[R-SIG-Mac] Spinning wheel when running script

Rick Johnson rick at hearbirds.com
Thu Jul 28 18:42:36 CEST 2011

Thank you David and Simon for quick responses. I was hoping that I might have made some usage error that you had seen before.  looks like I will have to dig deeper.

This is not a big job - yet.  I am just starting with simple intro lines:  library function, setting some file path names, and setting color scheme variables.  Code that works fine in my windows R project. No loops in my code, but there might be in the package functions. Not the point when I would go for a cup of coffee.

Plenty of memory.  Activity monitor shows maybe 63MB for R64 app and over 5 G free. R64 uses 45% of cpu.

Esc and R console stop button do not interrupt the process - consistent with  what Simon wrote: "Spinning wheel means that R has entered C code that is not interruptible."  The activity monitor says "not responding".  I have to kill it with the activity monitor.  Then the system produces a forced quit problem details report which I can mail if that is of any use.  It describes the event as "hang".

I am using the text editor that comes with the r.app gui.  I wasn't aware of Rstudio and will see if I have better success with that. 

My intuition is that the r app gui is having problems with multi line paste of script, but your comments point to some error in the user code.

My script is simple, but it occurs to me that one of the packages might be a potential problem source.  I'll try testing them one at a time and see if that pinpoints a problem. And, I'll let you know if I make progress.  thanks


On Jul 28, 2011, at 7:17 AM, David Winsemius wrote:

> On Jul 28, 2011, at 8:32 AM, Rick Johnson wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I am new to Mac OS having moved off Windows PCs, and I am struggling to figure out how to use R project on the Mac. Often when I enter script into the console, R goes off into a never ending “Not responding” state – the spinning wheel symbol shows.
>> My usual pattern is that I develop R script in the editor, and then copy the lines I want to run, and paste them into the R Console window. On Mac it sometimes works and other times leads to the spinning wheel. I also have tried using the CMD-Return combination to run the lines with the same results.
> There are various reasons:
> 1) Big job  .. takes time. 5-10 minutes for some of mine. I even have ones that take 45 minutes to an hour.
> 2) variant of 1) Physical memory  exhausted, virtual memory being used, performance becomes 10-20 times slower.
> In that instance it is useful to open the Activity Monitor.app in your /Applications/Utilities folder. I keep it on my Dock, where it displays memory availablity. I then know if virtual memory is getting accessed and can then go get another cup of coffee.
> 3) Program bug, enters loop, lost connection with your OS, refuses to respond to <esc> or Stop button,  needs to have "Force Quit" from the Finder.
>> Is there a different recommended way to develop, test, and run scripts on the Mac version?
> Most of the cognoscenti seem to use emacs and Sweave/LaTex, although there are other smart  people using Eclipse and an increasing number using RStudio. Both of the first failed , in the first case (emacs) due to my inability to adapt to the new keystrokes and getting stuck in buffers that I could not exit,  and in the case of Eclise/StatET due to inadequate directions to support installation. (I do read manuals and follow directions reasonably well but they need to have _all_ the steps and at least when StatET was being rolled out, there were definitely missing steps. I am a Unix-weenie, so some steps that would seem second nature to the *Nixerati are not in my repertoire. It is useful to have some Unix commands like locate, ls, and cd, and it is very useful to discover that dragging files to the Terminal.app command line will auto-compose a full file-path spec. )  Rstudio looks nice except Simon and Hans-Peter have continued to improve the R-GUI and I like it.  I regularly save a console transcript, edit out the errors and also same my useful work to text files or to spreadsheet. The RGUI for the Mac allows  you to do your editing in separate files now with an auto-save option that is very handy. You can select and hit cmd-return and get transfer to and immediate execution in the Console.
> Now, if I do need to force quit, at least I recover my code that has been saved in another place.
> -- 
> David.
>> Is the latest Mac OS release a beta release; should I be using an older version?
>> Thanks for any advice on how to proceed.
>> Rick Johnson
>> My software:
>> Mac OS X, 10.6.8
>> R version 2.13.1 (2011-07-08)
>> Platform: x86_64-apple-darwin9.8.0/x86_64 (64-bit)
>> [R.app GUI 1.41 (5874) x86_64-apple-darwin9.8.0]
>> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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> David Winsemius, MD
> West Hartford, CT

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