Friday, October 16, 2009

Monitor text files in real-time

As a developer I use text files all the time to write out information to log application events. These logs become extremely valuable when I am trying to debug a problem (especially while an app is running in production).

Typically I used to load up the file in NotePad++, which would provide me with a notification everytime the log file changed, allowing me to decide if NotePad++ should reload the document. (TextPad also provides similar functionality).

Today, I came across an awesome tool called BareTail, that allows me to monitor log files in real-time. BareTail automatically updates itself as the log file changes and it can display lines that were added or deleted. BareTail almost feels like a video player that is streaming what is happening to your log file.

Apparently, the origin of the name Bare-Tail is from the UNIX tool that provides similar capability called “tail” (run as tail –f).

It is definitely a tool that you should add to your dev-tools box.

BareTail -

NotePad++ -

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