A simple message dispatcher (aka. logger) for your ruby applications.
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A simple message dispatcher (aka. logger) for your Ruby applications.


$ gem install logg


Logg is a library providing generic logging features. At the core of Logg is a module, Logg::Machine, which you may include (mixin) in a class, or extend within another module. This will inject the Logg helpers, so one can write something like this:

class Foo
  include Logg::Machine

Foo.log.debug "test!"      # => Fri Dec 31 16:00:09 +0100 2010 | [debug] test!
Foo.new.log.debug "test…"  # => Fri Dec 31 16:00:09 +0100 2010 | [debug] test…
Foo.new.log.error "failed" # => Fri Dec 31 16:00:09 +0100 2010 | [error] failed

You may also just instantiate a Logg dispatcher. This is less intrusive, no mixin involved, allow for changing the dispatcher's name and have several loggers lurking around:

report = Logg::Dispatcher.new
report.failure 'danger' # => "2011-07-02 20:27:01 +0200 | [failure] danger"
class Foo
  attr_reader :report

  def initialize
    @report = Logg::Dispatcher.new

  def bar
    report.something 'important'
Foo.new.bar # => "2011-07-02 20:27:01 +0200 | [something] important"

This illustrates the basic use cases. The default logging format is a string sent to $stdout, formatted as time | [namespace] message where "namespace" is the method called on the logger.

But this is only the default implementation of the message dispatcher. Many other examples are available under the examples/ directory (based on the Cucumber features/). The next part of this README explains some of those use-cases.

Custom loggers

Usually, logging engines provide you with a bunch of "log levels", such as FATAL, ERROR, WARNING, NOTICE. Logg does not enforce such a convention and rather let you define your own, if required, but does not enforce you to do so. More generally, one may create custom loggers using Logg::Dispatcher#as:

class Foo
  include Logg::Machine

  # let's define a custom logger
  log.as(:failure) do |data|
    # play with data and render/do something, somewhere: output a String,
    # send an email, anything you want.

  # then use it!
  log.failure my_data

as expects a mandatory block, which may take any number of arguments, of any kind. Within the block, it is expected you will "log" somehow, but actually you are free to perform anything. You may output a simple string on $stdout, call an external API through HTTP, send an email, or even render a template (see below): that's just legacy ruby code in here! All in all, Logg is just a mega-method-definition-machine, aimed at logging—but feel free to use it the way you like (dispatching events, for instance).

Soon to come: the possibility to change #log for any other valid method name.

Note: if you would like to define a custom logger under the name #as, the helper method is also available under the #_as alias.

Message formatting, templates

Logging is all about building meaningful messages. You may also want to log to the tty, a file and send an email on top of that, and each one of those output channels would benefit from using a different data representation. One should thus be provided with efficient tools to define how a message is rendered in particular context. Logg makes use of Tilt to help you format your data. Tilt is a wrapper around several template engines (you may know about ERB or haml, but there are many others). Just tell Logg which format you want to use and go ahead! The dispatching logic is of your responsability.

For more details, see examples/ and read/run the Cucumber features/ (command: cucumber features).

class Foo
  include Logg::Machine

  # let's use vanilla ruby code for the first example: output the
  # message to $stdout using #puts
  log.as(:foo) do
    puts "something really important happened"
  log.foo # => "something really important happened" on $stdout

  # you may also define a template within the block, render it and
  # use the result.
  # (Keep in mind that this kind of template with heavy code is considered bad practice ;))
  log.as(:foo) do |data|
    tpl = "Data: <%= self.map { |k,v| puts k.to_s + v.to_s } %>"
    puts render_inline(tpl, :as => :erb, :data => data)
  log.foo({:foo => :bar}) # => "Data: foobar"

  # now we want to render an external HAML template, providing its path with
  # or withouth the .haml extension (if not provided, the :as option is mandatory)
  # note we expect two parameters for this logger
  log.as(:http_response) do |response, params|
    output = render('tpl/foo.haml', :data => response, :locals => { :params => params})
    # do something with output, for instance, send a mail notification when not a 200
  log.http_response(resp, request.params) # performs the block, really

If you want to render to several logging endpoints, and send a mail on top of that, just do it within the block!

Both #render_inline and #render follow Tilt's implementation. The :data object is any Ruby object which be promoted as self when rendering the template. In the last example, if foo.haml where to contain calls to methods such as status or body, this would mean running response.status and response.body within the template. The :locals are additional variables one may need to interpolate the template. In the last example, we are passing the request parameters along the response object. You basically define your loggers the way you want (see Advice section below for some insight).

Dispatching helpers

TODO: provide helpers for message dispatching/logging, levels managment and the like.

About the implementation

  • When a class mixins the Logg::Machine module, a Logg::Dispatcher instance is created and associated (if possible, see below) to the receiving class, through method injection.
  • The custom loggers blocks are ran in the context of a Logg::Dispatcher::Render class, so be aware you must inject in the closure any data you would require. This is by design so as to keep the logger's logic separated from the application burden, enforcing explicit control over the data payloads.
  • If this is just too much a burden for you, you may avoid mixin Logg::Machine and just make use of the Render core implementation, by instantiating a new Logg::Dispatcher as illustrated in the Synopsis section above.


When using MRI 1.9.2 or equivalent implementations, you can now define closure with dynamic params:

log.as(:report) do |name = 'toto', *args|
  puts name
  puts args

log.report # => toto
           #    []
log.report('joe') # => joe
                  #    []
log.report('joe', {:foo => :bar}, 1) # => joe
                                     #    [{:foo => :bar}, 1]

It also support blocks as closure parameters (more details). All of this allows for building super-dynamic custom loggers.


MIT License. See the LICENSE file.