Log::Defer - Deferred logs and timers

        use Log::Defer;
        use JSON::XS; ## or whatever
        use Try::Tiny;

        sub my_logger_function {
          my $msg = shift;
          my $encoded_msg = try {
          catch {
            "Failed to JSON encode msg : $_"

          print $encoded_msg; ## usually you'd append this to a file

        my $logger = Log::Defer->new({
                                       cb => \&my_logger_function,
                                       verbosity => 30,

        $logger->info("hello world");

        my $timer = $logger->timer('some timer');
        undef $timer; ## stops timer

        undef $logger; ## write out log message


           "start" : 1340421702.16684,
           "end" : 0.000249,
           "logs" : [
                 "hello world"
           "timers" : [
                 "some timer",

    I believe a lot of log processing is done too early.

    This module lets you defer log processing in two ways:

    Defer recording of log messages until some "transaction" has completed
        Typically this transaction is something like an HTTP request or a
        cron job. Generally log messages are easier to read if they are
        recorded atomically and are not intermingled with log messages
        created by other transactions.

    Defer rendering of log messages
        Sometimes you don't know how logs should be rendered until long
        after the message has been written. If you aren't sure what
        information you'll want to display, or you expect to display the
        same logs in multiple formats, it makes sense to store your logs in
        a highly structured format so they can be reliably parsed and
        processed later.

    This module doesn't actually write out logs! To use this module for
    normal logging purposes you also need a logging library (some of them
    are mentioned in "SEE ALSO").

    To use Log::Defer, you create a logger object and pass in a code ref
    callback (either bare or as "cb" in an argument hash-ref). This callback
    will be called once the Log::Defer object is destroyed or once all
    references to the object go out of scope:

        sub handle_request {
          my $logger = Log::Defer->new(\&logging_function);
          $logger->info("blah blah");
        } ## <- $logger goes out of scope here so log is written now

    There is no need to manually ensure that every possible code path ends
    up calling your logging routine at the end because perl's reference
    counting system does that for you (unless you call "POSIX::_exit" so
    don't do that).

    In an asynchronous application where multiple asynchronous tasks are
    kicked off concurrently, each task can keep a reference to the logger
    object and the log writing will be deferred until all tasks are

    Log::Defer makes it easy to gather timing information about the various
    stages of your request. This is explained further below.

    Free-form line-based log protocols are probably the most common log
    formats by far. The "format" is usually just coincidental -- whatever
    happened to be convenient for the programmer to record.

    Unfortunately, doing analysis on ad-hoc unstructured logs requires lots
    of menial coding work writing parsers. Even more annoying is that these
    parsers are often regexp-based and brittle.

    As well as being a perl module, Log::Defer is also a specification for a
    structured logging format. Although it doesn't impose any external
    encoding for log messages on you, some tools like the visualisation tool
    log-defer-viz only support JSON at this time.

    The currently recommended format to store logs in is newline-separated,
    minified JSON. The newline+minification is useful because it allows
    simple whole-request greping of the logs. With structured logs, much
    more accurate and flexible greping is also possible, as described in

    Log::Defer objects provide a very basic "log level" system. In order of
    increasing verbosity, here are the normal logging methods and their
    numeric log levels:

        $logger->error("...");  # 10
        $logger->warn("...");   # 20
        $logger->info("...");   # 30
        $logger->debug("...");  # 40

    You can also use custom log levels:

        $logger->add_log(25, "...");

    If you pass in a "verbosity" argument to the Log::Defer constructor,
    messages with a higher log level will not be included in the final log
    message. Otherwise, all log messages are included.

    Even if you record noisy debug logs you can filter them out with a
    visualisation tool at display time. The "verbosity" argument is only
    useful for reducing the size of log messages or eliminating unnecessary
    processing overhead (see the no-overhead debug logs section below).

    Note that you can pass in multiple items to a log message and they don't
    even need to be strings (but make sure you are handling any
    serialisation exceptions thrown by your encoder as done in the

        $logger->error("peer timeout", { waited => $timeout });

    In the deferred logging callback, the log messages are recorded in the
    "logs" element of the $msg hash. It is an array ref and here is the
    element that would be pushed onto "logs" by the "error" method call

        [ 30.201223, 10, "peer timeout", { waited => 30 } ]

    The first element is a timestamp of how long the "error" method was
    called after the "start" in seconds (see TIMERS below). The second
    element is the verbosity level of this message. The remaining elements
    are passed in untouched from the "error" method.

    If you would like to compute complex messages in debug mode but don't
    want to burden your production systems with this overhead, you can use
    delayed message generation:

        $logger->debug(sub { "Connection: " . dump_connection_info($conn) });

    The sub will only be invoked if the logger object is instantiated with
    "verbosity" of 40 or higher (or you omit "verbosity" altogether).

    Instead of log messages, you can directly add items to a "data" hash
    reference with the "data" method:

        $log->data->{ip} = $ENV{REMOTE_ADDR};

    This is a useful place to record info that needs to be extracted
    programatically. Anything you put in the "data" hash reference will be
    passed along untouched to your defered callback (but again, make sure
    you are catching encoder exceptions as shown in the synopsis).

    When the logger object is first created, the current time is recorded as
    a Time::HiRes absolute timestamp and is stored in the "start" element of
    the log hash. "start" is a Time::HiRes absolute timestamp. All other
    times are relative offsets from "start" in seconds.

    When the logger object is destroyed, the time elapsed since "start" is
    stored in "end".

    In addition to the start and duration of the entire transaction, you can
    also record timing data of sub-portions of your transaction by using
    timer objects.

    Timer objects are created by calling the "timer" method on the logger
    object. This method should be passed a description of what you are

    The timer starts as soon as the timer object is created and stops once
    the last reference to the timer is destroyed or goes out of scope:

            my $timer = $log_defer_object->timer('running some_code()');
        } ## <- timer is stopped here because $timer goes out of scope

    If the logger object itself is destroyed or goes out of scope then all
    outstanding timers are terminated at that point.

    Each structured log message will be passed into the callback provided to
    "new" as a perl hash reference that contains various other perl
    data-structures. What you do at this point is up to you.

    Here is a prettified example of a JSON-encoded message:

           "start" : 1340353046.93565,
           "end" : 0.202386,
           "logs" : [
                 "This is an info message (log level=30)"
                 "Warning! \n\n Here is some more data:",
                     "whatever" : 987
           "data" : {
              "junkdata" : "some data"
           "timers" : [

    See the log-defer-viz command-line script that renders Log::Defer logs.
    Timers are shown something like this:

         download file |===============================================|
          cache lookup |==============|
             DB lookup                |======================|
          update cache                                       |==================|
            sent reply                                                 X
        times in ms    0.2            32.4                             100.7
                                                             80.7              119.2

    Sometimes it's useful to create a "child logger" Log::Defer object which
    is later merged into your main logger. This can be accomplished with the
    "merge" method:

        my $logger = Log::Defer->new(sub {
                                       my $merged_msg = shift;
                                       ## ...

        ## ...

          my $child_logger = Log::Defer->new(sub {
                                               my $msg = shift;

        ## ...

    This technique is used in AnyEvent::Task so that worker processes can
    log messages using Log::Defer and these are then merged into a client
    process's existing logger object.

    Michael Pucyk's Python implementation: LogDefer Python module

    Doug Hoyte's C++ implementation: LogDefer-CXX

    Richard Farr's D implementation: LogDefer-D

    Mark Jubenville's Javascript implementation: log-defer

    Log::Defer github repo <>

    One way to visualize logs created by this module is with the
    command-line script log-defer-viz

    As mentioned above, this module doesn't itself log messages to disk so
    you still must use some other module to record your log messages. There
    are many libraries on CPAN that can do this and there should be at least
    one that fits your requirements. Some examples are: Sys::Syslog,
    Log::Dispatch, Log::Handler, Log::Log4perl, Log::Fast, AnyEvent::Log.

    Additionally, this module doesn't provide any official serialization
    format. There are many choices for this, including JSON::XS (JSON is the
    only format currently supported by log-defer-viz), Sereal, Storable, and

    Currently the timestamp generation system is hard-coded to
    "Time::HiRes::time". You should be aware of some caveats related to
    non-monotonic clocks that are discussed in Time::HiRes.

    Doug Hoyte, "<>"

    Copyright 2012-2016 Doug Hoyte.

    This module is licensed under the same terms as perl itself.