Tinderbox Forum

Solving Tinderbox File Freeze Problem--Mark Bernstein is a Gentleman Genius! Here is a Thank you!

How much do I love Tinderbox? Let me count the ways.

Seriously, I’ve made Tinderbox the primary “toolbox” for my work. I’m totally dependent. With this dependency comes gratitude–for the tool, for this community, and for Mark Berstein–@eastgate (and we can never forget Mark Anderson–@mwra).

I’ve been pushing the edges of the tool as I learn. I’ve found Tinderbox to be extremely forgiving, but there are times I do something that it simply can’t handle and I call Mark for help.

Today, Mark, found a piece of errant action code I had running. Tinderbox was doing exactly what I asked it to do, which was basically to put it into an infinite loop until it ran out of memory and would freeze (aka “float up to the top of the fishbowl”). As they say, “don’t blame the tool, blame the users.”
I inadvertently asked it to produce an ever-growing loop of items in $MySet and to process those items into links. To Tinderbox’s credit, it tried and a lot of times would oblige, but then it would throw up its hands and stay “spot it”.

Here is info i $MySet (which was been produced by the code) I was asking Tinderbox to process (Ugh!).

Zoomed in view:

I did my best to debug it and find the general space in the queue that the file would freeze (the file would freeze 6 notes up in the outline order from where the error was occurring–I figured this out by watching the Agents & Actions process in the inspector), but that’s all I could figure out. I sent my file to Mark and a couple of hours later he graciously suggested that my 8 lines of action code in a note (out of 4,000) was the issue–he was right. I had it fixed in 5 minutes and all is right in the world again. Thank you Mark!!!

Lesson Learned

If you are having a freeze problem, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off automatic agent updates.
  2. Use the Tinderbox inspector to see the note a file is freezing on.
  3. In the outline view, look upstream from that note and look at the rules and edicts, and the value of the attributes called by those actions and edicts to see if there is anything unexpected (if I had done this the answer would have been obvious)-- you can easily do this with Attribute Browser view.
  4. Make necessary adjustments.
  5. Ping the community (the forum, me @satikusala, @mwra–to Mark A’s credit, he suggested the problem was upstream from the note the inspector was freezing on, but I could not find the problem).
  6. Last resort (only because we want him writing the app) ping Mark (he has NEVER let me down).

So that’s it. I’m in love with this tool, this community, and our gentleman genius!


I’m still learning a lot about TBX. I’m grateful for all of the support from the community. Thank you.

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