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From al...@city.net (Kevin Altis)
Subject Customizable logging
Date Thu, 16 Mar 1995 18:24:32 GMT
I have not been very involved in discussions and/or coding so far, but
thought I should throw in my 2 cents worth on logging. In the Unix
environment, textual logging is quite useful, but it takes a lot of space
as you all know. Putting the data directly into a relational database is
the way to go if you have a good database and the code to manipulate the
data the way you want. People are writing this stuff for Microsoft Access
on Windows 3.1/95/NT but that won't do the Unix folks much good. A server
should be able to use a textual log or relational database for log output.

Assuming most people won't have access to a relational database, textual
logging still has its place. I've been using my own log format the last few
months for a number of different projects. Below are two examples from my
Browser Checkup log.

&dt=Thu, 16 Mar 1995 08:28:45 -0800&rh=usr2.primenet.com&lv=2.3.7
BETA&ua=Lynx/2.3 BETA  libwww/2.14&rf=http://www.city.net/
&dt=Thu, 16 Mar 1995 09:49:23
-0800&rh=pclab1.mis.semi.harris.com&lv=1.0&ua=Mozilla/0.94 Beta
(Windows)&rf=http://www.yahoo.com/Computers/World_Wide_Web/Browsers/

Some of this should look familiar. I followed the format for POST data,
though I'm not currently escaping all the characters I should to be
completely clean. Each log entry is still represented on one line which I
found absolutely crucial to textual processing. I chose my own field
identifiers, but we could standardize field identifiers for the common
items and if somebody wants to add extra stuff it wouldn't interfere with
standardized log processing tools expecting certainf field ids. Since each
field is identified, you only have to include the fields you want and any
log tools should still work. One additional feature that I haven't
implemented is a transaction id so that the components of a given HTTP
transaction could be split across multiple logs and the id would be used to
bind them together. Comments on any of this?

If you want me to go into all the possibilities of having the same format
for logs and POST data I will, but it is probably obvious to most of you.

ka

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kevin Altis                     3531 SE 11th Ave.
City Net Express                Portland, Oregon 97202
Internet: altis@city.net        503-232-9193
     http://www.city.net/cnx/kevin_altis/home.html

 "It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine!"



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