ALib C++ Library
Library Version: 2402 R1
Documentation generated by doxygen
No Matches
FAQ - Frequently asked Questions for ALox

Why the name "ALox" and how is it pronounced?

The English term "log" is known. Now "logs" is the plural. As English pronunciation is always a little unspecific and volatile, you could write the word "logs" as "lox" easily without changing the pronunciation. Now, as we were looking for some artificial new word for the project, we loved to turn "logs" into "lox".

But then we wanted to add the "A". This tells you: This is class A logging! Got it? So, please pronounce it in two syllables, with a separately spoken "a" like in "a car" or "a cat".

Note: This explanation also proves that the name has nothing to do with this strange guy named Alex who started this project.

What is the performance impact on my application when using ALox

ALox is fast (see previous question on Bauhaus). Using a MemoryLogger, in C# we measured more than 200.000 log entries per second on a Notebook (equipped with an Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU @2.8GHz) while running an application (and ALox ) in debug mode! Hence, if doing as much as 100 log entries per second, the performance loss for your application would still be a maximum of 0.05%.

Of-course, logging into a console is slower. But the good news is: As the internal management of ALox is so fast, there will not be a huge difference between hacked in debug log output using std::cout versus using ALox logging. And: as for debug logging, this gets automatically pruned in the release code. Hence, the release version of your software is free of any performance issue caused by debug logging.

What do the terms "debug logging" and "release logging" mean?

The goals of debug logging and release logging are quite different. Debug logging is about adding Log Statements to your code that enables you to see on the terminal console, your IDEs output window or in a log-file, what your software currently does or recently did, what errors and warnings it produces, how long certain methods take to execute and whatever you want your software to tell you while testing it. Debug Log Statements should ultimately be pruned (see next answer) from release binaries.

Release logging is about generating a log file, a log database, an online-report to a server or whatever you choose during execution of your deployed software. Often, release logging is used for dealing with problems that arise when your software is used by the target audience. It is also useful to collect statistical data on the use of a software, identify problems that end-users might face, and so forth. Sometimes, release logging is a subset of the debug log, sometimes it is something completely different.

Technically however, both logging use cases require very similar software. Therefore, ALox aims to solve both in one library. Basic support for release logging is here today already. The introduction of new features and concepts in the area of release logging might also support debug logging aspects of ALox and vice versa. Therefore the natural path of evolution for the ALox library is "debug logging features first, release logging features next".

What is Pruning?

What we mean with the term "pruning" is the automatic removal of the (debug) logging code from your release binaries when they are ready for deployment. The goals that motivate for automatic pruning are:

  • Maximize execution speed of the deployed code
  • Minimize the footprint of the deployed code.
  • Keep the console (or other standard output) clean in the release version of a software.
  • Hide technical details and secrets, by not only stopping the output but by also removing all textual strings from your executable or library that include debug messages.

Automatic pruning assures furthermore, that the above stays true for all debug logging statements while all release logging statements remain in the code. Such remaining release logging might be deactivated initially and activated in case of runtime errors, external triggers, or other special events.

Why are ALox log formats all US/English?

Of-course the log content itself is unicode and hence supports your locale within your application. But the following is true: All configurable output of meta information is done in US/English locale. There is no config option to change this. The reason is, that log output is really something that is not for a different audience than the software developers and here, US/English rules (just look at the keywords of your programming language). And we think that a maximum of compatibility (e.g. with other tools or within international teams) is guaranteed this way.
If you absolutely want localized meta information, like logging the name of months in Finnish, you can extend ALox for that. Here is how you do that!

Why is ALox introducing a huge set of own "utility classes"?

We would not say that ALox is "introducing" an own set of utility classes. ALox only builds upon such a set called ALib C++ Library .
So, it is rather the other way round: ALox is just one ALib Module of many others found in ALib . The library can be compiled to a subset of those modules, so, if you are you exclusively interested in logging, other ALib Modules can be removed in a library compilation. Of-course, still, these ALib Modules that ALox depends on, need to be included.

All about what is offered and how an customized ALib Distribution is built is found in the ALib Programmer's Manual.