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  • reason, class, stacktrace: standard error catching fields.
  • module, function, line, timestamp, node, when, pid: reserved fields (could be used by logger itself).
  • When logging IQs, adding the acc field should be enough. If acc not available, iq can be used. If iq is not available, sub_el could be logged as a last option.
  • what: why we are logging. We often use the function name as the what field.
    • Suffixes: If something goes wrong, use a _failed suffix (instead of unable_to and _error). The most common suffixes are _starting, _started, _stopping, _stopped, and _result.
    • Prefixes: We sometimes add prefixes to what to signal where we are logging from. Such prefixes should be short. Please, don't prefix with the complete module name. Some examples for prefixes are: mam_, sm_, muc_, auth_, s2s_, pool_.

When checking the final event name, remove duplicates from it.

Bad event names Good event names Why
s2s_dns_error s2s_dns_lookup_failed Not _failed prefix
s2s_dns_error s2s_dns_lookup_timeout More specific failure reason
mod_mam_starting mam_starting Use mam_ prefix for MAM modules
mongoose_wpool_mgr_pool_starting pool_starting Too long and repetitive

Logger defaults

Timestamp should be ordered first when possible, so that sorting is automatic.

Name Type Description Examples
timestamp atom The timestamp (with timezone information) 2018-07-11T13:41:10+00:00
at string Where in code the call or log line was emitted module:function:line
level enum log level according to RFC 5424 warning

Generally required

Name Type Description Examples Notes
what atom Event (or issue) name remove_user_failed
text binary Human readable description <<"MAM failed to contact MySQL">>
result binary Explanation of the what key failed Optional
tags [atom] The subcomponent taking action and logging data. [c2s, presence], [mam, rdbms] This category should be chosen based on filtering needs, and may represent the domain of concern for some operations

HTTP requests

Name Type Description Examples Notes
path binary HTTP path <<"/api/add_user">>
code integer HTTP code 200
ip tuple IP address inet:ip_address()
port integer TCP/UDP port number 5222
peer tuple peer() :: {inet:ip_address(), inet:port_number()} {{127,0,0,1},5222}
req map Cowboy request Provide when available
reply_body binary Body reply <<"ok">>


Name Type Description Examples Notes
acc map mongoose_acc, used to extract fields #{...}
user binary Local Username <<"alice">> Use #jid.luser when available
server binary Local Server (host) name <<"localhost">> Use #jid.lserver when available
sub_host binary Subhost when MUC or pubsub are used <<"muc.localhost">> It's not the same as server
remote_user binary Remote Username (usually who makes IQ requests) <<"alice">> Use #jid.luser when available
remote_server binary Remote Server (usually who makes IQ requests) <<"otherhost">> Use #jid.lserver when available
iq record MongooseIM IQ record #iq{} Provide when available (but it could be acc instead)
sub_el record IQ sub element #xmlel{} Provide ONLY if iq not available
c2s_state record C2S process state, that would be used by formatter #state{}
from_jid binary Accumulator's from_jid <<"alice@localhost">>
to_jid binary Accumulator's to_jid <<"to@localhost">>
packet binary Accumulator's element <<"<message>...">> Encoded as XML, not erlang records
exml_packet record Same as packet, but in #xmlel{} format #xmlel{} Record, formatted in formatter

Other requests

Name Type Description Examples Notes
duration integer Duration of some operation in milliseconds 5000 Don't use it for microseconds
state_name atom State name in gen_fsm wait_for_stream
state term gen_server state #state{} Consider adding a formatter
call_from tuple From argument in gen_server's handle_call {Pid, Tag}

When logging exceptions

what key should contain en _exception suffix. Following keys should be present:

Name Type Description Examples Notes
class enum catch Class:Reason:Stacktrace error
reason term catch Class:Reason:Stacktrace http_timeout
stacktrace term catch Class:Reason:Stacktrace [...] Formatted by formatter

Macros for logging unexpected requests

gen_server processes sometimes receive messages they couldn't process. We use macros to log such events (just because you would need them in each gen_server module).

We don't need to log state or state names for such events.

%% We don't always handle unexpected calls.
handle_call(Request, From, State) ->
    ?UNEXPECTED_CALL(Request, From),
    {reply, {error, unexpected_call}, State}.

%% We don't always handle unexpected casts.
handle_cast(Msg, State) ->
    {noreply, State}.

%% We SHOULD ignore all unexpected messages, because they could arrive in case
%% of gen_server call timeouts.
handle_info(Msg, State) ->
    {noreply, State}.

These macros translate into warning logs with the following keys, respectively:

#{what => unexpected_cast, msg => Msg}.
#{what => unexpected_info, msg => Msg}.
#{what => unexpected_call, msg => Msg, call_from => From}.