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bug#8065: Nexstep/Cocoa Emacs 23.2 hangs randomly on OSX

From: Jonathan Rogers
Subject: bug#8065: Nexstep/Cocoa Emacs 23.2 hangs randomly on OSX
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 13:34:08 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101207 Lightning/1.0b2 Thunderbird/3.1.7

I use GNU Emacs 23.2.1 (x86_64-apple-darwin10.6.0, NS apple-appkit-1038.35) built by the Macports package emacs-app @23.2.

All Emacs frames frequently becomes unresponsive and no commands can be executed. Cursors appear as hollow boxes as if the window is unfocused. Any click on a frame generates an OSX beep noise. C-g and all other keypresses are totally ignored.

Strangely, the menus continue to open and commands can be selected, though they mostly have no effect. The only menu commands that seem to have any effect are the Emacs -> Hide Emacs and Emacs -> Hide Others commands. This would seem to indicate that though some part of the Nextstep GUI is still working, the main Emacs loop is not or it has become disconnected from the GUI.

In this state, Emacs takes very little CPU time. The only way I can cause Emacs to end when it's in this state is to use OSX's "Force quit" or Unix command like kill or pkill.

Though I find Emacs in this state frequently, it's triggered very intermittently and I haven't determined a clear pattern. Sometimes, I can use it with no hangs for several hours, but it generally happens at least once a day.

It may be related to switching between Emacs and other applications or running subprocesses. I have encountered it several times when running a command in Magit, which runs git as a subprocess, but the same commands usually succeed. Other sub-processes, such as Bash and ack seem to have no trouble.
Jonathan Ross Rogers

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