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[BUG?][OS][5.6.1] PCGen hangs on PDF export

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  • Michael Tucker
    Howdy: I m running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a 400 MHz G3 PowerBook with 512 MB RAM. % java -version java version 1.4.1_01 Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Howdy:

      I'm running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a 400 MHz G3 PowerBook with 512 MB RAM.

      % java -version
      java version "1.4.1_01"
      Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.1_01-69.1)
      Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.1_01-24, mixed mode)

      Until recently I've been happily using PCGen 5.5.3. I'm trying to "get
      with the program", and have downloaded the latest production (5.6.1)
      version. I imported my character from 5.5.3, but was unable to output
      it using the standard PDF output sheets. PCGen hangs immediately, and
      has to be killed.

      I've spent a couple of hours trying to break down the problem and
      diagnose it. At the moment, here's where I've gotten to: Loaded *only*
      the RSRD, and created a new character from scratch. Ran the character
      up a few levels (Paladin 4, Fighter 2), added skills, feats and
      equipment. Tried to output to PDF using
      "csheet_fantasy_std_(whatever).xslt".

      If I save the character after making any changes, then exit PCGen
      completely, then relaunch PCGen and reload the character, and do
      nothing to it except export it, it seems to work ok. (The color output
      sheets look *sharp*, by the way!)

      But, if I do anything to mark the character as "dirty", then save it
      (or not, it doesn't seem to matter), then try to export it (without
      exiting and relaunching PCGen in the mean time), the process hangs. I
      have to force kill it.

      Is anyone else seeing this? Has this been discussed already and I
      missed it? I don't want to invest several more hours chasing a bug, if
      it's already been identified (and hopefully fixed!).

      Michael
    • merton_monk
      I have not seen this issue before. If you export while you have the debug console up do you see any useful messages? There was a change in how the dirty flag
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 2, 2004
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        I have not seen this issue before. If you export while you have the
        debug console up do you see any useful messages? There was a change
        in how the dirty flag on the character was set/used, but I think that
        was post 5.6. I'd be very curious to know if you experience the same
        problem in the latest alpha (lots of construction going on in the
        alpha, so don't install it over a previous version of PCGen!).

        -Bryan

        --- In pcgen@yahoogroups.com, Michael Tucker <mtucker@a...> wrote:
        > Howdy:
        >
        > I'm running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a 400 MHz G3 PowerBook with 512 MB
        RAM.
        >
        > % java -version
        > java version "1.4.1_01"
        > Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.1_01-
        69.1)
        > Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.1_01-24, mixed mode)
        >
        > Until recently I've been happily using PCGen 5.5.3. I'm trying
        to "get
        > with the program", and have downloaded the latest production
        (5.6.1)
        > version. I imported my character from 5.5.3, but was unable to
        output
        > it using the standard PDF output sheets. PCGen hangs immediately,
        and
        > has to be killed.
        >
        > I've spent a couple of hours trying to break down the problem and
        > diagnose it. At the moment, here's where I've gotten to: Loaded
        *only*
        > the RSRD, and created a new character from scratch. Ran the
        character
        > up a few levels (Paladin 4, Fighter 2), added skills, feats and
        > equipment. Tried to output to PDF using
        > "csheet_fantasy_std_(whatever).xslt".
        >
        > If I save the character after making any changes, then exit PCGen
        > completely, then relaunch PCGen and reload the character, and do
        > nothing to it except export it, it seems to work ok. (The color
        output
        > sheets look *sharp*, by the way!)
        >
        > But, if I do anything to mark the character as "dirty", then save
        it
        > (or not, it doesn't seem to matter), then try to export it (without
        > exiting and relaunching PCGen in the mean time), the process hangs.
        I
        > have to force kill it.
        >
        > Is anyone else seeing this? Has this been discussed already and I
        > missed it? I don't want to invest several more hours chasing a bug,
        if
        > it's already been identified (and hopefully fixed!).
        >
        > Michael
      • mtucker@airmail.net
        ... Hi, Bryan: Thanks for your reply. I haven t seen this issue before, either, so we re even. ;-) I m writing from work, so this isn t exact quotes of what
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 2, 2004
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          Bryan wrote:
          > I have not seen this issue before. If you export while you have the
          > debug console up do you see any useful messages? There was a change
          > in how the dirty flag on the character was set/used, but I think that
          > was post 5.6. ...

          Hi, Bryan:

          Thanks for your reply. I haven't seen this issue before, either, so we're
          even. ;-)

          I'm writing from work, so this isn't exact quotes of what shows up in the
          console, but maybe this will be helpful:

          With the console up, when it works successfully I see a series of messages
          indicating that it's reached various milestones of success, e.g. "[1]",
          "[2]", etc., plus some other useful messages, finally a message about
          stopping the renderer. There *are* some ominous messages about areas that
          are overflowed (don't remember the exact text), but when it works, this
          doesn't seem to be a problem.

          When it *doesn't* work there are *no* messages once you start the PDF
          renderer. The PCGen process hangs, totally, irrevocably, and instantly.
          Makes it pretty hard to debug. :-(

          There is no such problem when exporting to HTML, by the way. This is
          *only* when using the PDF output engine, so I suspect either 1) the PDF
          engine itself, or 2) the PDF output sheets.

          If the HTML output sheets were as nice as the PDF ones, this wouldn't be
          an issue to me; I'd just use the HTML sheets instead. :-)

          I've added Barak to the flags on this thread, in case he has any ideas.

          > ... I'd be very curious to know if you experience the same
          > problem in the latest alpha (lots of construction going on in the
          > alpha, so don't install it over a previous version of PCGen!).
          >
          > -Bryan

          Are you saying there's an alpha version of 5.6.1? Or are you referring to
          the alpha version of 5.7.x? Because if it's the latter, I have no
          intention of going down that road. I'm trying to get my installation of
          PCGen to work with the latest files from CMP; and in the past their policy
          seems to have been to only support the latest production version (in this
          case, 5.6.1). So, if I'm having problems, I'd better get them working with
          5.6.1 first before I even consider venturing onto the 5.7.x path.

          Michael
        • notyetmousse24@aol.com
          mtucker sez... Howdy: Ditto. I m running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a 400 MHz G3 PowerBook with 512 MB RAM. Think I ve found your problem. Aside from being a Mac,
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 3, 2004
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            mtucker sez...

            'Howdy:'

            Ditto.

            'I'm running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a 400 MHz G3 PowerBook with 512 MB RAM.'

            Think I've found your problem. Aside from being a Mac, it's also running OS
            X which many versions of don't support the version of Java that PCGen is being
            (has been?) converted to (1.4.2 if memory serves).

            'Until recently I've been happily using PCGen 5.5.3. I'm trying to "get with
            the program", and have downloaded the latest production (5.6.1) version.'

            The easiest thing to do (aside from rummaging around a used comp shop and
            getting a real PC), is to either go back to the older version of PCGen, or try
            and get your Mac to play nice with a newer version of Java.

            NotMousse
            TM, QA Tamarin, Made Emily Smirle laugh

            I mean, if I can't even get a discount out of someone else's misfortune,
            what's the point?
            -MisterTambo, founding member of the League of Unemployed Gentlemen


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • mtucker@airmail.net
            ... Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of OS X, running the latest version of Java. If you d read the rest of the message you would
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 3, 2004
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              NotMousse wrote:
              > 'I'm running Mac OS X 10.2.8 on a 400 MHz G3 PowerBook with 512 MB RAM.'
              >
              > Think I've found your problem. Aside from being a Mac, it's also running
              > OS
              > X which many versions of don't support the version of Java that PCGen is
              > being
              > (has been?) converted to (1.4.2 if memory serves).
              >

              Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of OS X,
              running the latest version of Java. If you'd read the rest of the message
              you would have seen the output from a "java -version" command in the text.
              I'm running Java 1.4.

              Any other ideas? Memory usage, maybe?

              Michael
            • mtucker@airmail.net
              Replying to myself, before someone else points out my error... ... That s not quite true. OS X 10.3.4 is the latest version of the Mac operating system.
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 3, 2004
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                Replying to myself, before someone else points out my error...

                I wrote in response to NotMousse:
                > Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of OS X,
                > running the latest version of Java. If you'd read the rest of the message
                > you would have seen the output from a "java -version" command in the text.
                > I'm running Java 1.4.

                That's not quite true. OS X 10.3.4 is the latest version of the Mac
                operating system. However, 10.2.8 is the latest "pre-Panther" version, and
                it *does*, in fact, run Java 1.4.

                Besides, I would be surprised to find that a difference between Java 1.3
                versus Java 1.4 was the culprit behind hanging the PCGen process when
                attempting a PDF export. If there were any such problems, I would expect
                them to manifest elsewhere in the code.

                In any case: I'm still puzzled over this problem. I'm wondering if it's an
                "out of memory" error (or something similar) that's being masked by the
                fact the process hangs immediately (without getting a chance to output
                anything useful to the console).

                Michael
              • Chris
                ... It shouldn t be java 1.4... 5.6 and 5.6.1 should only be using valid 1.3 java. :) But, that aside, could you send me the .PCG that s locking things up
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 3, 2004
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                  > In any case: I'm still puzzled over this problem. I'm wondering if
                  > it's an "out of memory" error (or something similar) that's being
                  > masked by the fact the process hangs immediately (without getting a
                  > chance to output anything useful to the console).

                  It shouldn't be java 1.4... 5.6 and 5.6.1 should only be using valid
                  1.3 java. :)

                  But, that aside, could you send me the .PCG that's locking things up
                  when you export Michael? While I don't have/use a Mac, I'd be
                  interested to see if the lockup is on mac only or if it's something
                  else.

                  It seems I had a problem like this at one point and I don't remember
                  what it was that caused it. :(

                  Just a couple of quick questions... I'm at work using webmail and your
                  original mail is gone from my ISP server, so pardon me if you already
                  answered these questions in your first post.

                  Is this from a fresh/clean install?

                  If not, when you installed did your unzip util overwrite existing
                  files, most importantly the ones in the LIB and OUTPUTSHEET directories?

                  Is it any PDF print job, or just certain characters? .xslt or .fo
                  templates? (I can't remember when we stripped the .fo from the
                  distro...)

                  Barak
                • mtucker@airmail.net
                  Hi, Barak: Thanks for your reply. :-) [Barak] ... I ll be happy to when I get home tonight. Like you, I m using webmail from work, and don t have the character
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 3, 2004
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                    Hi, Barak:

                    Thanks for your reply. :-)

                    [Barak]
                    > But, that aside, could you send me the .PCG that's locking things up
                    > when you export Michael? While I don't have/use a Mac, I'd be
                    > interested to see if the lockup is on mac only or if it's something
                    > else.
                    >
                    > It seems I had a problem like this at one point and I don't remember
                    > what it was that caused it. :(
                    >

                    I'll be happy to when I get home tonight. Like you, I'm using webmail from
                    work, and don't have the character files with me.

                    > Just a couple of quick questions... I'm at work using webmail and your
                    > original mail is gone from my ISP server, so pardon me if you already
                    > answered these questions in your first post.
                    >
                    > Is this from a fresh/clean install?
                    >

                    Yes. Recent download of 5.6.1 (right after it was put in the download
                    area), installed to its own directory. The CMP core rules, splatbooks, and
                    Forgotten Realms datasets are also installed (unzipped to that directory,
                    not copied from elsewhere; i.e. a "clean" install).

                    > Is it any PDF print job, or just certain characters? .xslt or .fo
                    > templates? (I can't remember when we stripped the .fo from the
                    > distro...)
                    >
                    > Barak

                    I first saw the problem with my existing character, imported from 5.5.3.
                    It would not export to PDF at all. But I wasn't sure what the problem was,
                    because I'm using the RSRD, the CMP splatbook datasets, and some house
                    rules.

                    To eliminate variables, I exited PCGen, relaunched and loaded *only* the
                    RSRD. Then I created a new character from scratch. (Fairly simple, an elf
                    with a few levels of fighter and paladin, and minimal feats, skills and
                    equipment.) At 1st level, it exported ok. Then I ran it up to 6th level,
                    and the problem showed up. I don't know whether it would have showed up
                    before that. As I said previously, I had already invested 2-3 hours trying
                    to debug this. I didn't want to invest any more until I had asked the
                    group whether this was a known problem.

                    The problem shows up whether using the CMP .fo output sheet, or the
                    bundled .xslt output sheets. The behavior is the same either way. If I
                    load this "virgin" character and export it immediately (with no changes),
                    it works ok. If I make any changes that mark the character as "dirty",
                    then (whether I save first or not) try to export it to PDF, PCGen locks up
                    immediately.

                    The only difference between this and my imported character is that the
                    imported character locks up PCGen regardless. I have been unable to export
                    it to PDF, no matter what I try.

                    Michael

                    p.s. performance with 5.6.1 is a *dog* compared to 5.5.3. Just selecting
                    the Equipping tab, I might as well go get a cup of coffee. Something
                    related to equipment is beating the h*ll out of the CPU. This is with all
                    the default settings, i.e. no equipment is being auto-generated. I suspect
                    that whatever is doing this, is also consuming memory. I further suspect
                    that this is an out-of-memory problem, since presumably more memory is
                    consumed by a "dirty" character than a clean one, and presumably more
                    memory is consumed by the PDF exporter than the HTML one. However, this is
                    on Mac OS X (which is actually BDS Unix under the hood), with 512 MB of
                    RAM; I wouldn't expect memory to be an issue, unless there's a problem
                    with the software.
                  • Darkon
                    ... OS X, ... the message ... the text. ... version, and ... Java 1.3 ... when ... expect ... it s an ... by the ... output ... I ve also ran into an out of
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 3, 2004
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                      > Replying to myself, before someone else points out my error...
                      >
                      > I wrote in response to NotMousse:
                      > > Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of
                      OS X,
                      > > running the latest version of Java. If you'd read the rest of
                      the message
                      > > you would have seen the output from a "java -version" command in
                      the text.
                      > > I'm running Java 1.4.
                      >
                      > That's not quite true. OS X 10.3.4 is the latest version of the Mac
                      > operating system. However, 10.2.8 is the latest "pre-Panther"
                      version, and
                      > it *does*, in fact, run Java 1.4.
                      >
                      > Besides, I would be surprised to find that a difference between
                      Java 1.3
                      > versus Java 1.4 was the culprit behind hanging the PCGen process
                      when
                      > attempting a PDF export. If there were any such problems, I would
                      expect
                      > them to manifest elsewhere in the code.
                      >
                      > In any case: I'm still puzzled over this problem. I'm wondering if
                      it's an
                      > "out of memory" error (or something similar) that's being masked
                      by the
                      > fact the process hangs immediately (without getting a chance to
                      output
                      > anything useful to the console).

                      I've also ran into an out of memory error when exporting to PDF with
                      two characters. I managed to get one to work by reducing the length
                      of the SPROP of her weapon to fit within one line on the forst
                      page's SPROP line. I haven't figured out what causes the problem on
                      the other character is yet.
                    • notyetmousse24@aol.com
                      mtucker sez... Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of OS X, running the latest version of Java. But it s still a Mac. So the easiest
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 4, 2004
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                        mtucker sez...

                        'Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of OS X, running
                        the latest version of Java.'

                        But it's still a Mac. So the easiest solution is to convert to a better
                        supported OS (Linux, DOS or something along those lines).

                        'Any other ideas? Memory usage, maybe?'

                        Memory has been an issue, but if memory serves (did *not* mean to pun here)
                        the symptoms are nothing like what you're suffering. But in case that *does*
                        somehow happen to be the problem just set it to use more memory. Someone else
                        posted the details yesterday so just look back.

                        NotMousse
                        TM, QA Tamarin, Made Emily Smirle laugh

                        I mean, if I can't even get a discount out of someone else's misfortune,
                        what's the point?
                        -MisterTambo, founding member of the League of Unemployed Gentlemen


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • notyetmousse24@aol.com
                        mtucker sez... Replying to myself, before someone else points out my error... Reminds me to read all posts before replying to them. I wrote in response to
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jun 4, 2004
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                          mtucker sez...

                          'Replying to myself, before someone else points out my error...'

                          Reminds me to read all posts before replying to them.

                          'I wrote in response to NotMousse:'

                          And I replied, but here I am replying again... awkward...

                          'However, 10.2.8 is the latest "pre-Panther" version, and it *does*, in fact,
                          run Java 1.4.'

                          But does it run Java 1.4.2?

                          'Besides, I would be surprised to find that a difference between Java 1.3
                          versus Java 1.4 was the culprit behind hanging the PCGen process when attempting
                          a PDF export.'

                          Actually this is exactly why there was so much debate about changing between
                          one and another. Some things that work with 1.4.2 most certainly do not in
                          prior versions, which can cause some obscenely nasty things to happen.

                          Overall my advice remains the same, but I suggest upgrading to the currently
                          uber-expensive line that Jobs is pimping out.

                          NotMousse
                          TM, QA Tamarin, Made Emily Smirle laugh

                          I mean, if I can't even get a discount out of someone else's misfortune,
                          what's the point?
                          -MisterTambo, founding member of the League of Unemployed Gentlemen


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Michael Tucker
                          ... Oh, you re right. Of course. Why didn t I think of that. The obvious, easiest solution to getting PCGen to run on my Mac is to set up an Intel
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jun 4, 2004
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                            On Friday, June 4, 2004, at 04:37 AM, notyetmousse24@... wrote:

                            > mtucker sez...
                            >
                            > 'Thanks for the suggestion, but 10.2.8 is the latest version of OS X,
                            > running
                            > the latest version of Java.'
                            >
                            > But it's still a Mac. So the easiest solution is to convert to a
                            > better
                            > supported OS (Linux, DOS or something along those lines).
                            >

                            <sarcasm>
                            Oh, you're right. Of course. Why didn't I think of that. The obvious,
                            easiest solution to getting PCGen to run on my Mac is to set up an
                            Intel box running Linux.
                            </sarcasm>

                            Seriously, I disagree. I've been using PCGen quite happily and well for
                            a long time. There's something wrong with this release of PCGen. It may
                            be subtle, and it may not be affecting that many users. But the problem
                            lies in PCGen, not in my computer.

                            On Friday, June 4, 2004, at 04:47 AM, notyetmousse24@... wrote:

                            > 'However, 10.2.8 is the latest "pre-Panther" version, and it *does*,
                            > in fact,
                            > run Java 1.4.'
                            >
                            > But does it run Java 1.4.2?

                            I posted this previously, but again for your convenience:

                            % java -version
                            java version "1.4.1_01"
                            Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.1_01-69.1)
                            Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.1_01-24, mixed mode)

                            So, the answer is: no, I'm not running Java 1.4.2. Perhaps Panther (Mac
                            OS 10.3.4) has Java 1.4.2.

                            But the only thing that's changed between "happy, joy!", and "woe!"
                            regarding my PCGen experience was upgrading from 5.5.3 ("happy, joy!")
                            to 5.6.1 complete w/GMGen ("woe!"). I think that this weekend I will
                            download the limited version of 5.6.1 (without GMGen) and see if that
                            makes a difference in the memory footprint.

                            By the way, last night I invested another 2 hours fiddling with this,
                            and it *is* definitely a memory footprint issue. By increasing the size
                            of my Java environment, as follows ...

                            % java -Xms128M -Xmx256M -jar pcgen.jar

                            ... I was able to export my moderately complex character from 5.5.3.
                            [Note that this is 2-4 times the default allocation for Java (64M),
                            which has worked for me for previous versions. I.e., I've never had to
                            explicitly increase the memory allocation for Java before, to use
                            PCGen. So this version (5.6.1) is demanding at least *twice* the memory
                            of a recent previous release (5.5.3).]

                            However, curiously, I achieved success with Debug mode turned on.
                            Here's what I tried, and what worked:

                            a) java with extra memory - failed
                            b) debug mode - failed
                            c) java with extra memory AND debug mode - success

                            Curious, eh? But now it's definitely identified as a memory footprint
                            problem, and nothing else. [Strangely, the memory problem is masked (or
                            avoided) with Debug mode on. I would think that Debug would use *more*
                            memory, not less; but software behavior isn't always intuitive.]

                            By the way, the painfully slow performance problem also went away when
                            I increased the memory allocation for Java. I suspect that all these
                            other strange sporadic reports of "5.6.1 is a dog!" from other users,
                            are actually page-swapping problems due to the excessive memory
                            requirements of this release. Thus, the *real* solution is for the
                            developers to identify what changed in 5.6.1 (compared to previous
                            releases) such that it's suddenly gobbling up memory, and fix that. I
                            suggest looking into the "Equipment tab" area of the code, as that
                            seems to take the longest to load.

                            Michael
                          • notyetmousse24@aol.com
                            mtucker sez... The obvious, easiest solution to getting PCGen to run on my Mac is to set up an Intel box running Linux. I was actually thinking of ditching
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jun 5, 2004
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                              mtucker sez...

                              'The obvious, easiest solution to getting PCGen to run on my Mac is to set up
                              an Intel box running Linux.'

                              I was actually thinking of ditching the Mac completely as it's apparently
                              being out performed by a PC from roughly a decade ago. then again I've never
                              used a Mac I could stand (by stand I mean didn't bomb within a day).

                              'But the problem lies in PCGen, not in my computer.'

                              You may be right, and as it seems to be the case I'll make sure there's a
                              tracker (FREQ unless is affects more people) that says something along the lines
                              of 'optimize it already damn!'

                              'So, the answer is: no, I'm not running Java 1.4.2.'

                              Which was my point the whole time. While I'm not completely positive PCGen
                              demands this I understand that running the latest often solves problems
                              suffered by the less L33T among us (self included).

                              'I was able to export my moderately complex character from 5.5.3.'

                              Hmm... While I admit I don't export via PDF (never liked the format), I
                              hadn't noticed any significant slowdown when exporting via HTML.

                              'By the way, the painfully slow performance problem also went away when I
                              increased the memory allocation for Java.'

                              True, adding memory keeps it from collecting 'garbage' so often which is the
                              majority of the slowdown anyone will face with the program. Been this way for
                              at least the last few releases I can recall.

                              'I suggest looking into the "Equipment tab" area of the code, as that seems
                              to take the longest to load.'

                              This I did notice taking awhile, but as I hadn't experimented with it
                              previously had just assumed equipment to be one of the less well developed areas.

                              NotMousse
                              TM, QA Tamarin, Made Emily Smirle laugh

                              I mean, if I can't even get a discount out of someone else's misfortune,
                              what's the point?
                              -MisterTambo, founding member of the League of Unemployed Gentlemen


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Michael Tucker
                              ... Strangely enough, I feel the same about PCs as you seem to feel about Macs. If you want to start picking on platforms, Windows is certainly a target-rich
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jun 5, 2004
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                                On Saturday, June 5, 2004, at 04:26 AM, notyetmousse24@... wrote:

                                > mtucker sez...
                                >
                                > 'The obvious, easiest solution to getting PCGen to run on my Mac is to
                                > set up
                                > an Intel box running Linux.'
                                >
                                > I was actually thinking of ditching the Mac completely as it's
                                > apparently
                                > being out performed by a PC from roughly a decade ago. then again
                                > I've never
                                > used a Mac I could stand (by stand I mean didn't bomb within a day).
                                >

                                Strangely enough, I feel the same about PCs as you seem to feel about
                                Macs. If you want to start picking on platforms, Windows is certainly a
                                "target-rich environment".

                                Call it a personal preference (which is shared with me by several
                                million people), and let it go at that. I really don't think a
                                "religious debate" about platforms has any place here on the PCGen
                                discussion board. PCGen is written in Java, to be platform-neutral.
                                Java is fully supported by Mac OS X. Let it go.

                                > 'But the problem lies in PCGen, not in my computer.'
                                >
                                > You may be right, and as it seems to be the case I'll make sure
                                > there's a
                                > tracker (FREQ unless is affects more people) that says something along
                                > the lines
                                > of 'optimize it already damn!'
                                >

                                You apparently aren't "getting" the issue I'm trying to point out here.
                                This isn't about "optimizing performance", it's about fixing runaway
                                memory consumption.

                                PCGen's memory requirements have at least doubled from 5.5.3 to 5.6.1.
                                To make matters worse, evidently the part of the code that manages PDF
                                exports does not throw an "out of memory" exception; the process just
                                silently locks up. I'm guessing that FOP (or maybe the code that calls
                                FOP) isn't as good about throwing exceptions (let alone handling them)
                                as it ought to be.

                                > 'So, the answer is: no, I'm not running Java 1.4.2.'
                                >
                                > Which was my point the whole time. While I'm not completely positive
                                > PCGen
                                > demands this I understand that running the latest often solves problems
                                > suffered by the less L33T among us (self included).
                                >

                                Running the latest has been pointed out repeatedly on this board as
                                often being the *source* of problems, not their cure. Many has been the
                                time when someone complained that their latest beta version of the JRE
                                crashed when running PCGen. The solution was to downgrade to an
                                earlier, stable version of the JRE.

                                Regardless, Java 1.4.1 ran PCGen 5.5.3 just fine. It also runs PCGen
                                5.6.1 just fine, but only if I'm very, very careful about how much
                                memory PCGen is given and induced to consume. The version of Java is
                                therefore obviously a non-issue (especially since I'm not running
                                GMGen).

                                Please step away from that issue; nothing to be seen there.

                                > 'I was able to export my moderately complex character from 5.5.3.'
                                >
                                > Hmm... While I admit I don't export via PDF (never liked the format),
                                > I
                                > hadn't noticed any significant slowdown when exporting via HTML.
                                >

                                Nor had I. HTML outputs run fine, as I said in my post.

                                By the way, you're missing out on some truly beautiful output sheets,
                                if you aren't using the PDF sheets. The latest color PDF sheets are
                                works of art. :-)

                                > 'By the way, the painfully slow performance problem also went away
                                > when I
                                > increased the memory allocation for Java.'
                                >
                                > True, adding memory keeps it from collecting 'garbage' so often which
                                > is the
                                > majority of the slowdown anyone will face with the program. Been this
                                > way for
                                > at least the last few releases I can recall.
                                >

                                Which begs the point I'm trying to make, which is the excessive memory
                                demands of PCGen 5.6.1 in the first place. *That* is the problem that
                                needs fixing.

                                > 'I suggest looking into the "Equipment tab" area of the code, as that
                                > seems
                                > to take the longest to load.'
                                >
                                > This I did notice taking awhile, but as I hadn't experimented with it
                                > previously had just assumed equipment to be one of the less well
                                > developed areas.
                                >
                                > NotMousse
                                > TM, QA Tamarin, Made Emily Smirle laugh
                                >

                                Thanks for taking the time to reply, in any case. Despite your "troll"
                                regarding Macs, I do appreciate the feedback.

                                Bryan, Barak, if you're reading this and have made it this far: I'm
                                still trying to debug this, but I'm not making much progress. It's hard
                                when the process just locks up tight without any messages to the
                                console. HTML output works. PDF does sometimes, if I hold my mouth just
                                right; but usually it just locks up the moment I click "Save". I
                                suspect, at this point, that it dies when it tries to call FOP (but
                                without throwing an exception, at least not one that makes it to the
                                console).

                                Michael
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