[ESS] frequent crashes with current cvs-emacs and ess 5.3.3 and R 2.4.0 using ubuntu dapper

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at comcast.net
Thu Dec 14 14:47:26 CET 2006

On Thu, 2006-12-14 at 04:18 +0100, Patrick Drechsler wrote:
> Hi,
> is anybody else suffering from frequent, unreproducible cvs-emacs crashes?
> Here is what I do (using Ubuntu Dapper; Gnome as window manager):
> Open 4-5 emacs sessions with Rnw files on different desktops. Start an R 
> session in each of them. Run Sweave. Sooner or later when switching 
> desktops all of my emacs buffers will vanish. No error, no backtrace, 
> nothing. These emacs sessions are gone.
> I have not found a way to reproduce this error. The only thing I have 
> noticed is that only those Emacs sessions crash (better: disappear) 
> which have a running R session. I am not using any kind of Emacs server 
> (gnuserv, etc).
> Any idea on how to backtrack this error?
> I am using this version of cvs-emacs:
> GNU Emacs (i686-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 2.8.20) of 
> 2006-12-12 on trurl
> And this version of ESS: 5.3.3:
> Included in ~/.emacs.d/init.el via:
> =============
> (load "~/.emacs.d/mysitelisp/ess/ess-5.3.3/lisp/ess-site")
> =============
> Tried both of the following:
> R (build from source): 2.4.0
> R (package for Ubuntu from cran repsitory): 2.4.0
> Patrick

I had periodic crashes using Emacs 22 from CVS with the xft patches
included. This is on FC6, also with ESS 5.3.3.

There seemed to be an association between the use of Firefox and the
unpredictable crashes of Emacs, when switching between virtual desktops.

I am now using Emacs 23, which is alpha, but has the xft patches
included in the mainstream Unicode trunk.  It has been rock solid,
despite it's alpha status.  Some of the ESS font functionality, such as
highlighting/bolding the R command lines works here, where it did not
under 22.

Here is my script to build Emacs 23, if you should decide to try it:

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous at cvs.savannah.gnu.org:/cvsroot/emacs co -r emacs-unicode-2 emacs

# Change to working dir
cd emacs

# Configure
# Setting lisp path to current system-wide location
# This is so that emacs can be run from build directory
# without having to install and overwrite stable version
./configure --enable-locallisppath=/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp --with-gtk --with-xft --enable-font-backend

# Make
make bootstrap
# Return to main script dir
cd ..

Note that I then create a script called emac.xft, and put it into ~/bin:

/home/marcs/.../emacs/src/emacs --enable-font-backend -fn 'Bitstream Vera Sans Mono-12' $@

This enables me to run Emacs 23 from the build directory and just set
the default application to this script for opening text files, rather
than overwriting the current stable version that is installed.

The above set of arguments are required to use the xft antialiasing
functionality, which is different than using Emacs 22.  Hopefully, that
will change at some point.


Marc Schwartz

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