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Re: LilyPond is excessively slow on Windows Vista

From: Mats Bengtsson
Subject: Re: LilyPond is excessively slow on Windows Vista
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:43:28 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070716)

Perhaps it's worth investigating if it's a problem that has come back in the most recent development versions or if the solution in version 2.11.43-2 only helped for some users.

Could any of you seeing this problem try to install version 2.11.43-2 from
and see if it has the same problems. It's probably a good idea to remove all files related
to the font cache first, so they don't interfere with the result.

Also, could you confirm if you run with full administrator privileges or as an ordinary user?


Jonathan Kulp wrote:
Han-Wen Nienhuys wrote:
On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 9:19 AM, Trevor Daniels <address@hidden> wrote:

Trevor is correct.  Every instance of lilypond slowness was caused by
fontconfig caches.  The problem is that there are a bazillion of
windows versions; I'm not talking about XP vs. Vista but rather
distinctions in minor version numbers, and perhaps changes that vendor
do on top of that.  For some versions, the fontconfig cache ends up
not getting written (permission problems?) or getting recreated all
the time.

Once LilyPond has the font caches computed correctly, running times
should differ little between windows, linux and mac.

The problem is that the problem is often hard to diagnose and
reproduce without having the afflicted machine at hand.  In general,
my takeaway from it is that shipping software on top of Windows is a
religious experience. You can never be sure that it works, so you have
to pray a lot.

Ok I just booted back into Vista and checked the fontconfig cache's time and date stamp, then ran my test lilypond file. The fontconfig cache was rebuilt. The date/time stamp changed to today's date and time. I ran the file again, the cache was rebuilt again. First time took about 90 seconds, second time 70 seconds. On my son's laptop (a Dell that's about 4 years old) there's a partition with XP and it ran the test file in about 10 seconds, which is still slower than the 2-3 seconds it takes under Ubuntu Linux on the same laptop.

So, is there a way to tell the machine where the fontconfig cache file is so that it doesn't create a new one every time? I'll be glad to keep testing this but only about once a day. It's too painful to be in Vista for more than a couple of minutes at a time. In three minutes I got five warnings about my system and it wasn't even connected to the internet...


        Mats Bengtsson
        Signal Processing
        School of Electrical Engineering
        Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
        SE-100 44  STOCKHOLM
        Phone: (+46) 8 790 8463                         
       Fax:   (+46) 8 790 7260
        Email: address@hidden

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