Error reporting and logging

Submitted by Jim Zaun on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 14:43

The error reporting and logging was built into the plug-in framework so that all plug-ins had a place to report status messages and problems. Most of the time, errors were only indicated by a small icon at the bottom right of the screen. This was requested by marketing. When an error occurred, the icon changed to an orange or red triangle. To see the actual error one had to click on that icon. In addition, one could type a magic key sequence to bring up a session log. This feature was very useful in tracking down obscure bugs. In the screenshot below, a recent (contrived) server change had caused it to produce some malformed JSON. The log displayed both the HTTP request and JSON response depending on the error level (0-9).

Image courtesy of FlyteComm, Inc.. Used by permission.

You can see from the log that all the data was faked via a web services mock plug-in that could playback canned interactions caught when bugs were uncovered. This was useful for playing back problematic sequences that would be difficult to reproduce repeatedly from real data. (The company also required that I use fake data for this résumé presentation.)