Tuesday 15 September 2009

Server config and logging in Java

I've somehow been "volunteered" into doing the stuff that no one else wants to do.

It's a strange world where entire days can go by without much feeling of achievement, or a few minutes can lead to a revelation, like finding a patch for some related third party system, or opening a configuration file in a different editor which highlights syntax differently. It's as if a spotlight has been shone on the tiniest - previously insignificant - line or two of text and everything is going to work according to plan.

On the developer's desktop logging isn't particularly important, as it doesn't slow the system down much, and it's nice to be able to see what's going on in realtime.

On staging and production servers there are different priorities, such as performance, conserving space and alerting someone if a significant event is detected.

In an ideal world there would be a single logging system, used consistently throughout the application. Of course we don't live in an ideal world, so there are multiple logging systems that are used with different levels of granularity by the various third party libraries and runtime systems that form our application.

The application itself uses log4j, but a third party component is tied to the java.util.logging implementation.

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