6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2012 10:53 AM by fmchris

    FileMaker crashes with large text fields

    fmchris

      I have two databases that I use for writing, and both contain a massive text field that extends for many pages, in which I enter text and use as a word processor. Both databases have crashed (on occasion) under very specific conditions : if all (or most?) of the text in the field is selected, then the backspace key is pressed to delete it (or also if a different key is pressed to start overtyping?). (This may be even more specific than I've said - I just used Command-A to Select All, then backspace to delete, without a problem. I believe the crashes occurred when I triple-clicked to select the first paragraph, then dragged down through the remaining paragraphs to select them.)

       

      I had similar problems on occasion running FMP6 on a G5 iMac in 10.5, and FMP10. Today I had it for the first time on my Core i5 running FMP10. FM told me to Recover my database which I did, though it couldn't find any problems. The Recovered database then crashed, but I was able to reopen it. I'm now avoiding selecting more than a single paragraph of text. I also have a script invoked on a keystroke to Flush Cache to Disk which I use often to save my work in case this happens again.

       

      Please note : it didn't matter how much text was present before selection, only that there was more than one paragraph.

       

      There haven't been any other problems with either of those two databases, and none with my other databases.

       

       

      Edit :

       

      Earlier, I forgot my resolution to use Select All just after I had pasted a chunk of text into a text field. Instead, I dragged through the whole lot to make the font size smaller. The database crashed! So I reopened it, re-pasted, used Select All, and all was well.

       

      So I'd venture to say that it's definitely to do with Selecting a passage of text by click-and-drag. FMP doesn't seem to like this. I'm sure others MUST have noticed this before? Unless I'm the only person who uses FMP as a word processor and uses click-and-drag to select??

       

      Message was edited by: fmchris

        • 1. Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields
          Stephen Huston

          If you are still using the recovered file, which you indicated crashed again shortly after recovery, go to a backup and import your data/text into an uncrashed copy. Had this file crashed before? Doing the same thing?

           

          And, though I hate to do this to you...

           

          • Patient:  Hey Doc, it hurts when I do this.
          • Doctor:  So quit doing that!
          • 2. Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields
            fmchris

            Stephen - this was first time FMP asked me to Recover a file. Previously (on the G5 mainly) it just crashed and I lost any unsaved work (hence the Flush Cache script), but I was able to reopen. This was the first such crash on the Core i5.

             

            As it's happened using both FMP6 and FMP10, on both a G5 and a Core i5, I venture to suggest it's a FileMaker problem rather than anything I've caused?

             

            I think I must be the only person here who uses FMP to write with, in large text fields, and uses click-and-drag to select. As you say, I should STOP doing that!

            • 3. Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields
              mbraendle

              Chris,

               

              this seems to be a known bug with large text fields, that has also been reported in the FM Forum:

               

              http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/4813e37bff

              http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/0e886851da

               

              Best regards,

               

              Martin

               

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              Von: fmchris <noreply@filemaker.com<mailto:noreply@filemaker.com>>

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              Datum: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 03:38:25 -0800

              An: Martin Brändle <braendle@chem.ethz.ch<mailto:braendle@chem.ethz.ch>>

              Betreff: Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields

               

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              • 4. Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields
                fmchris

                Martin, thanks for that research.

                 

                However, I don't believe either of those cases are related to my problem - they were reporting massive increases in time to process or enter large text fields. They also believed it was an issue only with FMP10, whereas I also noticed a related effect with FMP6.

                 

                Just to give some feedback on the sizes involved : one of the two databases is for a novel; each record is a different chapter, with a word count field at the top. The longest chapter is nearly 6,000 words (MS Word tells me that's almost 32,000 characters including spaces). There is NO delay loading that record, or scrolling, or typing into it. Everything behaves as it should do, e.g. as in a word processor. In other words, no delay problems as reported elsewhere.

                 

                To replicate the problem, I'd suggest a test database with a large text field (mine isn't a scrolling field - it was defined in Layout by dragging the Body down until it was at least 12 pages long; if you scroll down in Layout, it actually extends beyond the bottom of the scrollable area. I'm not sure how I did that, but it does work.) Then paste an amount of text into it, arranged in paragraphs. Then click the first paragraph to select it and - holding the mouse button down - drag down to select all the text. It may crash (Unexpected Quit) at that point, or may do when the next key - e.g. backspace - is pressed. Or it may not crash at all.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields
                  Stephen Huston

                  Hi Chris,

                   

                  I have another idea as to the Why, and suggestions towards  improvement:

                  • If you applying ANY text formatting within the data (not layout-level field formats, but to the data itself), then that data has to be "tagged" in some way by FileMaker to track what is formatted and how within the record data for a single field. I have seen similar issues in old FM files where multiple tags and overlapping tags are imposed on the data, and then a block is edited. FM hs to resolve the changes in the mulitple tags for the remaining data, and something sometimes goes wrong.
                  • Caveat: this is my supposition based on how other text-tagging is done, and I have seen other program crash when trying to resolve partially nexted tags, including html.

                  Now some other ideas to help:

                  • Recommendation 1: format the field at the layout level, and leave all data unformatted as plain text -- no formatting within the data itself. Maybe it will help.
                  • Recommendation 2: rebuild the file from scratch in FM 11. Import the current data, and work with a clean file that hasn't crashed.
                  • Recommendation 3: if all else fails, follow the Doctor's advice. (see my previous message)

                  Your text fields are not to large per the specs, but specs are for ideal conditions. The editing of fields and moving of large blocks of data can fragment data storage within the file. Starting with a clean new file and imported data should clean all of that up, if it's part of the issue.

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker crashes with large text fields
                    fmchris

                    Hi Stephen, thanks for the reply.

                     

                    On your recommendations :

                     

                    1: Yes, I specified the Field Format at Layout level, and usually I just type away without any further formatting. Occasionally however, if I've just duplicated a record and want to delete its text so I can start typing new text, I "select and delete" and that's where it has been going wrong.

                     

                    2: I use FM 10 not 11. I got it new from Amazon last year at a fraction of its new price as 11 had already been released. The original idea was to become Lion-proof, but now I have a new computer running OS X 10.6, that's not an issue. I'm a domestic user so the full price of 11 is not something I'd willingly incur.

                     

                    3: Yes, I will be trying to remember the Doctor's advice from now on!