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From Curt Arnold <carn...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Is Log4J Dead on the Java Platform?
Date Wed, 18 May 2005 16:21:51 GMT

On May 18, 2005, at 4:48 AM, Harry Hartley wrote:

> I would like to assess where things really stand with Log4J before  
> committing more of my project code to the log4j framework.
> I am an old time C and C++ developer, but fairly new to the java  
> open source. It has taken some time, but I have figured out pretty  
> much everything I feel I need to know to complete my web  
> application. I have learned how to effectively use: Ant, Struts,  
> Basic Tomcat Configuration, JSP’s and Servlets, MySQL, ConnectorJ,  
> Cascading Stylesheets, Log4J, server/context/web.xml files, blah,  
> blah, and blah.
> As you can imagine it has been a process not without some  
> frustration. Documentation ranges from obscure/poor to pretty good.  
> I have become used to persisting where it seems as though there is  
> NOTHING that documents how things work, but eventually I figure it  
> out through surfing the web, or looking at source code.
> During the last couple of years while away from coding, all the  
> java coders would tell me how great and simple log4j is. Thus I  
> decided to use it in my current project. Again, my typical learning  
> curve before I have any useful code/configuration.
> Which brings me to my question/observation:
> 1)       The documentation for Log4J is pitiful. I have not purcha 
> $ed the ‘full’ manual, and will not. Maybe its as simple as that.
Open-source documentation is common problem area.  Most people who  
contribute to open-source projects have some bug they want fixed or  
some behavior they want added and contribute code.  Very few people  
come at a project motivated to explain it to others.  The "full"  
manual is a commercial offering by the project founder and is  
generally well-regarded.  However, the project would be open to  

> 2)       The download seems very incomplete. There are MANY  
> directories that are empty. The various examples directories are  
> incomplete.
> 3)       There are references to classes in the documentation that  
> do not exist. Specifically XMLSocketAppender.
Likely a mismatch between the software and documentation version.

> 4)       Since early this year, log4j mailing lists are essentially  
> silent.
Both log4j-dev and log4j-user mailing list have had over 1000  
messages this year and 211 and 70 messages, respectively, this  
month.  You may have been using the Apache eyebrowse archive which  
died never to rise again.  Try using the MARC or GMANE links at  

> There seems to be more functionality in log4cxx. Is log4cxx the  
> flagship and log4j the follower?
They are synergistic, but most time log4j leads.  I'm the log4cxx  
lead and a log4j committer.  If I find something missing or broken, I  
typically add or fix in first in log4j and then log4cxx.

> Java  based Chainsaw has several receivers that are not supported  
> by appenders under log4j? Again, specifically XMLSocketAppender.

Again possibly a mismatch between Chainsaw and log4j versions.  Maybe  
somebody else could answer this better.
> The ‘full’ manual is for a fee, is this standard practice under  
> apache? This is the first time I’ve seen this under the apache  
> initiative.

"log4j: The complete manual" is a commercial offering by one of the  
log4j developers.  Quite a few commercial books on Apache projects  
are written by committers on the respective project.  http:// 
jakarta.apache.org/tomcat/resources.html lists books related to  
Tomcat and highlights authors names that are also Tomcat committers.   
That might be a better pattern than what is currently on the web site.

> I notice that tomcat itself seems to opt for a default of  
> java.util.logging and support log4j as a compatibility issue. Is  
> this accurate?
I'll let someone else answer that since it is a technically and  
politically complex issue.

> My title begs the question, is log4J essentially dead?

> Or maybe I should ask a slightly different question… What is the  
> best logging package to use with tomcat?

Different question, probably should be asked in a different forum  
(tomcat-users?) after searching their archives (again avoiding  

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