Maximum Journal File Size has been Exceeded (Blow #320)

The journal file is the history of what an interview has done. It records information about every question that is passed over.

There are three possibilities as to why you can get this message.

1) The interview is in an infinite loop. If you have resets or gotos that go backwards, check to see that your logic does not allow for this kind of trap. Especially check on any logic based on quotas as that might explain why you have not seen it up to now. Increasing the journal file size in this case won’t help.

2) You are testing a questionnaire and you are backing up and/or suspending and resuming a lot more than would ever actually happen in a live survey. To invoke this problem this way, you would need hundreds of backups and dozens of suspends, but we have seen this happen. If you suspect this is what happened, we would not recommend increasing the size of the journal file since something like this is extremely unlikely to happen on a live study.

3) You have a real large interview and there also might be a large choose procedure that requires you to loop through a series of questions, but you are not in an infinite loop. Increasing the journal file size would help in this case.

The main draw backs when increasing the size are that it will take longer for Survent to notice that it is in an infinite loop which can end up being a resource hog because Survent is working very hard when it is in the loop. The other draw back is that if Survent does eventually abort, you will have some very large journal files left on disk. You’ll want to make sure you delete them on a regular basis.

NOTE: Usually journal files only exist during the interview and Survent deletes them when it finishes the interview. You do NOT want to globally delete the journal files when they are active. Journal files look like a random 6 character name with the 7th and 8th character being jl.

If you need to increase the size there is a study header option that will that:

Header keyword ismaxjournalfilesize=

You can use this keyword in cases where the ‘response’ file for a survey exceeds the default limits. By default, thejournalfile is 15,000,000 bytes, and the absolute max you can set it to is 536,870,000 bytes. If you run out of space in thejournalfile, an appropriate message displays and you can update the maxsizeusing this keyword.

NOTE:There is NOT a parmfile option to increase the journal file on ALL studies, because the default should be adequate except for the rare study that really needs the extra size.