Cool Mac App Idea? A Better Log Viewer

On my computer, I have a bunch of Magento installs that I work on here and there. I probably have 12 sites on here right now, all being Magento sites. Each Magento install has 2 files that I monitor: var/log/system.log and var/log/exception.log. Each of those sites has their own apache error logs as well for any php errors that arise. That’s 36 different log files.

I currently run up a tail -f var/log/system.log & in Terminal to monitor files, which works pretty good. That is my preferred method at this point. I know that I could also use the Console app, but quite honestly, there’s no organization there, and there’s loads of other log files that I don’t care about.

I think it would be awesome to have a native Mac app that allows you to ‘subscribe’ or ‘unsubscribe’ from any log files of your choosing, almost like a feed reader (like NetNewsWire). Here are some features that I think would be really great:

  • Ability to subscribe/unsubscribe easily to any log files on your system
  • Easily clear the log display (just like command + k in Terminal) or delete everything in the log file
  • Set filters that look for specific matches (using regex). If a match is found, the app would notify you in some way (Growl, dock bounce, etc.)
  • Nice display of log entries (subtle zebra stripe perhaps? Color-coded, or color icons to easily distinguish between errors, warnings, debug, etc.)
  • On the logs that you aren’t currently viewing, show the number of unread log entries for all other logs that you’ve subscribed to – just like a feed reader
  • Ability to organize logs in folders, and rename them (without actually renaming the actual file)
  • Perhaps some sort of integration with IDE’s, like Eclipse, Aptana, Netbeans, etc. that would allow you to click on a particular error if there is a file and line number in the log, and it would take you to the error in the file
  • Ability perhaps to also monitor log files on servers (if proper credentials were given to access them)

If you think that this would be a good idea, and something you would be really interested in having, please leave a comment. Also, if you have any additional ideas that would make this app even more useful, post a comment for that too.

If you would be at all interested in making an app like this, while I do not know cocoa or mac app development, I would love to help in anyway I could.

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2 Responses to Cool Mac App Idea? A Better Log Viewer

  1. Erik Hansen says:

    I agree – I more robust log viewer app would be great. I personally prefer to use Console (over command line) to view log files, especially since I can configure it to pop to the foreground when new content is added to the files I’m watching.

  2. JiDai says:

    Yep, I looking for a Better Log Viewer, and stop running tail command! :)