Frequent intermittent hangs

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kjetil02
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Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-01-19 06:09:57

Hi!

I am, and have been having problems with Nisus Writer Pro (1.4.1) hanging intermittently for anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes, during which it is not at all possible to interact with the program - or so it seems. When the program starts responding again, everything I have done since the program stopped responding happens at once. This usually includes text being marked and deleted, which then requires active use of the undo feature. I'm not worried that this will destroy anything, because it has happened so often and it just seems to be a lag or intermittent hang of some sort. It always starts responding again after some time.

I'm on a MacBook 5,1 with a 2 GHz Core 2 duo and 4 GB ram, so I don't think it's a hardware problem. I use Snow Leopard, version 10.6.6. I am unable to replicate the problem, so at this point I can't say if any other programs are responding while Nisus isn't.

I'm wondering if I am the only one experiencing this problem and if there is anything to do about it.


Edit: I read this thread: http://www.nisus.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 9&start=15 and while I do use footnotes to some extent, not nearly as much as people in that thread, and the problem is not slowness but complete unresponsiveness for some time.

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martin
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by martin » 2011-01-19 14:08:56

Sorry you've been having trouble. I don't have any immediate information for you, but here are some suggestions that may help us debug the problem:

1. As you yourself suggested, check and see if other applications are responsive during these periods. If they aren't, then perhaps it's a system problem.
2. During one of these spells, try to launch Apple's Activity Monitor application. In the listing, select Nisus Writer Pro and then click the "Sample" button. That will generate a report that describes what Nisus Writer is doing, which you can send to us to diagnose the problem.

Hopefully we can get this figured out for you.

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-01-20 04:27:28

Hi Martin, and thank you for your extremely fast response!

I happened to experience one of these spells just now. It lasted for about a minute, and I had Activity monitor open just in case, so I managed to get that sample. It's attached to this post.

Other programs were indeed (and obviously) responsive, although I noticed that active corners didn't work during the spell.

When Nisus started responding again, it did what it usually does when that happens: every trackpad click on text highlights text instead of just moving the cursor. I had to click on the toolbar to get it to return to normal. This time I had two documents open, one on 2 pages and another on 16. No footnotes in either of them.

I just repaired permissions, by the way.


Also, on a different note, fetching references from Bookends using cmd-y when I have multiple documents open (which I often do) very often results in the reference being pasted into the passive document, that is the one which was NOT active when I pressed cmd-y to get to Bookends. I'm sorry if this is not sufficiently clearly written, English is not my mother tongue.

Regards
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martin
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by martin » 2011-01-21 13:38:44

Thanks for getting that sample! Unfortunately I think you may have taken it too late (ie: after the spell had passed), because the sample shows Nisus Writer doing nothing (ie: simply waiting for user events / input), which would not cause the "beach ball" / hang you experienced.

Perhaps you can try again?
Also, on a different note, fetching references from Bookends using cmd-y when I have multiple documents open (which I often do) very often results in the reference being pasted into the passive document, that is the one which was NOT active when I pressed cmd-y to get to Bookends.
Let me make sure I understand the situation: you are switching to Bookends, selecting a citation, and then using the Bookends menu Edit > Copy Selected Citations, which in turn automatically activates Nisus Writer and pastes the citation. Is that correct? If so, that action should always paste the citation into the frontmost document. When the unexpected behavior occurs, which document ends up receiving the pasted citation?
I'm sorry if this is not sufficiently clearly written, English is not my mother tongue.
Don't worry your English is quite good and all is clear!

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-01-24 05:59:57

Thank you for your helpful attitude and your reply! :) I will definitely try taking an Activity Monitor sample again. Today, I've been working with a single, small (4 pages) document open (no footnotes either), and have not yet experienced any hangs.

As for the Bookends issue, I am using the hotkey combination cmd-y which automatically switches to Bookends, I select a citation, and then use the hotkey combination cmd-y again, which in turn automatically activates Nisus Writer and pastes the citation. However, it often pastes the citation in the passive document and not in the topmost AND lastly activated document.

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martin
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by martin » 2011-01-26 16:40:50

kjetil02 wrote:As for the Bookends issue, I am using the hotkey combination cmd-y which automatically switches to Bookends, I select a citation, and then use the hotkey combination cmd-y again, which in turn automatically activates Nisus Writer and pastes the citation. However, it often pastes the citation in the passive document and not in the topmost AND lastly activated document.
I haven't been able to reproduce this problem- the citation is always inserted into the topmost Nisus Writer document. Is there anything else about the situation that might be relevant? Are you using Spaces? Do you have your Nisus Writer windows spread out in different spaces or anything like that?

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-01-28 01:53:08

Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that I am indeed using Spaces, however I habitually always use one space for Nisus documents and another for the Bookends database. Other than that, I think everything is standard. I'll try deactivating Spaces and see what happens.

Again, I'm very happy you actually follow up on this small issue. :)

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-02-14 05:53:22

It seems that deactivating Spaces might have done the trick. Not a single hang since I did that, and it seems switching between Bookends and Nisus is as stable as it should be.

Edit: How ironic. I opened up an old document which had a few footnotes in it, and all of a sudden, Nisus stalled and is still stalling as I write this. I'll be attaching the process sample to this post. If it's of any interest, it stalled when I marked a paragraph of text and tried to delete it. Other programs respond as they normally do, and OS X doesn't tell me that Nisus stopped responding either.
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martin
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by martin » 2011-02-15 12:17:23

Thanks for posting another sample, but as with the other one, it shows Nisus Writer Pro (NWP) doing absolutely nothing, ie: just waiting for user input of some kind (eg: typing). That's likely why OSX doesn't mark that NWP stopped responding, because NWP is still responding to (or at least servicing) events.

After you collected that sample, when you switched back to NWP, was it responding again? If so, I think your sample just missed the period where NWP was unresponsive. If you switched back to NWP after that sample, and it was still unresponsive, then something strange must be going on here. Because that sample shows NWP behaving normally. Let me know, and we'll go from there. Thanks!

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-02-15 13:28:48

Then something strange is going on — i had to force quit and restart the program to get back to work. (To Nisus' credit, this is the first time ever I have had to force quit. I've been using NWP every day for over a year.)

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martin
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by martin » 2011-02-16 16:45:52

Then I have to admit to being somewhat confounded. So to be clear, NWP is unresponsive but isn't listed as such in Apple's "force quit" dialog/listing? Did you see the "beachball" mouse pointer in NWP?

What are some of things you tried when NWP was in this state? Was it just the single document that was unresponsive, or could you work with other files or the menus? If it happens again, perhaps you could try making a new document and typing in that, to see what happens.

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-02-17 06:36:04

martin wrote:Then I have to admit to being somewhat confounded. So to be clear, NWP is unresponsive but isn't listed as such in Apple's "force quit" dialog/listing?
Yes, I suppose this is somewhat confusing. I have seen that others have had issues with footnotes, and this may also be what's causing these irks. I realise that the document I had open had footnotes in it and that I deleted them after doing that force quit. To answer your question, NWP is indeed unresponsive but not listed as such in the Apple "Force quit" listing.
Did you see the "beachball" mouse pointer in NWP?
No, I did not. The pointer was normal, however clicking or otherwise trying to interact with NWP gave no response.
What are some of things you tried when NWP was in this state? Was it just the single document that was unresponsive, or could you work with other files or the menus? If it happens again, perhaps you could try making a new document and typing in that, to see what happens.
I did try to quit NWP, and that didn't work - that's why I had to force quit. I'll try to make a new document if this happens again, though intuition tells me that this will also fail.

I've reopened the document I was working on last time NWP stopped responding, and as of now I'm unable to reproduce the situation. However I have a rising suspicion that there are two things that has been in every document that has been at the root of these situations: comments and footnotes. I have seen that other people have had issues with footnotes and I stopped using them a short while back, just in case that was what was causing my problems. It seems I was onto something, as the first document I opened which had footnotes and comments in it was the one that made NWP crash (or whatever you'd call it).

As I have set autosave to the smallest interval possible, and also back up my files constantly, this is but a nuisance and clearly not a dealbreaker for me. I still love NWP.


I read through this and I think it shows that I don't know what to say or do. I hope I have answered your questions and go by this in a productive fashion. As it is, the spells aren't *that* frequent that I really know extremely well what's causing them and what's not. I know that typing in a document normally — with minimal to no use of styles, comments and footnotes — works the way it should, and that sometimes, especially (it seems) when using footnotes and comments, things just stop. I think. Please let me know if there's anything else I can provide, be it logs or whatever.

Again, thanks. :)

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martin
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by martin » 2011-02-17 12:54:25

Thanks for answering all my questions and being so detailed. Your answers are as productive as they can be, given the strange situation. Unfortunately I still don't have any answers for you. I guess for now just wait until the problem occurs again, and when it does, try and make a new document in NWP and see what happens. Capturing another Activity Monitor sample couldn't hurt either.

Thank you for your efforts!

kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-02-23 02:27:48

Thank you Martin for persisting, although this is an admittedly puzzling issue.

Since our last correspondence I haven't experienced more hangs, although Nisus did crash on me just moments ago. Attached is the crash report (or whatever it's called in English :) ). Since it occurred to me that this might be related, I opted to let you know. I was actually reading while Nisus crashed, i.e. not touching the computer at all.

Also, I was writing on an unsaved document which only had a couple of lines of plain writing in it (Times New Roman, nothing fancy at all).
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kjetil02
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Re: Frequent intermittent hangs

Post by kjetil02 » 2011-04-04 02:07:22

The latest update is what looks like a regular crash. The sample is attached.
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