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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Years back I implemented a circular queue error log, which would keep n messages in memory and dump the log to disk on error. The advantage of having the log in memory was that it would still be displayable if the application dumped core. (Ah, the joys of working in C...)

    We logged each user "gesture" (entered "foo" in the bar field, clicked OK, etc.), which gave us a trail of breadcrumbs to follow to repeat the failure, though in practice we rarely had to look back more than a dozen entries from the end of the log. Usually things jumped right out.

    The biggest mistake I see people make when they approach logging is to over engineer it early, rather than starting with something simple that works, and letting experience guide enhancements.