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Re: Re: How to debug init.m?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg92367] Re: [mg92349] Re: How to debug init.m?
  • From: "Curtis F. Osterhoudt" <cfo at>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 07:07:40 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <gbmps7$i91$>
  • Reply-to: cfo at

> On Sep 27, 8:24 pm, John Fultz <jfu... at> wrote:
>> I agree that Tech Support is being a little onerous here.  Here's a tec=
> hnique
>> which ought to make debugging things much easier...
>> First, with all of your settings in place, evaluate the following...
>> Put[Options[$FrontEnd],
>>   ToFileName[{$HomeDirectory}, "OldSettings.m"]];
>> Then restart the FE with clean preferences.  And evaluate the following=
> ...
>> TestOption[opt_] := (
>>    Print["Testing option ", First[opt]];
>>    Pause[3];
>>    SetOptions[$FrontEnd, opt];
>>    FrontEndTokenExecute["OpenHelpLink"];
>>    Pause[2];
>>    MathLink`CallFrontEnd[
>>     FrontEnd`NotebookClose[FrontEnd`DefaultHelpViewerNotebook[]]]);
>> Scan[TestOption, Get[ToFileName[{$HomeDirectory}, "OldSettings.m"]]];
>> This will iterate through each option one at a time, telling you which
>> on=
> e it's
>> trying.  Presumably, after one of the settings, it will crash.  Just =
> keep an eye
>> on it and see which one it is.  Feel free to reduce the time in the fir=
> st call
>> to Pause[] if you're an attentive and fast reader.
>> Once finished, you can run the following to reset your settings to the
>> wa=
> y they
>> were.
>> SetOptions[$FrontEnd,
>>  Get[ToFileName[{$HomeDirectory}, "OldSettings.m"]]]
>> Or you could send me your init.m file and I can do it for you.
>> Sincerely,
>> John Fultz
>> jfu... at
>> User Interface Group
>> Wolfram Research, Inc.
> Well, I did what John suggested and no luck. The funny thing is that
> after doing the shift-option_start_Mathematica, and running John's
> program, then exiting, the init.m file is exactly what it was before
> deleting the init.m file, but no crash during the running of John's
> program. But I exited Mathematica and restarted and now with the
> "rebuilt" init.m file from John's program, it crashes like it always
> has.
> I am suspecting that it is some combination of the lines in the init.m
> file, not just a single one. But the puzzling thing is why does it not
> crash after completing all the steps in John's program?  I looked at
> the init.m file after John's program ran and it is the same before
> exiting Mathematica as it is when starting Mathematica and it
> crashing. So there seems to be something extra that happens during
> startup that is not done when running this program like this.
> One other tidbit that seems odd -- if I delete the init.m file
> entirely and startup Mathematica I get two errors (same thing repeated
> twice) about
> ToExpression::notstrbox:
>    FEPrivate`FrontEndResourceString[GetFEKernelInit]
>      is not a string or a box. ToExpression can only interpret strings
> or
>      boxes as Mathematica input.
> Is this pertinent? They go away with the problematic init.m file in
> place. I don't recall ever seeing this error before. I do have a
> couple of kernel configurations in the problematic init.m file, but
> with deleting the init.m file, they are gone, so not sure why this
> error would be here, as with the empty init.m file there are none
> listed than the default "Local" and there does not seem to be anything
> bogus there (only thing set is "Kernel name" of "Local",
> "Automatically launch on front end startup" is checked, and "Basic
> Options" has "Local Machine" set and "Kernel program:" set to
> "MathKernel", and all other boxes are unchecked).
> Any other suggestions? -- nevermind -- Well, I think I have figured it
> out partly. The problem seems to occur even without my init.m file
> (just removed it entirely) and then start up Mathematica, then open
> the Option Inspector and set the "View" to "as text" (default is
> "alphabetically"), then open the Documentation Center and the
> "Internal self-test error" pops up but no crash. Will now give this
> info to Wolfram and see if they can tell me why that it would matter
> what mode Option Inspector was running in. Would people try this out
> and see if you also get an "Internal self-test" error or a crash?? If
> you do please let me know and I will pass this along to Wolfram as
> well.
> Thanks everyone -- will let you know what I find out from Wolfram. And
> thanks very much to John Fultz -- without his program would not have
> wandered into the real clue. One minor change I did make to his
> program was to print a number in addition to the option so I could
> quickly read the screen and know where it would crash, even though it
> never did. Here is the revised program if anyone is interested...
> ii = 1;
> TestOption[opt_] := (Print["Option #", ii, " -- Testing option ",
> First[opt]];
>    ii = ii + 1;
>    Pause[1];
>    SetOptions[$FrontEnd, opt];
>    FrontEndTokenExecute["OpenHelpLink"];
>    Pause[1];
>    MathLink`CallFrontEnd[
>     FrontEnd`NotebookClose[FrontEnd`DefaultHelpViewerNotebook[]]]);
> Scan[TestOption, Get[ToFileName[{$HomeDirectory}, "Old-init.m"]]];
> By the way, the 217 line init.m file ended up being 38 different
> options, so obviously several lines were needed for some options.
> -Bob

  Hi, Bob,

   I've just tried what you suggested (Option Inspector -> View as Text,
then Documentation Center open). Instant crash. This is with v. 6.0.3
in a Windows XP SP3 installation.

             -- Curtis O.

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