Googling errors

February 14, 2014

(This article was first published on The stupidest thing... » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

@roguelynn tweeted the other day:

If attendees of this weekend’s intro to python workshop leave with one thing, it’ll be to Google your error messages first and foremost.

I had just talked about the technique in my Tools for Reproducible Research course, and I had a few recent examples.

Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display:

I was logged into a department server, trying to clone a private repository from GitHub, and got an error like

(gnome-ssh-askpass:1731): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display:

I googled that, and the first item was a stackoverflow question, whose answer said “unset SSH_ASKPASS”, which totally worked.

except KeyError, k: raise AttributeError, k

AsciiDoc was giving me this error:

asciidoc -a data-uri -a toc -a toclevels=4 -a num example2.txt
  File "/usr/local/bin/asciidoc", line 101
    except KeyError, k: raise AttributeError, k
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

Google the “except KeyError” line, and you get to a Q&A on the AsciiDoc google group, which says “Asciidoc is Python 2, not 3.”

mclapply isn’t working in windows

I got a report that parallel processing in my R/qtl package wasn’t working in Windows.

I googled “mclapply isn’t working windows” and got this stackoverflow page, which says:

since Windows does not have fork(), it will run standard lapply instead – no parallelization

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