I've been struggling with a number of hangs, dynamic timeouts, and outright crashes when using the search/documentation center in version 9. I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling and clearing preferences/cache on start-up, praying for a paclet update---but nothing seems to help.
One easily reproducible crash involves searching via the F1 key. On my machine (Windows 7, 64-bit), following the steps below, fails 100% of the time. (This is the simplest example I've taken the time to document; there seem to be many others.)
- With a fresh session (not always reproducible with just a fresh kernel), type something in the front-end. This could be text (in a text cell) or input (in an input cell) such as:
something(and leave it unevaluated---if in an input cell)
- Now highlight that input and hit "F1" to perform a search. This will either return a dynamic timeout warning, or momentarily freeze the front-end and do nothing.
- Now use your cursor to select
somethingagain and try "F1" a second time. This will perform the search as desired.
Can anyone reproduce this issue?
Upgrading to 9.0.1 only partially addresses the issue. To illustrate, start a fresh session/kernel, type
something and then hit F1 (without manually highlighting
something). A similar hangup will occur.
As Albert points out in his answer, this hangup does not seem to occur with F1 searches on built-in symbols, highlighted or not.
Finally, FWIW, I suspect Albert's observation relates to another way I've encountered errors. Quite often when I come across some unfamiliar mathematical terminology on stackexchange, I reflexively copy and paste the term---from my browser, to the search field of the documentation center (which is almost always open when I'm working). Frequently this will generate the same type of error or worse. I suspect it has to do with whether or not the search term is either a built-in symbol or already indexed somehow.
I recently decided to wipe my machine and reinstall everything from the OS up. Eventually I got around to installing Mathematica (from the exact same installer used previously). Much to my surprise, even without applying either of the two fixes, the hangups seem to be gone (or at least below what I can perceive). Just wanted to document this. Will report back if anything changes.