[ESS] Interactive SAS mode hangs

Sparapani, Rodney rsparapa at mcw.edu
Tue Sep 1 14:48:26 CEST 2015

> Hi all,
> I'm working on a Linux machine (not sure what distribution) using emacs 23.1-28.el6.x86_64 and ESS
> version 15.03.

Although, we support 23.x, I suspect you might have better luck with 24.3+

> I'm used to working in SAS interactively in ESS (i.e. by sending M-x SAS and then executing code chunks one at
> a time). I'd been working on a much older version of ESS, but my system is in the process of being upgraded and
> I'm testing ESS on the new machine. Right now R seems to work fine, but when I try to execute (much) SAS code
> inside ESS, it crashes emacs badly and can only be killed via the command line. Sometimes the crash
> involves very strange cycling of the cursor image through various possible cursor images (an arrow, two
> balls, arrows specific to window resizing).
> Questions: Any idea what could be the problem? What other information would you need to be able to help
> diagnose it?

Well, obviously, using ESS should not crash emacs.  You could try the usual
diagnostics, i.e. starting emacs with -q, (setq debug-on-error t), then 
loading ESS and see if a *backtrace* is generated.
> Details of the crashing:
> - Trying to define a new data step crashes.
> - libname statements do not crash.
> - Trying to read data from a set inside a successfully defined library causes a crash.
> - Using proc contents on such a dataset also crashes.
> - Macro %put statements do not crash.
> Sample code:
> %put I read the first line; *this works -- prints to the log;
> libname temp '/my/path/here'; *this works too -- gives me a "successfully defined" message;
> data temp2; *causes a hard crash with weird cursor behavior;
>     set temp.temp1;
> run;
> data temp3; *causes a hard crash;
>     infile datalines dsd;
>     input id name $;
>     datalines;
>     1,Fred
>     2,Joni
>     3,Cara
>     4,Mick
> ;
> run;
> proc contents data=temp.temp1 order=varnum; *crashes but without the weird cursor stuff;
> run;
> Erin Jonaitis  |  Biostatistician

I just tried this example and it did not crash emacs for me.  Instead of
M-x SAS, you can try M-x ess-sas-interactive; it is not a replacement for
M-x SAS, but it might help you diagnose the problem you are having.

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