Thank you for your post.
Although my main machine has OS X 10.5.6, I have access to another machine with OS X 10.4.11. Using FileMaker Pro 9.0v3, I was unable to make a database file crash or get the database to freeze when deleting any field (text, number, date... with or without global storage).
If you would like me to look at your file, please follow the instructions in the private message (top of this page - right side - just below the blue bar - X Messages).
This seems a known issue that was solved with 10.
One of the Set variable script steps has a calculation where a function and its parenthesis are separated by a blank.
Function ( parameters )
Function( parameters )
This sometimes causes what you describe. Very annoying, but again, fixed with 10.
Yes, the problem was actually speed - it does eventually work. But I am still surprised that OS 10.4.11 showed FileMaker listed in red and noted as "not responding" mid stream of that process. Deleting fields sometimes took less than 1 second, and, it turns out, sometimes about 3.5 minutes. Anyway, thank you for your on, and also for your off forum assistance in this.
As noted in my previous reply, my problem was a combination of, well, impatience, and an odd response by OS 10.4.11. But since I am still doing most of my work in FileMaker 9, the information about the bug with variables that you provided is quite useful. Thanks.