[ESS] A bad help request
Dr. Michael L. Dowling
Mike.Dowling at t-online.de
Sat May 16 17:04:46 CEST 2015
Hello ESS mailing list!
I'm afraid that this will be a very poor help request as I simply was
not methodical enough to record exactly what I did and where. I would
fully understand if nobody can respond.
I have been using emacs now for decades and ESS for about 10 years. I
use Arch Linux. Towards the end of April emacs-24.5 was released. When
I started emacs, it behaved as though it just stopped in the middle of
loading, and could only be stopped with a "kill -9" on the emacs
process. I eventually realised that ESS was the culprit; comment it out
of my .emacs file, and everything was fine, except that I could not use
Now, I work in Hamburg, where I have no Internet, but return to my flat
in Braunschweig during the weekends. I decided to look into this in
Hamburg. But to my immense surprise, it worked just fine in Hamburg.
But my Hamburg PC is an identical copy on the Braunschweig PC; even the
same hardware. They are mutual backups of one another.
Back in Braunschweig, I turned off my router, and bingo, emacs started
normally. Keep the router on but turn off my firewall, emacs starts as
it should. Then I realised that emacs was not dead, but instead was
trying communicate via the Internet and was being stalled with time-outs
resulting from the firewall. Wait long enough, and emacs would start.
This is odd! Everything I would ever want to do on the Internet is
permitted. Things like initiating a TCP connection from outside are
not, with the exception of passive FTP which is permitted.
I have since updated my ESS package. However, initially also suspected
the icicles package, so I upgraded that as well. Then everything worked
as it should, here in Braunschweig with the Internet and firewall. But
not in Hamburg. These I had to create a sub-directory of ess/etc/ESSR,
I forget which.
What I suspect is that ESS tries to check with the repository perhaps
with a view to automatically updating (which would not work as with me
ESS is centrally installed by root). But that would be permitted by my
firewall! Why does ESS behave differently with and without Internet
Personally, I like to know when software connects to the Internet and
would like to give my explicit consent to it happening. Is this
configurable in the ~/.emacs file?
Sorry if this is too vague; I was not very professional with my
activities to document them properly. I thought I could remember
exactly what I did in Hamburg and what I did in Braunschweig, and so
construct a report. In the end, my memory lapsed. All the same, if
anybody has any suggestions, I would appreciate them.
Dr. Michael L. Dowling
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