[tex-live] Why is TeX so slow on Mac OS X?

Hans Hagen pragma at wxs.nl
Mon Jan 31 09:24:35 CET 2005

Gerben Wierda wrote:
> http://www.nslog.org/latex.html has a table. Even with an adapted 
> command (disabling Terminal output which wins you 10 seconds or so on 
> this run):
> time pdflatex source2e.tex >/dev/null
> real 0m17.377s
> user 0m16.100s
> sys 0m0.580s
> This 1.2GHz G4 is slow. A 1.4Ghz Pentium III, 1 GB RAM mit Debian Linux 
> 3.0 clocks in at 7seconds or so.
> Why is TeX so slow? How do I find out what is going on?

normally, on an i386 tex the speed of tex does not differ per operating system 
(in any case, do a couple of runs to make sure that caching is not playing any role)

the only differences i notice are in terminal output (bitmaps, outlines, kind of 
fonts, noflines, etc make a difference)

however, there is one place where speed differs and that is in loading the 
pattern files: a djgpp version crawls when loading patterns compared to a native 
win32 version; so, it looks like the (cross)compiler has done something wrong 
there; could it be that something like that happens on the g4 as well, maybe 
something endian or so being messed up?


                                           Hans Hagen | PRAGMA ADE
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