How do I diagnose unusually slow behavior and delays?

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martin
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How do I diagnose unusually slow behavior and delays?

Post by martin » 2015-08-31 15:04:28

It's always unfortunate when software hangs or crashes, but luckily log files make diagnosing such problems relatively straightforward. When an app crashes, or hangs and is force quit by the user, the system automatically generates a log for the event. These log files can be sent to us for analysis.

A problem that's more difficult to diagnose is when an app is unusually slow and sluggish, or the "spinning beach ball" cursor intermittently appears uninvited.
beachball.png
The Mac "spinning beach ball" cursor icon.
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In these situations a true crash or hang never occurs, and no log file is generated, making diagnosis difficult.

The good news is that Mac OS X provides a tool that can record the activity of such a busy application, providing a look at what the app is doing (or waiting for). This kind of log is called an Activity Monitor "sample".



How do I capture an Activity Monitor sample?
In order to capture a useful sample, proper timing is essential. The most important thing is that the sample is collected at exactly the time Nisus Writer is actually unexpectedly slow or busy. Please consider reading all instructions below before trying to follow them.

1. Launch Apple's Activity Monitor application, located in the folder Applications/Utilities.
2. In Activity Monitor's listing of all running applications, select just Nisus Writer. It may help to use the search field to narrow the listing:
listing.png
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3. Switch to Nisus Writer and do whatever actions trigger the unwanted slowness or delays.
4. Quickly switch back to the Activity Monitor and click the toolbar button with a gear icon; from the popup menu choose the "Sample Process" command:
sample.png
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5. Wait for the sample collection to be completed and save it as a log file.

NOTE: step 4 must be accomplished immediately after step 3. If it takes too long to switch apps and activate the command, Nisus Writer will no longer be busy, and the sample will show nothing.

Once you've collected a useful sample, please submit it to us using the menu Help > Send Feedback and hopefully we can help identify the cause of the delays.

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