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Re: Dynamic Timeout

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg83571] Re: [mg83480] Dynamic Timeout
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2007 05:32:21 -0500 (EST)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

I just posted a response to another user with a similar, and fortunately, more 
soluble problem than what you're dealing with.  In the case of Button[], the
same problem does arise, but it would be trivially resolvable by setting the
Method->"Queued" option.  Clearly, ActionMenu ought to have a similar Method
option.  In version 6, it does not, but it's certainly on our radar for future 

You can work around it by wrapping an EventHandler[] around your ActionMenu[] 
which resets the DynamicEvaluationTimeout.  The below example is not elegant and 
does not restore the DynamicEvaluationTimeout, but it gives you an idea of how 
to proceed.

  "menu", {"file" :> 
    Print[SystemDialogInput["FileOpen"]]}], {"MouseDown" :> 
   SetOptions[$FrontEnd, DynamicEvaluationTimeout -> 1000]}, 
 PassEventsDown -> True]

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Wed, 21 Nov 2007 02:56:41 -0500 (EST), thomas wrote:
> Hello Mathgroup,
> I have created my own custom Toolbar (DockedCell) with some shortcuts
> and buttons that I frequently use. One of the items in the toolbar is
> an ActionMenu which contains calls to some of my own functions. In one
> of these functions, SystemDialogInput[] is called, with which I can
> select a subdirectory on my hard drive.
> ActionMenu is implemented as a Dynamic[] object in Mathematica;
> therefore, whatever action is triggered by choosing  one of the
> entries, is subject to the Timeout "feature" of Dynamic[] evaluations.
> That means that if I am not fast enough when picking my directory,
> nothing will happen, since the call has timed out. Setting the option
> SynchronousUpdating->False does not help.
> What does help is to increase the Timeout-time by setting
> SetOptions[$FrontEnd,DynamicEvaluationTimeout->10000] or some other
> high number.
> My problem is: I do not usually want the timeout to be that large, the
> normal setting of 5 or 6 seconds is quite reasonable. What I can do,
> then, is to automatically re-set DynamicEvaluationTimeout to 6 at the
> end of the function - that works. What does NOT work, however, is to
> set it to 10000 at the beginning of the function. (Actually, it does
> work, but it does not take effect yet for the currently evaluating
> Dynamic[] within which it was set to 10000.)
> So, the question is: how do I avoid the timeout in this case, without
> generally increasing the timeout time?
> thomas
> p.s. A very easy work-around is to call my function with the help of a
> button, instead of using an action menu. This avoids "Dynamic" and the
> problem doesn't even show up. Nevertheless, I think it should be
> possible to do such things from within an action menu (or from within
> other dynamic constructs)

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