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From: Austin Bingham (abingham_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-04-02 09:18:19

The recent discussions about a logging library have been wonderful,
and they demonstrate the strengths of the boost approach. These
discussions have also demonstrated that logging is a lot more complex
than many of us would have probably anticipated. It seems that a)
everyone wants logging and that b) no one can agree on what it is. I
think that a lot of this stems from the fact that logging encompasses
many competing facets (e.g. thread-safety v. performance v. macros:
evil or really evil? v. the kitchen sink) and these are, naturally,
difficult to completely grok and balance.
So, what I'm proposing is that we step back and do some sort of
requirements analysis. I don't mean anything terribly formal, but
rather some place where we can try to centralize our ideas on what
a logging library comprises. Trying to use the list archives to keep
track of every variation of every aspect of logging is error-prone and
frustrating, but something like a wiki would make it much easier to
present the totality of everyone's input.
As we collect and organize our thoughts, I'm hoping that a less murky
picture of what we should do will emerge. What are the orthogonal
aspects of logging, and which are intertwined? Are there different
paradigms of logging that we should treat as distinct? What are the
apparent tradeoffs of different concerns, and are there some concerns
that appear in conflict but which really aren't?
My sense is that, as we really clarify what all of the concerns are,
we'll have a better shared sense of what everyone's looking for. We'll
have a sort of lingua franca or common starting point from which to
develop boost logging. Jean Daniel's recent work on organizing input
from the Torjo review is a brilliant start to this kind of effort.
So, these are just my thoughts on the issue. I would *love* to see a
logging library in boost, and it always frustrates me (and, I imagine,
others) that we can't seem to agree on often the simplest
things. Maybe I'm way off target here, but I think a little high-level
organization could yield big dividends in this case.

Austin Bingham
Signal & Information Sciences Laboratory
Applied Research Laboratories, University of Texas at Austin
10000 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78758
email:  abingham_at_[hidden]
cell:   (512) 799-2444
office: (512) 835-3832

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