MathGroup Archive 1992

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Front-end sluggishness

  • To: Mathematica user's group <MathGroup at>
  • Subject: Front-end sluggishness
  • From: Robby Villegas <Villegas at knox.bitnet>
  • Date: Tuesday, February 18, 1992

     I have recently encountered a state of Mathematica on the NeXT in which
the front-end becomes intolerably slow.  When typing, each _character_ takes a
couple seconds to be displayed, and relocating the cursor can take ten to
fifteen seconds.  Summoning a menu takes up to twenty seconds, and saving the
file is delayed by ten to twenty seconds.  Even the smallest operations of the
front-end incur a tremendous delay, and during the pauses, the mouse-pointer
becomes the familiar spinning disk.

     I will try to list the parts of this session's history that could be
relevant.  For one thing, I had been executing and re-executing a large
program because I was making changes and debugging.  Two or three times I used
the menu command "Quit/Disconnect Kernel" from the Action menu, Kernels
submenu, and then restarted the Local kernel as the Current kernel using these
menus, so that I could enter the program with a clean slate.  The program
generated a lot of Graphics3D objects with PostScript pictures, so when
Mathematica began to use virtual memory, I purged all the PostScript cells
using the Find dialog box.  It may be coincidence, but it seemed that after
this the front-end went into sloth mode.

     Does anyone know what the cause of this problem is, and how to rescue a
session from this state?

                                        Robby Villegas
                                        Knox College
                                        E-mail:  Villegas at Knox.Bitnet

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