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Ultra-simplistic status logger
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As though there weren't enough Ruby gems for logging.. here's another one!

DumbLogger is a very simple package for logging messages, typically for command-line applications. You simply instantiate the class, set the maximum log-level required for messages to be displayed, and subsequently invoke the #message method with the text and appropriate level associated with it. If the logger's maximum level is greater than or equal to the message's, the text will be written to the logging sink.

Alternatively, you can instead treat logging levels as bitmasks (e.g., "bit 3 means log network activity"), and messages will be sent to the logging sink if any of the set bits in their mask are also set in the logger's mask.

Messages with a loglevel (or mask) of 0 always get written to the sink.

By default, DumbLogger uses a sink of $stderr, but you can tell it to write messages somewhere else. If the sink is a file that needs to be opened, by default new text will be appended to any existing content, but you can cause it to rewind and truncate the file before writing. If you change sinks and the current one was opened as a file, it will be closed before switching to the new sink.

Sinks can be filenames, symbols, or streams (instances of IO); append-mode doesn't apply to streams.

Two special sink symbols are recognised: :$stderr and :$stdout. Assigning the logger sink to either of these will result in the sink stream being re-evaluated on each and every message transmission. This can be useful if $stderr or $stdout might get redirected during application operation.

Text is logged using the #message method, which takes an arbitrary number of strings, symbols, integers, and hashes as arguments.

  • The last integer in the argument list will be used as the message's level;
  • Any hashes in the argument list will be merged and used as options; and
  • If the argument contains multiple strings, each one will be written on a separate line.

Global options that can be set with #new include:

  • whether files should be opened in append mode;
  • whether the logger (in append mode) should always position at EOF before writing to the sink;
  • whether loglevels are integers or bitmasks;
  • what the maximum logging level, or active logging bitmask, is;
  • where messages should be sent (the sink); and
  • a string that should be prefixed to each line written to the sink.

You can define labels (names) for logging level values, so you can use them in subsequent calls. In addition, defining a named level creates that method on the instance tied to that level. That is, these are equivalent:

daml = => { :info => 0, :debug => 4 })'Level 0 message')
daml.debug('Level 4 message')

daml =
daml.message(0, 'Level 0 message')
daml.message(4, 'Level 4 message')

Options that can be set on a per-#message basis include:

  • loglevel or bitmask for the specific message (overrides any integer values passed in the argument list);
  • a prefix string specific to the message (temporarily overriding the default set at instantiation time);
  • whether the sink should be repositioned to EOF before writing (only in append mode);
  • whether the (last) line of the message should be terminated with a newline or not. (Useful for multi-stage "Doing foo: done" type messages.)
    • Note: This is done by either including DumbLogger::NO_NL in the argument list, or { :newline => false } as part of an option hash.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:


And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install dumb-logger



# Create a logger with integer levels, a max level of 5, and
# everything else defaulted:
duml = => 5)

# Will not be written to the sink ($stderr):
duml.message(6, 'Silent message!')

# Will be written to the sink no matter what:
# => "Logger started!  Neener, neener!\n"
duml.message(0, 'Logger started!  Neener, neener!')

# Two lines will be logged with the prefix '[DEMO] ':
# => "[DEMO] This is line 1\n[DEMO] This is line 2\n"
# Note that the default loglevel is 0, which means 'always send'.
duml.message('This is line 1', { :prefix => '[DEMO] ' }, 'This is line 2')

# Two lines will be sent to the sink, but the second one will *not*
# end with a newline:
# => "This will destroy your life.\nAre you sure? "
             'This will destroy your life',
             'Are you sure? ')


  1. Fork it ( )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request


DumbLogger is copyright © 2015 by Ken Coar, and is made available under the terms of the Apache Licence 2.0:

   Copyright © 2015 Ken Coar

   Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
   you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
   You may obtain a copy of the License at

   Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
   distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
   See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
   limitations under the License.
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