[tex-live] Making TeX run faster

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Thu Mar 11 18:40:00 CET 2004

Fabrice Popineau <Fabrice.Popineau at supelec.fr> writes today:

>> I also tried the icc compiler a while ago. It has been disastrous: tex
>> could eventually compile but was crashing and so was xemacs.

Version 8.0 of Intel's C/C++/Fortran compilers has been pretty decent.
Although I have found bugs, and submitted a score of bug reports to
Intel, the bugs are getting fixed, and new releases are issued about
every two weeks.  I've built a large number of GNU and non-GNU
packages with these compilers, and have been pretty happy with them.
They are the ONLY ones on Unix systems that claim full conformance to
both the ISO 1998 C++ Standard and the ISO 1999 C Standard.

>> ...
>> I wanted to keep the best optimization flags for
>> cl/win32, so I had to find (by dichotomy) which of those functions made
>> the trip test fail. I turned optimization off for those functions and the
>> result was ok. I don't do this anymore because MS cl compiler has
>> stabilized and the trip test passes with full optimization turned on.
>> ...

For a package as big as TeX, and as many platforms as I need to
support, such experimentation is infeasible.  Although we have trip
for TeX, and trap for Metafont, we have no test suite at all for any
of the other tools, which is a decidedly unsatisfactory situation that
ultimately must be remedied.  There are so many places where things
can go wrong: compilers, libraries, O/S kernels, interrupt handlers,
device drivers, networks, .... , that no software should ever be
trusted until it has been demonstrated to pass an extensive torture
test suite at its end-user site.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe  -

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