Weird GNUPLOT problem (but *not* just Gnuplot)

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Mon Sep 14 06:05:19 UTC 2020

On Sep 13, 2020, at 03:07, Dave Horsfall wrote:

> No replies?  Am I the only person on the planet having this problem?
> It's not confined to Gnuplot, but pretty much anything that wants to save a modified file, such as TextEdit (such as my prescriptions, which for me is pretty much a matter of life and death).

You didn't mention before that it also affected software other than gnuplot. If you're seeing the problem when using Apple's TextEdit as well, then I cannot see any way that MacPorts or anything you installed with it could be responsible.

You described the problem as:

>> When trying to save a graph (any graph) I get as far as "Save As" and I get the dreaded spinning beachball instead of the file selection; I've waited up to an hour before killing it by doing in AquaTerm.  This started happening after my Monday "port upgrade outdated", so I'm guessing that I now have a bad library somewhere as a result of the upgrade?  There were a few library updates, as I recall...

Are you seeing the problem every time you Save As in TextEdit or gnuplot, or only intermittently?

I might have seen a similar problem myself a couple days ago with BBEdit on High Sierra. I don't remember whether I had invoked the Save or Open panel, but BBEdit froze with the spinning beachball cursor and after waiting some time I force-quit it. Later, I had a similar problem in Safari when downloading a file: I've configured Safari to prompt me for where to download each file, and when the Save panel came up, I got the spinning beachball cursor again. In this case I left it alone for awhile and after many minutes it unfroze and allowed me to save and download the file.

The Save and Open panels are part of the operating system, likely managed by some process that stays running. My system had probably been up for weeks, and it's not entirely unexpected to me that a process designed to stay running forever might eventually encounter an unanticipated situation that causes it to malfunction. I have since restarted my computer and don't see the problem anymore.

> I note that this crap only started happening after last Monday's weekly update; up until then, my MacBook had performed flawlessly...  Could the perp responsible please raise their hand?
> Should I back out that flawed update (if I can remember how) and stop doing any further updates until I am assured that they will actually work i.e. they were actually tested?

I've touched on this recently on the mailing list, but I'll say it again: You use MacPorts, and the software you install with it, and pretty much any software at all, including macOS, at your own risk. There is no warranty, no guarantee or assurance that anything will work. Consult the license agreement of the software in question; for MacPorts, it's here:

For macOS Sierra, it's here:

In the case of MacPorts obviously we want things to work and typically go to some effort to make things work, but if something is broken then it is broken until someone volunteers to fix it. Apple surely wants things to work too and has developers who are paid to fix bugs, but the fixes often only appear in new major versions of the OS, so if there is a bug in the way that the Save and Open panels work in Sierra it might not get fixed in Sierra, especially now that no further updates to Sierra are expected. (The last Sierra security update was last year.)

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