A useful way of working out what is happening during a request is to write log statements at various points in your code. These log statements can output log messages to multiple places such as the console or a file to help you follow how your code is working.
If you don’t want to know the details of how logging works but are just desperate to log a message to the console from within a controller action, you can do so like this:
log.debug('Your message goes here')
Conceptually, it’s helpful to think about Pylons applications as having two completely different types of logs:
- Server logs
- Application logs
Server logs are generated by the server running the Pylons application and will typically include information such as the URL that was requested and the time the request was made. The server might also log information such as the IP address of the user visiting the site.
The application logs are generated by your Pylons application and the packages it uses. Application log messages can come from your controllers, model, helpers, templates, or any other part of your application as well as from third-party packages your application uses such as SQLAlchemy or AuthKit. Application log messages are sometimes also sent to the server for logging, and this results in the application log messages being intermingled with the server log messages. As you can imagine, logging can quickly get quite complicated unless you keep the concept of a server log very separate from the concept of an application log in your own mind.
To demonstrate the difference between the two types of logs and how they interact in development mode with the Paste HTTP server, let’s create a new project called LogTest with a controller named log. Choose Mako as the templating language, and you won’t need SQLAlchemy or Google App Engine support:
$ paster create --template=pylons LogTest $ cd LogTest $ paster controller log
Now edit logtest/controllers/log.py so that the index() action looks like this:
def index(self): log.debug('My first Pylons log message!\n') return 'Check the logs!'
Start the server with the --reload and --log-file options like this:
$ paster serve --reload development.ini --log-file test.log
The --log-file option specifies the file that the log messages should be written to. Now visit http://localhost:5000/log/index in your browser. You should see the message Check the logs! in the browser, and you will see the message My first Pylons log message! has been written to test.log.
Now, with the server still running, add a new action to the log controller called newlog() that looks like this:
def newlog(self, action): log.debug("Logged from the 'newlog' action") return 'Check the logs again!'
The server will restart because you changed the file. Visit http://localhost:5000/log/newlog, and then stop the server. Once again, the message returned from the controller will be shown in the browser, and the log message will be written to test.log.
After having visited just these two URLs, the Paste HTTP server log file (test.log) will contain these lines:
serving on http://127.0.0.1:5000 12:49:46,347 DEBUG [logtest.controllers.log] My first Pylons log message! /home/james/LogTest/logtest/controllers/log.pyc changed; reloading... Starting server in PID 533. serving on http://127.0.0.1:5000 12:50:29,567 DEBUG [logtest.controllers.log] Logged from the 'newlog' action
As you can see, the log file has two types of messages: the debug messages from the controller and the messages from the server. The server logs (in normal font) and the application logs (in bold) are combined into one file. So, let’s discuss exactly what is happening in this example.
When the log.debug() function is called, a message is logged, but what happens to that message depends on the configuration you have set up with the logging options in the development.ini config file. The default settings cause all log messages of INFO level or above to be sent to the standard error stream.
Now, it just so happens that the Paste HTTP server captures all the information sent to the standard error stream to its server logs, so in this example both the server logs and the application logs end up combined in the same file. This is handy for development use, but not all servers will behave in the same way, so you can’t guarantee application log output will always end up in the server logs with the default Pylons configuration, although it often will.
In the section “Logging to a File” later in the chapter, you’ll learn how to redirect the application logs to a separate file, but before I go into too much detail, you need to learn a little bit more about the logging module used to produce the application logs.
Pylons uses Python’s logging module to provide its application logging. The basic concept behind the logging module is that each message is logged to a particular logger and that each logger has a name. Each controller therefore has the following lines at the top to set up a logger to be used for logging messages related to each controller:
import logging ... log = logging.getLogger(__name__)
Python’s special __name__ variable refers to the current module’s fully qualified name, which in this case is logtest.controllers.log. This means that the log variable is set up to log messages to a logger named logtest.controllers.log.
The named loggers exist in a hierarchy where parent loggers can respond to the log messages of child loggers, and each . character in the name separates a level in the hierarchy. If, for example, you created a second logger in the controller specifically for logging the index() action and you named it logtest.controller.log.index, the logtest.controller.log logger would also receive its messages. This behavior is called propagation and can be overridden, as you’ll see when it is discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
The loggers don’t need to have the names of the modules they are created in; they can have any names as long as you understand that they will be treated as part of a logger hierarchy with . characters separating parents from children. Most of the time, using the full name of the module in which the loggers are defined is a good idea, though.
In addition to ordinary loggers, there is also a root logger at the very top of the logging hierarchy. In the default Pylons setup, the individual loggers are not configured to handle their own log messages, so they get propagated to the root logger, which handles them instead. You’ll learn more about this behavior later in this chapter.
Each message logged to a specific logger must also have a log level. Table 20-1 shows the main log levels and their corresponding numeric values.
Table 20-1. Levels of Importance and Their Corresponding Numeric Values
Messages that you want to be displayed only during debugging might be assigned to the DEBUG level, whereas critical error messages should be logged to the CRITICAL level.
To log messages, you simply use one of the methods corresponding to the levels in Table 20-1, which are available on the log object you want to log messages for. Here’s an example:
def index(self): log.error('My third Pylons log message!') return 'Check the logs!'
When this action is executed, the following will be logged:
16:20:20,440 ERROR [logtest.controllers.log] My third Pylons log message!
Notice that because you called log.error(), the message was logged with the ERROR level. Let’s also try to log a simple warning message. Change the action you were editing earlier to look like this:
def index(self): log.warning('My third Pylons log message!') return 'Check the logs!'
If you restart the Paste HTTP server and visit the http://localhost:5000/log/index URL again, you will see that the message is displayed on the console with the WARNING level:
16:21:30,410 WARNI [logtest.controllers.log] My third Pylons log message!
It is also possible to log messages by their output number rather than by their level; you can specify any number from 0–50, not just numbers corresponding to a level. This is useful if you want to set your own fine-grained log levels. You can log a message at a particular numeric value like this:
def index(self): log.log(10, 'Another log message') return 'Check the logs!'
Each of the logging methods debug(), info(), warning(), error(), critical(), and log() also accepts an optional set of variable names that will be substituted into the log message itself using standard Python string formatting. This means you can log variables like this:
def index(self): error = 'Wrong Number' value = 5 log.error('The error %r occurred with a value of %s.', error, value) return 'Check the logs!'
When this action is executed, the following output will be logged:
16:20:20,440 ERROR [logtest.controllers.log] The error 'Wrong Number' occurred with a value of 5.
The logging module’s getLogger() function always returns the same logger instance for the name it is given. This means that if you wanted to log to the logtest.controllers.log logger from within a template, you could access the same logger like this:
<%! import logging log = logging.getLogger('logtest.controllers.log') %>
Then later in your code you could write a log message like this:
<% log.debug('This is a debug message') %>
Both the log object in the template and the log object in the controller log messages to the same log. Of course, you could also attach the controller’s log object to c.log and access that directly in the template instead if you prefer.
Now that you’ve seen the basics of how the logging module works and you understand the difference between server logs and application logs in the context of a Pylons application, let’s take a look at how logging is configured.
Pylons logging is configured through the Pylons config file and is used to change how the application logs are handled. The format used is the same as that used by the logging module, as described at http://docs.python.org/lib/logging-config-fileformat.html. Although it looks similar to the Paste Deploy configuration you learned about in Chapter 17, it is actually completely different.
Logging configuration consists of three types of section: loggers, handlers, and formatters. Broadly speaking, the formatters take a message and format it together with extra information available such as the time or the process ID of the running application. The handlers take the formatted messages and handle them in some way, perhaps by writing them to a file or sending them to the standard error stream, and the logger sections override the default setting of each of the loggers that are used to output log messages, either discarding them or passing them onto the appropriate handler depending on the severity level of the message. Each logger, handler, and formatter requires its own section in the config file, but to keep track of the names being used for each section, every config file must also contain sections called [loggers], [handlers], and [formatters] that identify the name and the type of each section in the file through the use of keys.
Here are the first sections defined in the LogTest project’s development.ini file:
# Logging configuration [loggers] keys = root, routes, logtest [handlers] keys = console [formatters] keys = generic
This means the logging module will also expect to see sections named [logger_root], [logger_routes], [logger_logtest], [handler_console], and [formatter_generic]. The [logger_logtest] section is named according to the package name of your Pylons application, so the section name in your own project would reflect its package name instead of LogTest’s.
If you want to supplement the logging configuration supplied by the development.ini file, you can also configure logging in Python code. You might want to do this if you have written your own handler or formatter. A good place to add your extra configuration would be your project’s environment.py file.
Let’s take a look at the options you can use with each of the different types of section.
Logger sections specify how to log messages to a particular logger, such as the logtest.controllers.log logger used earlier. Loggers take four configuration options. The level option specifies the log level below which log messages should be ignored. The handlers option takes a comma-separated list of the names of handlers to which the messages should be sent. The qualname option is the name of the logger to log messages for; and the propagate option determines whether messages sent to this logger should also be sent to its parent logger.
As an example, here’s what the routes logger from the LogTest project’s development.ini file looks like:
[logger_routes] level = INFO handlers = qualname = routes.middleware # "level = DEBUG" logs the route matched and routing variables.
This logger doesn’t have any handlers of its own, but its messages propagate to the root logger, where they are handled instead.
Handlers are used to handle the log messages passed to them from the loggers you have configured. Here’s the console handler as an example:
[handler_console] class = StreamHandler args = (sys.stderr,) level = NOTSET formatter = generic
The class option indicates the handler’s class (as determined by executing Python’s eval() function in the logging package’s namespace). The args argument is a list of arguments to pass to the handler specified by class. It’s important to remember to add a comma at the end of the args list if there is just one argument; otherwise, the brackets are treated as parentheses rather than marking the start and end of a tuple.
You can use many handlers besides StreamHandler including FileHandler, RotatingFileHandler, TimedRotatingFileHandler, SocketHandler, DatagramHandler, SysLogHandler, NTEventLogHandler, SMTPHandler, MemoryHandler, and HTTPHandler. They are all documented in detail at http://docs.python.org/lib/node409.html.
The level option determines which level of messages are passed to the formatter and can be any one of the levels mentioned earlier: CRITICAL, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, and NOTSET. Setting the level to NOTSET results in everything being logged, setting the level to INFO results in messages of INFO level and above being logged. Finally, the formatter option should be the name of a formatter section that will specify how the log message should be formatted.
Formatters are responsible for converting a log record passed from a handler to a format suitable for output, usually a string with certain extra data about when and where the message was logged.
Here is an example:
[formatter_form01] format=F1 %(asctime)s %(levelname)s %(message)s datefmt= class=logging.Formatter
The format option is the overall format string, and the datefmt option is the strftime()-compatible date/time format string. If it is empty, the logging package substitutes ISO8601 format dates and times.
The class entry is optional. It indicates the name of the formatter’s class (as a dotted module and class name) and is useful if you have created your own Formatter subclass you want to use.
Most of the time, the only line in formatter sections that you’ll want to change is the format line. You can use the variables in Table 20-2 to configure how the log messages will be formatted.
|%(name)s||Name of the logger.|
|%(levelno)s||Numeric logging level for the message (DEBUG, INFO, WARNING, ERROR, CRITICAL).|
|%(levelname)s||Text logging level for the message ('DEBUG', 'INFO', 'WARNING', 'ERROR', 'CRITICAL').|
|%(pathname)s||Full path name of the source file where the logging call was issued (if available).|
|%(filename)s||File name portion of path name.|
|%(module)s||Module (name portion of file name).|
|%(funcName)s||Name of function containing the logging call. Added in Python 2.5.|
|%(lineno)d||Source line number where the logging call was issued (if available).|
|%(created)f||Time when the LogRecord was created (as returned by time.time()).|
|%(relativeCreated)d||Time in milliseconds when the LogRecord was created, relative to the time the logging module was loaded.|
|%(asctime)s||Human-readable time when the LogRecord was created. By default, this is of the form 2003-07-08 16:49:45,896 (the numbers after the comma are millisecond portion of the time).|
|%(msecs)d||Millisecond portion of the time when the LogRecord was created.|
|%(thread)d||Thread ID (if available).|
|%(threadName)s||Thread name (if available).|
|%(process)d||Process ID (if available).|
|%(message)s||The logged message, computed as msg % args.|
Table 20-2. Format Codes and Their Descriptions
The formatter section used by LogTest looks like this:
[formatter_generic] format = %(asctime)s,%(msecs)03d %(levelname)-5.5s [%(name)s] %(message)s datefmt = %H:%M:%S
You can work out what each of the variables in the format option does from Table 20-2.
Over the next sections, you’ll learn how to tweak the settings in each of the types of sections to solve common logging problems, so don’t worry if you don’t understand all the options just yet.
If you want to understand logging in detail, it is well worth reading the logging documentation at http://docs.python.org/lib/module-logging.html.
Now that you have seen the options for each of the different types of logging configuration sections, let’s look at some of the common ways of handling log messages.
One of the most useful things to do with application log messages is to write them directly to a file. In fact, if you are new to logging or are setting up a Pylons applications on a new server, it is highly recommended you start by logging messages to a file because there is a lot less that can go wrong compared with logging either to the standard output stream, the standard error stream, or the WSGI errors stream.
Although it is helpful to see application log messages in the console when you are developing a Pylons application, for production use the messages often need to be logged to a file.
To capture log output to a separate file, you can use a FileHandler or a RotatingFileHandler. The following is the configuration to set up a FileHandler called file. Add it to the end of the development.ini file from the LogTest project you created at the start of the chapter:
[handler_file] class = FileHandler args = ('application.log', 'a') level = INFO formatter = generic
The options here are similar to those used for the console handler that already exists in the development.ini file. The args option specifies the file name of the log file and that it should be opened in append mode so that new information is added to the end of the file and doesn’t overwrite existing data. The new handler will use the same formatter as the console handler.
For Pylons to know this section represents a new log handler, you also have to add the file handler to the [handlers] section. Update it to look like this:
[handlers] keys = console, file
Now that the new handler is set up, you can customize the root logger to use the file handler rather than the existing console handler. Change the [logger_root] section to look like this:
[logger_root] level = INFO handlers = file
Now all the root logger’s messages will be directed to the application.log file instead of the sys.stderr error stream.
With the new handler in place, start the Paste HTTP server again, this time using the file name server.log for the output log:
$ paster serve --reload development.ini --log-file=server.log
If you visit http://localhost:5000/log/index, you will see that the application log is not sent to server.log but instead appears in application.log. The server messages continue to appear in server.log, though. You have successfully redirected the application logs to a file.
If you are using log files, it can often be useful to see the output that is logged as it is written, without having to constantly close and reopen the file. On Unix platforms you can use this command:
$ tail -f server.log
With this command running, any messages will be automatically copied to the console as they are written to server.log so that you can see the messages appear as you interact with the server.
You’ll remember from Chapter 16 that one of the responsibilities of a WSGI server is to provide a suitable writable object as environ['wsgi.errors'] to be used for logging errors. Because of this, any messages written to wsgi.errors are guaranteed to go to the server’s error log no matter which server you are using and no matter what format that error log takes (as long as the server conforms to the WSGI specification, of course).
You can test the behavior of wsgi.errors with the Paste HTTP server by adding a new action to the log controller:
def wsgi_errors(self): request.environ['wsgi.errors'].write( 'This is sent directly to the wsgi.errors stream') return 'Message logged to wsgi.errors'
Check that the server is still running and has the --log-file server.log option set. Now visit http://localhost:5000/log/wsgi_errors, and you will see Message logged to wsgi.errors returned to the browser. If you look at server.log, you will see the last line looks like this:
This is sent directly to the wsgi.errors stream
As you can see, sending messages to the wsgi.errors stream sends messages directly to the server log, not the application log and so bypasses all the standard logging configuration. As a result, the extra information added by a formatter such as the time or log level has not been added.
Now that you know how the wsgi.errors stream logs messages, you might decide you want to be able to use it via a handler in the configuration file using the existing logging infrastructure. Pylons provides a custom logging handler class specifically for this purpose called WSGIErrorsHandler, which you can use to automatically send log messages to the wsgi.errors stream. It is documented at http://docs.pylonshq.com/modules/log/. The advantage of using WSGIErrorsHandler is that all application logs get mixed in with the server logs, so you have only one log file to deal with, and you can quickly see the order that particular server and application events occurred in without having to compare their time stamps.
Although using the wsgi.errors stream can be useful, there is one big problem with using the Pylons WSGIErrorsHandler: all messages logged outside of a Pylons request will be silently lost.
The wsgi.errors stream is available only during a request because it has to be accessed via the WSGI environ dictionary, which itself is available only during a request. This means log messages created during application startup, shutdown, or before and after a request are silently lost.
This silent loss of messages may be something you can tolerate in your application, but generally speaking it is better to handle the application logs via a FileHandler (described in the previous section) or a RotatingFileHandler, so you can be sure all the messages are logged.
If you still want to use the WSGIErrorsHandler, this is how you do it. First add the handler name wsgierrors to the [handlers] section of the configuration file so that Pylons knows it is a handler:
[handlers] keys = console, file, wsgierrors
Then add a new handler section specifying pylons.log.WSGIErrorsHandler as the class and an empty tuple for args. In this example, only messages with the DEBUG level or higher are logged, and you are using the same generic formatter you used for the console and file handlers.
[handler_wsgierrors] class = pylons.log.WSGIErrorsHandler args = () level = DEBUG format = generic
You could now update the root logger’s handler to use the wsgierrors handler on its own, but it is safer to use both the file handler and the wsgierrors handlers together so that any messages ignored by the wsgierrors handler are at least captured by the file handler. Change the [logger_root] section to look like this:
[logger_root] level = INFO handlers = file, wsgierrors
If you try this, notice that application messages are logged both to the Paste HTTP server log (via wsgierrors) as well as directly to application.log. If you log any messages outside a request, they will appear only in the application.log file via the file handler.
Now that you’ve seen a couple of examples of how to use different handlers, it’s time to see how you can use handlers to control which messages are logged. The golden rule is that the level that eventually gets logged is the higher of the level specified in the logger and the level specified in the handler.
This means that if you want only ERROR-level messages and above going to the wsgi.errors stream, you can change its handler definition to look like this:
[handler_wsgierrors] class = pylons.log.WSGIErrorsHandler args = () level = ERROR format = generic
Now only the messages that are logged at the ERROR level or above get sent to the wsgi.errors stream by the pylons.log.WSGIErrorsHandler handler.
Now that you’ve seen some of the things that you can do with handlers, let’s look in more detail at loggers.
By default, three loggers are configured for your development.ini configuration. In the case of LogTest, the relevant lines look like this:
[loggers] keys = root, routes, logtest ... [logger_root] level = INFO handlers = [logger_routes] level = INFO handlers = qualname = routes.middleware # "level = DEBUG" logs the route matched and routing variables. [logger_logtest] level = DEBUG handlers = qualname = logtest ...
As you can see, loggers are configured for the following:
- All messages (logger_root)
- Routes middleware messages (logger_routes)
- Messages from the LogTest project (logger_logtest)
If you look at the [logger_logtest] section, you’ll see that no handler is defined, so you might be wondering how the test messages you wrote in the log controller at the beginning of the chapter were logged to the application log. The answer is via propagation.
If you don’t explicitly set a value for the propagate option, it is assumed to be set to 1. This means that any messages sent to the logger are also propagated to its parent logger. In this case, the parent logger is the root logger, and this does have a handler specified, so all messages to the logtest logger are actually handled by the root logger.
You have to be very careful when spelling propagate because Pylons won’t give you a warning if you misspell it. I’ve spent quite a long time wondering why propagation wasn’t working only to realize I’d made a typo, and I wouldn’t want you to make the same mistake!
You can test this behavior by setting propagate to 0 in the configuration section for [logger_logtest] and restarting the server. If you do this and then visit the http://localhost:5000/log/index URL, you’ll see the following error message instead of the log message you might have expected:
No handlers could be found for logger "logtest.controllers.log"
This is because the messages are no longer propagated to the root logger and no handlers are specified for the logtest.controllers.log logger. The logging system is warning you that you might have made a mistake.
You might be wondering how the messages were sent to the logtest logger in the first place when the logger the messages were sent to is actually called logtest.controller.log. Once again, this occurs via propagation. Because the qualname option is specified with the value logtest, the [logger_logtest] configuration will apply to any logger whose name starts with logtest.. To test this, you could create a new logger in the log controller, which looks like this:
other_log = logging.getLogger('logtest.controllers.log.other')
Then in the index() action you could choose to use the new logger like this:
def index(self): other_log.info("Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log.other' logger") log.info("Logged with the %r log", __name__) return 'Check the logs!'
If you tested the example, you’d see that messages to both loggers are output:
21:30:43,621 INFO [logtest.controllers.log.other] Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log.other' logger 21:30:43,622 INFO [logtest.controllers.log] Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log' log
Since both the loggers in this example are children of the logtest logger, both get logged. Remember to change the propagate option back to 1 if you test this example so that the messages are propagated onto the root logger and then onto the handler.
Remember that the logger name used in controllers is related to the qualname specified in the configuration for the logger section, not to the name of the config file section. This means you could rename the [logger_logtest] section to something completely different such as [logger_foo] as long as you kept the qualname as logtest and updated other references within the config file to use the foo name.
You can also use propagation to filter log messages. For example, say you wanted only WARNING messages or above from the logtest.controllers.log.other logger but still wanted DEBUG messages or above for all other children of the logtest logger. You could update the config file like this (changes are to lines 2 and 12-16):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
[loggers] keys = root, routes, logtest, logtest_controllers_log_other ... [logger_logtest] level = DEBUG handlers = qualname = logtest propagate = 1 [logger_logtest_controllers_log_other] level = WARNING handlers = qualname = logtest.controllers.log.other propagate = 1
Now if you tested the previous example again so that an INFO message is logged to both the logtest.controllers.log.other logger and the logtest.controllers.log logger, you’d just see the message that was logged to logtest.controllers.log. This is because logtest.controllers.log.other is only accepting messages of WARNING level or above, so the INFO message it receives is ignored. Here is the output logged:
21:30:53,422 INFO [logtest.controllers.log] Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log' log
If you updated the action to use a warning or error message like this (line 2), the log message would appear again, this time as a WARNING.
1 2 3 4
def index(self): other_log.warning("Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log.other' logger") log.info("Logged with the %r log", __name__) return 'Check the logs!'
If you tested the example, you’d see the following output:
21:31:48,531 WARN [logtest.controllers.log.other] Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log.other' logger 21:31:48,532 INFO [logtest.controllers.log] Logged with the 'logtest.controllers.log' log
A logger’s level option does not affect messages which it receives via propagation from a child logger. This means the level option can only be used to filter messages which are received directly. To test this, update the config file so that the level for logtest.controllers.log.other is set to DEBUG and the level for logtest.controllers.log is set to WARNING. If you call other_log.info('This message will be logged') in the controller you will see the message is logged because it isn’t filtered by the level = WARNING option in the [log_logtest] section.
This is why the very first example in the chapter worked even though it logged a debug message and the root logger level was specified as INFO.
In practical terms, you can use propagation in three main ways:
- Set up nonroot loggers that have no handlers but do propagate. The non-root loggers can then be used to adjust the verbosity of their logging output by changing their level.
- You could also set up nonroot loggers that have handlers but that do not propagate. These produce output only in the handlers they specify and not in the root handler. If a handler has a level higher than the underlying message, the output is suppressed. You’ll see an example of this setup next when you add SQLAlchemy output to a new log file.
- Some nonroot loggers have handlers and do propagate. The message will appear in both places. This can be useful if you are using the WSGIErrorsHandler to ensure that all messages get logged.
When you are trying to debug a problem in a particular controller, or perhaps a particular module from, say, SQLAlchemy, then you might find that setting the root logger to DEBUG or NOTSET will produce too many messages for you to easily deal with, most of which will be generated by modules you aren’t interested in. Instead, you want to be able to adjust only the verbosity of output from one logger or set of loggers.
To do this, you need to add logging configuration for the logger you want to add log messages for. You can then choose to have them handled by the root logger using propagation, configure them to use a separate handler, or do both. Let’s look at these approaches.
As an example, let’s set up a logger to log a SQLAlchemy engine. To do this, you need to set up a new logger in the configuration file; name it sqlalchemy:
[loggers] keys = root, routes, logtest, sqlalchemy
Now you need to add the configuration for that logger:
[logger_sqlalchemy] level = DEBUG handlers = qualname = sqlalchemy.engine propagate = 1
The qualname option here specifies that this logger will handle any messages sent to a logger named sqlalchemy.engine or any children it might have. Because the propagate option is set to 1, this logger’s messages get propagated up to the root logger where they are handled by the root logger’s handler.
Even if you set the root logger’s level to something higher such as ERROR, the sqlalchemy.engine debug messages logged at the INFO and DEBUG levels would still be logged because, as you’ve seen, the level option on the root logger doesn’t apply to log messages propagated from configured loggers.
If you chose to enable SQLAlchemy support when you used paster create to create your Pylons project, you’d see that your config file already has the following configuration set up:
[logger_sqlalchemy] level = INFO handlers = qualname = sqlalchemy.engine # "level = INFO" logs SQL queries. # "level = DEBUG" logs SQL queries and results. # "level = WARNING" logs neither. (Recommended for production systems.)
By changing the qualname option, you can adjust which parts of SQLAlchemy are logged. By changing the log level of the sqlalchemy logger, you can adjust which SQLAlchemy messages are propagated to the root logger to be handled. The INFO level results in SQL queries being logged, and the DEBUG level causes both queries and results to be logged. You may decide that you want to turn off SQLAlchemy log messages temporarily. If so, you can leave the root logger set to INFO and set the sqlalchemy logger’s level to WARNING, and then the usual INFO log messages will be suppressed.
Another piece of software that uses log messages is AuthKit. Some of what AuthKit does behind the scenes is rather complicated, so if you are trying to debug a particular behavior, logging can help.
Let’s configure AuthKit so that its messages are sent straight to application.log via the file handler. First add the logger to the [loggers] section and change the [logger_root] section so that it is no longer using the file handler itself:
[loggers] keys = root, routes, logtest, authkit [logger_root] level = INFO handlers = wsgierrors
Then add the configuration for the new logger:
[logger_authkit] level = DEBUG handlers = file qualname = authkit propagate = 0
In this case, the qualname is authkit to capture all AuthKit log messages. The handler is set to file to use the same file handler section you set up earlier, and propagate is set to 0 so that the log messages aren’t propagated to the root logger.
In this configuration, the AuthKit messages get sent directly to the file handler where they are logged to the application.log file. Of course, nothing is stopping you from using a handler and propagating a message to the root logger. To do this, just set propagate to 1 and you’ll see the message is passed to the root logger which passes it to the wsgierrors handler so that it gets logged there too.
So far in this chapter I’ve been discussing the logging configuration for a development setup, but Pylons uses a different default configuration for production setups.
If you install the LogTest project you can create a production configuration file like this:
$ paster make-config LogTest production.ini Distribution already installed: LogTest 0.1dev from /home/james/Desktop/LogTest Creating production.ini Now you should edit the config files production.ini
The logging part of the generated production.ini file looks like this:
# Logging configuration [loggers] keys = root [handlers] keys = console [formatters] keys = generic [logger_root] level = INFO handlers = console [handler_console] class = StreamHandler args = (sys.stderr,) level = NOTSET formatter = generic [formatter_generic] format = %(asctime)s %(levelname)-5.5s [%(name)s] %(message)s
As you can see, this defines just one logger, the root logger. The console handler is the same for the development setup, and the formatter is only slightly different (it doesn’t include the millisecond part of the time).
This means that any messages of INFO level or above will be logged to the standard error stream. As you’ve seen, this is likely to send log messages generated by the application to the server log, so you might prefer to set up a file handler instead. You saw how to do this in the “Logging to a File” section.
In this chapter, you saw how to use logging within a Pylons controller and template and took a brief tour of some of the features of Python’s logging module. You also saw how logging configuration is divided into sections for loggers, handlers, and formatters, and you saw the options each of these different sections can take and what the options do.
You also saw how to control log messages, filtering them by changing the log levels in a handler or using propagation to control which levels of messages get propagated. You saw how to direct certain messages to different handlers such as an external file, and you know how to configure logging to have messages from other software included in the logs.
With the knowledge you’ve gained, you should be able to take control of the Pylons log messages and make them work for you. When used correctly, logging can be a very powerful tool.