher wrote:
> Hi All (again):
> It seems I was guessing too much. Perhaps my problem is not fc-cache.
> What happens is that with any new day the first xelatex run is extremely slow.
> Could be 5 minutes before pass the line
> This is XeTeX, Version ...
> I am doing a system that produces pdf documents on demand from a website. I cannot ask the user to wait "sometimes" 5 minutes.
> I know is not fc-cache because I substituted it with a dummy file and the problem is still there.
> What does XeTeX before launching?
> Any pointers to the source code so I can investigate myself?

I see the same symptoms myself on a regular basis, but
not having clients to satisfy, it has never worried me.

> Would the same problem arise on MiKTeX?

You are not comparing like with like.  XeTeX is a program,
based on the original TeX program from Donald Knuth, but
re-written and considerably extended, particularly in the
field of Unicode support and file handling.  MikTeX is
a distribution, which contains TeX and many other programs,
probably including XeTeX ('though I have no first-hand
experience to support this latter statement).  If you
do not need the power of XeTeX, and do not need (for
example), support for Unicode and for system fonts,
then TeX may be all that you need, and it will not have
that same startup delay; but the delay will be (more or
less) the same for any one given program (TeX, XeTeX,
LuaTeX, whatever) regardless of the distribution
(MikTeX, TeX Live, PC TeX, Y&Y TeX, whatever).

Philip Taylor

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