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Re: LilyPond web service

From: Bertalan Fodor (LilyPondTool)
Subject: Re: LilyPond web service
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2009 21:11:09 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090812)

Just a heads up for those who are thinking about hosting part of the distributed LilyPond server vision.
I created a Java servlet based service for LilyPond for the purposes of Google Wave.
It runs on a virtual private server with 256MB RAM (running Ubuntu Linux, Tomcat, a database and nothing more), and performs quite well for the simple tasks. Some important points though:
- it allows only one LilyPond processing request at one time, so a queue is created. I tested it with parallel processes but they killed the server (the memory was not enough)
- one LilyPond process can get at most 15sec of CPU time, and 32MB physical and 64MB virtual memory. This must be more fine tuning, including the LILYPOND_GC_YIELD setting, as this doesn't allow long parts to be compiled.
- LilyPond runs in jail mode, which is very good

The installation of the service is very easy, the hard part is actually setting up the jail mode for LilyPond, GhostScript and ImageMagick. So good instructions will be created for this.

Valentin Villenave wrote:
2009/10/12 Harmath Dénes <address@hidden>:
However, for it to work, of course, a web service is needed which takes
LilyPond code as its GET argument, renders it with LilyPond (safe or jail
mode of course), and returns the result as cropped PNG image. (Multiple
servers can be configured for load distribution.) Is there an official
LilyPond web service somewhere online like this (similar to for Guido)?

The only LilyPond server at this point is the LilyPond Snippet
Repository at Milano University. But it tends to go down as soon as
several people use it at the same time :-)

A few other servers were installed, particularly for LilyPond web
plugins such as the Wordpress, the MediaWiki or the Spip plugins. I
also began installing LilyPond on a dedicated server for the LilyNet
website, but it's not nearly powerful enough. LilyPond requires a
*lot* of resources.

If not, I strongly propose setting up a server for this purpose. I already
implemented this HTTP service. It needs only PHP, LilyPond and ImageMagick
installed. Could you host this service? Until Google Wave gets more
widespread adoptance, users could benefit from it already with just a
minimalistic form-based web interface.

The LilyPond community unfortunately doesn't have the resources to
host such a service, however interesting it may be. We're already
sponsored for our bandwidth and web resources, but that's about all we
can get.

However, if you do develop a convenient web-application and set up an
experimental web-server, there's little doubt that many LilyPonders
will follow you and try to help you with regard to the hosting server.
But right now, it's kind of a long shot ;-)


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