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The OutRider Computing Journal: Creating a Log Class in Perl

Nov 11, 2000, 16:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Rowan)


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"One recurrent theme in my job as a database administrator/assistant systems administrator/systems analyst is the need to keep track of what happened on the systems while I wasn't watching. What did the cron job do last night. What did all those spooler daemons do while I was at lunch? In other words logging. It bothered me that there was a lack of simple tools for doing such a simple, redundant job. So, I set out to do build some myself. My systems programming tool of choice is Perl, so, that is language I chose for the project. This journey took me out of my normal routine of straight-line Perl programming and dumped me in the land of Modules and Object Oriented Perl. I'm glad to say it didn't overwhelm me and in fact I found it rather easy to write."

"My first order of business was to take my old standby logging routines and objectify them. I had several concise routines that I would either import into the main package through a use statement or just simply copy/paste depending on my mood and what I was doing. They consisted of four routines: start_logging, stop_logging, restart_logging and log."

"This was quick and dirty code that, while it did the job, was not very simple to use. For example, if I needed to redirect the output of a sub-process to the log file I would have to say: stop_logging(), then run that process and redirect its output to the log then restart_logging() again. It was Rather clumsy and difficult to document. So, I set about to rewrite the routines in an object oriented manner. I followed the 'Three little rules' as formulated by Larry Wall in the objperl(1) man page and restated by Damian Conway in his book "Object Oriented Perl"..."

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