[plt-scheme] some progress in identifying cause of DrScheme file explorer intermittent freezing problem on Japanese version of Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 3

From: Benjamin L.Russell (DekuDekuplex at Yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Jun 4 04:09:01 EDT 2009

Yesterday and today, I was able to make some headway in identifying a
possible cause of the DrScheme file explorer intermittent freezing
problem on the Japanese version of Windows XP Professional, Service
Pack 3.

(For those of you unfamiliar with this problem, this is a bug that
occurs apparently only on the Japanese version of Windows XP
Professional in which the file explorer dialog box in DrScheme (the
dialog box that displays whenever a file is opened or saved) freezes
for about five seconds intermittently every ten seconds or so, and
makes it almost impossible to concentrate on Scheme programming when
using DrScheme.)

Up to now, I had thought that the cause of this problem was multiple
mapped network drives, independent of the language for the operating

However, yesterday I accidentally came across a Japanese-language blog
for installing an alternative implementation of Scheme (see
http://kayui.blog38.fc2.com/blog-entry-45.html (in Japanese)) in which
the author apparently wrote about the same problem, as follows (in
Japanese, followed by my translation into English):

original Japanese text:

my translation into English:
>DrScheme quickly freezes and is becoming too annoying, so I've been 
>studying Scheme in an Emacs+Gauche environment on Linux, but it's also 
>annoying having to start up Linux each time!
>Therefore, I've been fiddling around in somehow trying to set up an 
>Emacs+Gauche-like environment on Windows.

Apparently, I'm not the only one troubled by this problem.

Just now, I also discovered another reference to a freezing problem
for DrScheme on the Japanese version of Windows XP (see Comment #117
at "Lisp Scheme Part21" at
http://www.bookshelf.jp/2ch/tech/1207300697.html (also in Japanese,
followed by my translation into English):

original Japanese text:
>117デフォルトの名無しさんsage2008/04/12(土) 05:42:17
>    XPなんですがDr.Schemeを放置しておくと勝手にメモリがんがん食ってフリーズします。 

my translation into English:
>Comment #117  By Default Nameless follow-up April 12, 2008 (Sat.) 05:42:17
>    Regarding XP, if Dr.Scheme is left unattended, it eats up memory at 
>breakneck speed on its own and freezes.

In addition, earlier today I discovered an essary, written by Shiro
Kawai, the developer of Gauche, who used to work at Square USA (now
Square-Enix, a game development company), that described
incompatibilities between the English and Japanese versions of Windows
(see "Tracking Assets in the Production of 'Final Fantasy : The
Spirits Within'" at

>2.3 Multilingual environment
>Our staff came from over 20 different countries, but most people spoke 
>English and/or Japanese, so those two were the 'official' communication 
>languages. This environment affected our choice of software platforms; 
>for example, we had to develop tools and web CGI programs that could 
>handle both language (or at least not to break while dealing with 
>Japanese). Some off-the-shelf software packages were excluded from 
>the options because of this. For client side programs we had to make the 
>tools run on both English OS and Japanese OS. Back then, Windows had 
>some nasty incompatibilities between those two versions that bit us many 

It seems that DrScheme, in its present state, is incompatible with the
Japanese version of Windows XP, and is plagued with freezing problems
specifically on that language-platform.  Therefore, unless these
problems are tested specifically on the Japanese version of Windows
XP, as opposed to the English version, they are unlikely to be solved,
and at least some Japanese users who would otherwise use DrScheme will
continue to migrate to such alternative implementations as Gauche.

-- Benjamin L. Russell
Benjamin L. Russell  /   DekuDekuplex at Yahoo dot com
Translator/Interpreter / Mobile:  +011 81 80-3603-6725
"Furuike ya, kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto." 
-- Matsuo Basho^ 

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