[ESS] [R] CPU usage on Windows

Duncan Murdoch murdoch at stats.uwo.ca
Mon Mar 19 12:09:29 CET 2007

On 3/19/2007 6:21 AM, A.J. Rossini wrote:
> Typical unhelpful comment from Duncan, which has nothing to do with
> the topic except to demonstrate yet again his bigotries.
> Anyway, there is nothing related to DDE with R -- there is with older
> versions of S-PLUS.
> It's strictly an issue with the mis-design of R under Windows, though
> there are reasonable justifications for that mis-design, having to
> deal with a mis-designed OS in the first place.

If you can suggest specific changes (or submit patches) I'll take a 
look, despite my bigotry.  However, it really has been my experience 
that Emacs has problems with R that arise nowhere else.  Since I don't 
use Emacs, debugging these is a huge amount more work for me than I 
consider to be worthwhile.

> All Emacs is doing is waiting for text to be generated by the process
> it's controlling (in this case, the R subprocess).  For all versions
> of R, Emacs/ESS is simply just a text processor; there is nothing
> fancy going on.
> But this is apparently only an issue for ESS and ESS-core to solve, as
> part of R-core supporting Microsoft has decided that it's not their
> bug, it's a feature.

I'm not claiming it's a feature, just that it's not a bug that I am 
going to try to track down.  So yes, it is an issue for ESS and ESS-core 
to solve, if they want to support Windows.  My advice would be not to 
try to do this.  As far as I know, ESS and Emacs are a great solution on 
Unix-based systems, but Windows is not Unix.

> Having said that, I'm not sure when it'll be looked into (resourcing
> issue, not a desire issue).   But we should be looking into it, as
> I've seen the behavour before.

Looks like the same issue on your side, presumably due to your 
anti-Windows bigotry.

Duncan Murdoch

> On 3/19/07, Frede Aakmann Tøgersen <FredeA.Togersen at agrsci.dk> wrote:
>> (cc'ing ESS mailing list to which this belongs)
>> I have been using Emacs, ESS, and R on Windows for several years now. It works all together to allmost full satisfaction. Thanks to all people providing these tools.
>> I haven't noticed this specific problem, but I guess it is related to what I see from time to time when using R, Emacs and ESS to do graphics. I am not really into all the details to how Emacs and R communicates through ESS (using ddeclinet) but here is something that perhaps can provide useful information to more skilled persons.
>> I think it has to do with the way that R og Emacs communicates through ddeclient. Normally Emacs waits for R to finish by looking for the next command prompt from R indicating that R is finished with the commands submitted to R by Emacs/ESS. This means that Emacs can be busy waiting for R to finish which is most noticeable when submitting chunks of commands using e.g. C-c C-r (submit a region). Emacs/ESS then waits for R to finish each command in the region waiting for a signal on a clear command prompt before submitting the next command. This can be overriden by using C-c A-r (A = meta (unix) or Alt (windows)).
>> What I have noticed is that when I have made a plot and R creates the graphics windows. Then R og and the graphics windows from time to time hang (not being updated) when I want to focus on the graphics window (to put in front) subsequently. In this situation it helps to go to the buffer with the inferior ESS process and do a carriage return, which immediately frees the graphics windows and now it is getting updated when put in front.
>> This behaviour which I believe is due to the way that Emacs and R communicates over ddeclient is not persistent and until now I have hesitated to report it because I couldn't provide a small reproducable example. I have noticed this over several versions of Emacs (21.2 - 22.1), ESS (< 5 - 5.4) and Windows 98/NT/XP.
>> Frede Aakmann Tøgersen
>> Forsker / Scientist
>> Det Jordbrugsvidenskabelige Fakultet / Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
>> Forskningscenter Foulum / Research Centre Foulum
>> Genetik og Bioteknologi / Dept. of Genetics and Biotechnology
>> Blichers Allé 20, P.O. BOX 50
>> DK-8830 Tjele
>> Tel:     +45 8999 1900
>> Direct:  +45 8999 1878
>> Mobile:  +45
>> E-mail:  FredeA.Togersen at agrsci.dk <mailto:FredeA.Togersen at agrsci.dk>
>> Web:     www.agrsci.dk <https://djfpost.agrsci.dk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.agrsci.dk/>
>> ________________________________
>> Fra: r-help-bounces at stat.math.ethz.ch på vegne af Duncan Murdoch
>> Sendt: lø 17-03-2007 00:37
>> Til: Jonathan Wang
>> Cc: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
>> Emne: Re: [R] CPU usage on Windows
>> On 3/16/2007 6:56 PM, Jonathan Wang wrote:
>>> I'm using R with emacs & ESS on Windows. When I create a plot, sometimes R
>>> will seem to get stuck in a busy loop, i.e. it will use 100% of my CPU.
>>> However the system is still somewhat responsive, and the problem usually
>>> goes away if I create a new device with windows(). If I then close this
>>> device, making the first device active again, sometimes R will get stuck in
>>> the busy loop again.
>>> Has anybody heard of this behavior, or, better yet, have a solution?
>> I've heard of a number of problems with Emacs on Windows.  I wouldn't
>> recommend using it.  As far as I can see, it makes a number of
>> assumptions about the OS that just aren't true about Windows.
>> If you can reproduce the behaviour outside of Emacs, I'll investigate.
>> Duncan Murdoch
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>> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
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