R-alpha: Loss of workspace

Martyn Plummer (plummer@iarc.fr)
Fri, 06 Sep 1996 15:06:12 +0200

Message-Id: <199609061305.PAA23932@hypatia.math.ethz.ch>
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 1996 15:06:12 +0200
To: r-testers@stat.math.ethz.ch
From: Martyn Plummer <plummer@iarc.fr>
Subject: R-alpha: Loss of workspace

Yesterday I managed to erase my whole workspace after an escalating
sequence of errors (see below). I couldn't help feeling that S,
which stores individual objects in separate files, could have recovered
more gracefully from my two problems: 1) A program crash and 2)
A full hard disk. Can the R workspace be made more robust to this
sort of thing?

Martyn Plummer

Here's what happened
1) I edited a function, but made a syntax error. I corrected the 
   error using "x <- vi()"  but running the function caused
   a segmentation fault. I thus lost all the R objects I had 
   created in that session.
   I'm afraid that tracing this problem is beyond me, but printing
   the function to the screen, shows an extra line like
   "<environment: 0x82bac90>" on the end.

2) The resulting core dump filled up (a partition on) my hard disk,
   although I did not realise this. When I saved my workspace 
   after a subsequent R session, the .RData file was truncated
   and could not be loaded again. I thus lost all the R objects
   I had previously created.

I have repeated this several times. The behaviour in 1) is consistent.
In 2) I sometimes get an error message "A write error occured" when
attempting to save the workspace, but not always.

I'm running R 0.10 under Linux 2.0.0.

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