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the amazing disappearing emacs

Since migrating from emacs20 to emacs21 (FSF emacs) as part of the
potato-->woody upgrade, I have seen the following problem regularly
but unpredictably:

Running emacs under X, random simple key-strokes (Backspace, M-q,
Ctl-h) will cause emacs to quit without warning or error-message (the
window simply vanishes).  Unfortunately I have not managed (despite
trying) to trigger one of these events inside gdb, so I cannot give
more detailed information. But the behaviour has been reported for 3
different machines at this site since the upgrade.

The crashes always happen at the beginning of a session (within a
minute or two of opening the first emacs window). If you can get past
the first 3 to 4 minutes without incident, you're safe for hours to
come. But the crashes happen with disconcerting frequency in that
initial window of time.

Has this problem been experienced by anyone else? Does anyone know
what might lie behind it? 

This level of fragility is very, very unfamiliar to me in emacs.  Some
users are agitating for an `upgrade' to emacs20.



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