[texhax] [e]tex -ipc and -ipc-start

Tom Rokicki rokicki at gmail.com
Wed Sep 5 09:48:05 CEST 2007

This is all ancient stuff.  In the days of the Amiga and the NeXT,
computers were slow enough where sometimes you had to
wait for TeX to finish typesetting your document before you
could view it.  I added some small hooks into TeX so that
information about each page being completed was sent out
a pipe to an external viewer, so you could (for instance) preview
the typeset content of page 49 while TeX continued working
on your 350 page document.

These days TeX will typeset that 350 page document before
your windowing system can even pop a window to the top of
the stack, so this functionality will probably remain in the
dustbin of history.

For your pipe, make TeX write a full dvi file and then just work
from there.  Disk is cheap and it's a much more straightforward

On 9/4/07, Jay F Shachter <jay at m5.chicago.il.us> wrote:
> I'm trying to figure out how to use -ipc and -ipc-start (the ultimate
> goal is to invoke tex in a pipeline whose output will be sent to a
> printer).  According to the official TeX documention, this is what the
> -ipc and -ipc-start options do:
>     4.5 IPC and TeX
>     ===============
>     (Sorry, but I'm not going to write this unless someone actually uses
>     this feature. Let me know.)
>       This functionality is available only if the `--enable-ipc' option was
>     specified to `configure' during installation of Web2c (*note
>     Installation::).
>       If you define `IPC_DEBUG' before compilation (e.g., with `make
>     XCFLAGS=-DIPC_DEBUG'), TeX will print messages to standard error about
>     its socket operations.  This may be helpful if you are, well, debugging.
> Can you please send me, or direct me to, something more useful than
> the above?  Thank you in advance.
>                         Jay F. Shachter
>                         6424 N Whipple St
>                         Chicago IL  60645-4111
>                                 (1-773)7613784
>                                 jay at m5.chicago.il.us
>                                 http://m5.chicago.il.us
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