A descriptive way of creating meaningful and identifiable log messages.
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A Descriptive Logger for SLF4J

With this library, we can define our log messages in a descriptive way in order to make them better identifiable in our code base and log files. This works on top of SLF4J, so all log messages will be logged by a standard SLF4J Logger.

The idea is inspired by the jboss-logging framework, where a similar concept is available.


Define a Descriptive Logging Interface

First, we create an interface annotated with @DescriptiveLogger with methods each annotated with @LogMessage. With @LogMessage, we describe what we want to have logged when the method is called.

interface MyLogger {

   * Logs a message. The ID is added to the MDC.
  @LogMessage(value="Hello World", level=Level.INFO, id=10042)
  void helloWorld();
   * Logs a message, replacing placeholders with method parameter values.
   * Placeholders work just like in SLF4J loggers.
  @LogMessage(value="Hello {}", level=Level.INFO, id=10043)
  void helloWithName(String name);
   * Logs a message, replacing placeholders with method parameter values and adding 
   * the specified MDCValues to the MDC.
  @LogMessage(value="Hello {}", level=Level.INFO, id=10044)
  void helloWithNameAndMDC(MDCValues mdc, String name);
  * Logs a message with a stacktrace, replacing placeholders with method parameter values and adding 
  * the specified MDCValues to the MDC.
 @LogMessage(value="Hello {}", level=Level.ERROR, id=10045)
 void helloWithNameAndMDCAndStacktrace(MDCValues mdc, String name, Throwable t);


Create a Descriptive Logger from an Interface

Next, we let the LoggerFactory create a descriptive logger for us and use it in our code.

class MyService {
  // The LoggerFactory needs to know which descriptive interface to build a logger for.
  // We also pass MyService.class to let the factory build an SLF4J logger for this class
  // which ultimately logs the message. 
  private static final MyLogger myLogger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(MyLogger.class, MyService.class);
  void doSomething(){

Depending on the configured logging pattern, this would result in a log something like this:

2018-07-28 10:11:34 [main] INFO  MyService - 10043 - Hello Bob

Log Message IDs

The (optional) ids defined in the @LogMessage annotations above are being passed into the Mapped Diagnostic Context (MDC) with the key id. The key can be changed by using the field idMdcKey in the @DescriptiveLogger annotation.

If we want to add the (optional) ids defined in the @LogMessage annotations above to out log output , we need to add it to our log pattern with %X{id} (replace id with the name we defined in idMdcKey).

Example pattern with logback:

%d{yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss} [%thread] %-5level %logger{36} - %X{id} - %msg%n

Add a Prefix to each ID

We can use the idPrefix field in @DescriptiveLogger to add a prefix to each id.

interface ErrorLogger {

  @LogMessage(value="This is a serious error!", level=Level.ERROR, id=10042)
  void error();

Calling error() would result in a log output something like this (depending on the logging pattern):

2018-07-28 10:11:34 [main] INFO  mylogger - ERR10042 - This is a serious error!

Define ID ranges

We can use the min and max fields in @DescriptiveLogger to define a valid ID range for the logger:

@DescriptiveLogger(min=1000, max=1999)
interface InvalidIdLogger {

  @LogMessage(value="This will fail because the ID is out of range!", level=Level.ERROR, id=1)
  void error();

A call to LoggerFactory.getLogger(InvalidIdLogger.class, ...) will fail because the id 1 is not in the range between 1000 and 1999.

Use this feature to define non-overlapping log ranges between multiple descriptive loggers in order to keep the message ids unique.

Adding Descriptive Logger to your Project






repositories {

    compile 'io.reflectoring:descriptive-logger:1.0'