RFR (L): 8046148: JEP 158 Unified JVM Logging

Max Ockner max.ockner at oracle.com
Fri Sep 11 14:11:25 UTC 2015

TL;DR at the bottom.

I have encountered some of the same issues with "levels" as many of the 
other responders. Approximately half of the runtime team's logging plans 
(all of the command line options) are made significantly more 
complicated by the way levels are set up. The other half of our logging 
requirements actually fit very well with levels.

First I'll mention the pain points of converting to Unified Logging. UL 
wants me to organize my logging messages by subsystem (tag), which I 
completely agree with. However, each subsystem is only allowed 5 nested 
logging commands even though it is most common that a single subsystem 
has several disjoint types of logging going on. Here is an example in 
which it makes more sense to split a subsystem into 5 different tags 
than it does to use levels:

We have a ClassLoading system with quite a lot of stuff that can be 
logged. ClassLoading, ClassUnloading, ClassLoaderData, 
LoaderConstraints, ClassLoadingPreorder, and a couple more. If we want 
all of these logging options to be accessible through the ClassLoading 
tag (which we absolutely *do* want),  then we will need to assign one 
logging feature per level. So which one is Trace level? That is, which 
feature do we only want to see if everything else is being printed as 
well?  What if we want to use print LoaderConstraints on its own? With 
the given design, you can't separate different types of logging in this 
way without having entirely different tags.

Because of this, the runtime team plans to use a large number of tags 
(more than 75 different tags) despite having nowhere close to that many 
subsystems. There are also many instances of logging options being 
called with "Verbose" or "WizardMode", which is analogous to setting 
level=trace. An undesirable side effect of this is if we want logging 
option X to have a default output and a more verbose output,  then 
option X in its plain form is forced to have a level lower than trace. 
We have had to compromise some of the logging functionality so far by 
combining Verbose and WizardMode so that there is at most one level of 
super verbose info above any command line option.  Of course, it would 
be nice to condense a lot of these options into single logging 
statements for their respective subsystems, but this would majorly 
affect the existing Java code for a lot of our customers as well as a 
lot of developers.

On a more positive note, our error and warning level logging messages 
fit much better into the UL framework since the subsystem and severity 
of the error naturally imply which tag and level should be used.

-Levels help with structuring a lot of runtime's logging messages.
-Levels create undesirable constraints on some (half) of runtime's 
logging messages.
-If users and developers weren't already using our command line options 
in such delicate ways, it would be much easier for runtime to bite the 
bullet and completely adhere to the tag=subsystem convention.
- Unified Logging is good.

I hope this helps.
Max Ockner

More information about the hotspot-dev mailing list