Next: , Previous: Writing BuildStep Constructors, Up: Writing New BuildSteps BuildStep LogFiles

Each BuildStep has a collection of “logfiles”. Each one has a short name, like “stdio” or “warnings”. Each LogFile contains an arbitrary amount of text, usually the contents of some output file generated during a build or test step, or a record of everything that was printed to stdout/stderr during the execution of some command.

These LogFiles are stored to disk, so they can be retrieved later.

Each can contain multiple “channels”, generally limited to three basic ones: stdout, stderr, and “headers”. For example, when a ShellCommand runs, it writes a few lines to the “headers” channel to indicate the exact argv strings being run, which directory the command is being executed in, and the contents of the current environment variables. Then, as the command runs, it adds a lot of “stdout” and “stderr” messages. When the command finishes, a final “header” line is added with the exit code of the process.

Status display plugins can format these different channels in different ways. For example, the web page shows LogFiles as text/html, with header lines in blue text, stdout in black, and stderr in red. A different URL is available which provides a text/plain format, in which stdout and stderr are collapsed together, and header lines are stripped completely. This latter option makes it easy to save the results to a file and run grep or whatever against the output.

Each BuildStep contains a mapping (implemented in a python dictionary) from LogFile name to the actual LogFile objects. Status plugins can get a list of LogFiles to display, for example, a list of HREF links that, when clicked, provide the full contents of the LogFile.

Using LogFiles in custom BuildSteps

The most common way for a custom BuildStep to use a LogFile is to summarize the results of a ShellCommand (after the command has finished running). For example, a compile step with thousands of lines of output might want to create a summary of just the warning messages. If you were doing this from a shell, you would use something like:

     grep "warning:" output.log >warnings.log

In a custom BuildStep, you could instead create a “warnings” LogFile that contained the same text. To do this, you would add code to your createSummary method that pulls lines from the main output log and creates a new LogFile with the results:

         import StringIO
         def createSummary(self, log):
             warnings = []
             sio = StringIO.StringIO(log.getText())
             for line in sio.readlines():
                 if "warning:" in line:
             self.addCompleteLog('warnings', "".join(warnings))

This example uses the addCompleteLog method, which creates a new LogFile, puts some text in it, and then “closes” it, meaning that no further contents will be added. This LogFile will appear in the HTML display under an HREF with the name “warnings”, since that is the name of the LogFile.

You can also use addHTMLLog to create a complete (closed) LogFile that contains HTML instead of plain text. The normal LogFile will be HTML-escaped if presented through a web page, but the HTML LogFile will not. At the moment this is only used to present a pretty HTML representation of an otherwise ugly exception traceback when something goes badly wrong during the BuildStep.

In contrast, you might want to create a new LogFile at the beginning of the step, and add text to it as the command runs. You can create the LogFile and attach it to the build by calling addLog, which returns the LogFile object. You then add text to this LogFile by calling methods like addStdout and addHeader. When you are done, you must call the finish method so the LogFile can be closed. It may be useful to create and populate a LogFile like this from a LogObserver method See Adding LogObservers.

The logfiles= argument to ShellCommand (see see ShellCommand) creates new LogFiles and fills them in realtime by asking the buildslave to watch a actual file on disk. The buildslave will look for additions in the target file and report them back to the BuildStep. These additions will be added to the LogFile by calling addStdout. These secondary LogFiles can be used as the source of a LogObserver just like the normal “stdio” LogFile.