On Log Noise

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One question I see often, both here on DevForums and in my day job with DTS, relates to log messages. A developer will see a scary-looking log message and they’d like to know how to proceed. For example, this thread, and this thread, and this thread.

It’s important to keep an eye on log messages and fix any obvious problems they call out. However, if you see a log message that’s not obviously your fault, it could just be log noise.

There are two criteria you should apply here:

  • Is the log message associated with a specific failure? That is, when you see the log message, do you also see other problems?

  • Is the log message written in terms you understand? That is, does it reference APIs or data that you’re using?

If the answer to both of these questions is “No”, it’s reasonable to conclude that the log message is just noise and you can ignore it. If you find it to be particularly irksome, file a bug report requesting that it be silenced.

Finally, if you’re still worried about a specific message, feel free to ask about it here on DevForums. Be sure to tag your post with the subsystem that generated the log message. For example, if the message is from the network subsystem, use the Network tag. And if there’s no obvious source, use the Debugging tag.

Share and Enjoy

Quinn “The Eskimo!” @ Developer Technical Support @ Apple
let myEmail = "eskimo" + "1" + "@" + "apple.com"

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