Re: The usefulness of application logging

James Kanze <>
15 Jul 2006 06:39:18 -0400
Greg Herlihy wrote: wrote:

I use logging as a diagnostic trace aid during development.
But I leave the logging code in when I deploy to production.
I have come across another way or working. This other way is
to not bother logging anything until there is a problem, then
add logging to shed light on the cause. The logging calls are
removed once the problem has been found and fixed. The reason
given for this way of working is that logging adds clutter to
the code and it is not necessary when the code contains no
bugs. The reason I work the way I do is that the programmers
that come after me may not know that I always develop
bug-free code <grin> so they may need light shed when
investigating any issues where my code gets called. Also when
logging is done by most modules it helps to show the overall
flow of control and intermediate calculation results.

I wonder what use people make of logging generally. Perhaps
people can share their experiences and opinions here. Surely
there is more than just these two ways of doing it.

This following is not meant to be a criticism of anyone, but I
have found that inexperienced programmers are usually the ones
whose code makes heavy or systemic use of application logging
as a QA technique.

I've found just the contrary. It's inexperienced programmers
who don't realize just how useful it can be, and simply suppose
that it will be too expensive. Experienced programmers
generally log pretty heavily. (I know that I've consistently
increased the amount I log as I've gained experience.)

James Kanze
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