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

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Thu Sep 6 16:38:11 CEST 2007

On Sep 5, 2007, at 3:48 AM, Tom Rokicki wrote:

> This is all ancient stuff.

But _very_ cool, and a wonderful bit of tech which saved me (and lots  
of others) _lots_ of time.

> 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.

I believe it's still useful / used (see Oleg's answer for specifics),  

> 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
> solution.

Yes, but some people do mailings &c. which're tens or even hundreds  
of thousands of pages (think address labels) --- being able to start  
the printing before the job is finished spooling can save _lots_ of  


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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