So if you can't easy throw a debugger at a running or deployed program, how do you tell what it's doing (and what's going wrong!)? Well, logging is the age-old technique of weaving code into your program that outputs a trace of what the program is doing.
Most languages offer an ability to output a string, which can be used for logging purposes. Here I'm thinking of calls like C's printf, perl's print and Java's System.out.println(). But there's a better way to add logging to software: a dedicated logging package like Log4J.
Log4J is a logging package written in Java distributed under a BSD-style license by the Apache group, and has been ported to a number of languages. It has a number of advantages over the simplistic System.out.println(), including:
Bob Frank is a Senior Engineer in Apple's Educational consulting group. He works with all Apple technologies, but is primarily focused on designing and developing Java based applications using Apple's application server WebObjects and using Apple's object persistence technology Enterprise Objects. In addition, he also helps run the Chicago Cocoa and WebObjects User Group (CAWUG), a local programing user group.
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