I just wanted to personally recommend a log view utility I’ve had the luck of finding recently, actually thanks to Ian again. Around October time, Ian contacted the logging.apache.org group asking :

“Does anyone know of an application that is capable of loading a log file that has been written to using the RollingFileAppender?”

He was answered by Ulrich Proeller, author of Log4View, saying that at the time his application didn’t support that but would process XML Formatted log files.

We’re currently using a ConversionPattern with a Rolling File Appender in Log4Net to custom-format the output of the logs. I did try swapping to the XML format briefly on my development machine, but the output logs really are only machine readable after that.

I recently got in touch with Ulrich as I spotted he’d added Pattern support to Log4View along with XML for file based logs. (For those who prefer network logging, there’s also excellent support for UDP and TCP appenders as well.)

Today, he’s sent me a preview beta copy of Log4View with the pattern changes made and I’m pleased to report it is performing very well. He informs me there’s a new version on the cards very soon which will include the changes he sent me today, alongside some other improvements which sound exciting.

For someone who has spent countless hours trawling through the vast amount of logs that our services can produce while we’re testing them, Log4View offers a very slick, well thought out way of exploring live or archive logs. Being able to specify the Log Level you want for each Logger it finds in the log files, supported by smart Filtering rules really allow you to find what you need quickly.

My thanks go to Ulrich for continuing to actively support his application and for the quick turn-around he’s done after I made suggestions.
If you use Log4Net, you should seriously consider both trialling and supporting Ulrich for his efforts in producing a very useful view on your logged data.

2 thoughts on “Log4View”

  1. I got around the fact that the XML formatted log file isn’t human readable by loading 2 Rolling File Appenders, one XML formatted and the other using the normal pattern layout. Admittedly it doubles your logging output, but while debugging it’s not a problem.

    I remember Ulrich did mention he would take a look at supporting a custom pattern layout, but thought it would be a complex problem to solve, so didn’t hold out much hope. Nice to see that he’s made what sounds like a decent effort towards it, I’ll have to take a look when he releases it.

  2. It’s things like being able to filter on threads and loggers that makes this so so useful, especially in components which inherit from multiple sub-components.
    You can still log everything to file but view only the bits you’re interested in.
    Ulrich is currently working on performance improvements and I’m really looking forward to the new version given its benefits already.
    It was rather funny when I started searching for solutions myself and tripped over your post through Googling 🙂 Ahead of the game as usual 😉

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