RFR 2: JDK-8005263: Logging APIs takes Supplier<String> for message

Jason Mehrens jason_mehrens at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 27 19:22:27 UTC 2012

Please don't apply this patch.  This patch and the suggested workarounds are still an anti-pattern of the logging API.  You don't want to encourage this type of on the fly message construction because it can't be localized.  Even Netbeans has a code hint to undo this pattern that you are enabling. The problem with this patch is it fails to meet even its own goals when used it in a real world context.   The stated goal is to eliminate unnecessary message construction but, in this patch you will pay the cost of message construction when you create a LogRecord.  If you configure a system with MemoryHandler to track the events that lead up to a failure you will pay the message cost on every LogRecord that passes through the ring buffer.  With this API change, we are performing costly message construction for evicted and unformatted records which is awful.  This same kind of worst case behavior happens when the handler levels are higher than the logger level or if a handler is using a filter to track a specific error.  I've used combinations of those logging configurations on production applications to track down elusive errors (See bug 6219960).  This patch assumes that if a record is loggable by a logger that it will be formatted and that is incorrect.  In the 1.4-1.7 logging, message construction cost is delayed until formatting which is as lazy as it gets in the logging world. Take the workaround you suggest bellow.  If you apply Object.toString() to any of the arguments, then that cripples what you can do with custom Filter or custom Formatter because you want to be able to access the arguments in their original form and not the string representation.  Also, you always want to use the ResouceBundle assigned to the LogRecord from the logger to do the localization.  The msg supplier won't know what that is at the time the lambda is created or I would have to recreate code that the logger already does for me every time I want to log something.  It would be easier to do what we've done since 1.4 which is use a guard statement to avoid evaluation of the expensive method call.  Against this patch if I use a lambda or a guard they will both evaluate the expensive call under the same scenarios. Take the 'DiagnosisMessages::systemHealthStatus' example from the API docs.  Seems fine until you realize that someday you might have to read the output of that statement in a log somewhere or you want to create a filter that only shows when the system is unhealthy.  So you start to transform that example and realize that you don't want to create a 'systemHealthStatusWithContextMsg' method because it can't be localized during formatting.  You don't want to simply perform msg concatenation because that is bad practice and doesn't use lambda.  So skip using the lambda APIs because you can use the parameterized logging with a guard statement and that allows you to localize the message and or use the raw parameter data in a Filter to determine which system value has exceed some threshold without resorting to message parsing.  Parameters are always more useful than a preformatted string message.  Once you arrive here, there is no need for a message parameter to be anything other than a message format pattern or a resource bundle key.  Both of those types of messages are string literals so I don't need a Supplier. I think what would be more powerful and fitting patch would be to overload all of the Logger.finest, Logger.finer, Logger.fine, etc. like 'Logger.finer(String msg, Throwable thrown, Supplier... params)' or use a sub-interface of Supplier.  As long as the given Supplier.toString() is implemented as: 'return String.valueof(get())' then the existing logging API would format these lazy parameters the same way and would properly delay the construction cost to only at the time of formatting.  Filters would be allowed access to the original parameters through the supplier interface and the already established localization in the logging API would still work.  The established best practice of not creating on the fly messages would still remain an enduring goal of the logging API. Respectfully, Jason
> For messages not just only for developer, they should be localized as
> you suggested and in such cases, it is possible to achieve the laziness
> via Object.toString(), less straightforward than using a lambda, but is
> possible.
> Cheers,
> Henry


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