CIMA Log Formats

CIMA log formats

During Your observing session, CIMA will write a log for You and some of the log messages will also be displayed in the CIMA observation log display window. In fact, CIMA will create two logs: a project log which is written in Your project directory and a system log which is written in the /share/cima/Logs/Obs_logs directory.

The log shown in the CIMA observation log display window

During Your observations, all sorts of messages about what is going on is shown in the log display window which is opened in the lower right corner when You start up CIMA. The messages shown in the log display window is a subset of the messages written to the log files. Starting with CIMA version 2.3, You can now select how much of the information going to the log file You want displayed in the log display window. With the newer versions You can also select the format for the displayed messages and how much colors You want in the display window. In version 2.2 and older, everything is hard-coded and there are no user-selectable options.

CIMA 1.2.03 and earlier

The log display window uses the following format: Note that the time specified is in UTC.

CIMA 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2

The log display window uses the following format: The difference from the previous versions is the removal of the date and the change of the time from being UTC to AST.

CIMA 2.3 and later

You have the option to specify which of the following four formats You want in Your project log file with 'Old' being identical to the old format:

The error log display window

The error log display window was introduced in CIMA version 2.3 and can be launched either from the 'Utilities' menu or from the 'Filter' menu in the log display window. It will show You a list of all important messages (typically errors and warnings) generated since the beginning of the CIMA session. You can use it to check for problems without having to scroll through the entire log display window. You can select which type of messages should be displayed by selecting the 'lowest' message level to be included from the following list: errors, warning, problems, alerts, notes and commands. New messages will be added automatically if the window is left open. The log format can be selected independently from the format used for the log display window. Note that You need to press the 'Rescan session log' button for any change in settings to take effect.

Colors in logs

Colors are used to make it easier to spot different kind of messages. The color scheme was extended with the introduction of CIMA version 2.3.

CIMA 2.2 and earlier

The color scheme used is based on the existence of certain keywrods anywhere in the message:

Keyword anywhere in message Color
ERROR red
WARN orange
DONE blue
Everything else black

CIMA 2.3 and later

The color scheme is based on the message level and whether the full or reduced color scheme option has been selected. The following table shows all message levels and their corresponding colors. It also shows which levels will be included in the different log windows and log files.

Message level Full color scheme Reduced color scheme Display log Error log Project log file System log file
ERROR white on red white on red Always Always Always Always
WARNING white on orange white on orange Always Selectable Always Always
PROBLEM red on grey red on grey Always Selectable Always Always
ALERT yellow on dark brown yellow on dark brown Always Selectable Always Always
NOTE black on green black on green Always Selectable Always Always
COMMAND blue on light yellow blue on light yellow Always Selectable Always Always
BEGIN brown on pale pink black Always Never Always Always
END brown on pale pink black Always Never Always Always
DONE violet on cyan violet on cyan Always Never Always Always
TEST yellow on magenta yellow on magenta Always Never Always Always
INFO1 black black Always Never Always Always
INFO2 dark dark grey black Selectable Never Always Always
INFO3 dark grey black Selectable Never Always Always
INFO4 medium grey black Selectable Never Always Always
INFO5 light grey black Selectable Never Always Always
START brown black Selectable Never Always Always
STOP reddish brown black Selectable Never Always Always
LOG1 dark blue black Selectable Never Always Always
LOG2 medium blue black Selectable Never Always Always
LOG3 blue black Selectable Never Always Always
LOG4 dark cyan black Selectable Never Always Always
LOG5 cyan black Selectable Never Always Always
DEBUG1 dark dark green black Selectable Never Selectable Selectable
DEBUG2 dark green black Selectable Never Selectable Selectable
DEBUG3 medium green black Selectable Never Selectable Selectable
DEBUG4 light green black Selectable Never Selectable Selectable
DEBUG5 pale green black Selectable Never Selectable Selectable

The log files written by CIMA during observations

CIMA writes two log files during an observation: a project log which is written in Your project directory and a system log which is written in the /share/cima/Logs/Obs_logs directory. Both log files contain the same messages but the format is different. There is more messages written to the log file than is shown in the log display window, since there are a lot of messages that are tagged to not be shown in the display window.

The project log

The project log is a log file written in Your project directory. CIMA version 2.2 and all earlier versions used a fixed format for the project log which always was appended to a file that was given by Your project ID plus the suffix '.cimalog'. Starting with CIMA version 2.3 You are free to choose between four different formats and You can also select if You want a single log file as before or if You want daily log files. When using daily log files, the suffix will be '.cimalog_YYYYMMDD' with the date being the AST date when the observing session started. The same log file will be used throughout Your entire observing session, if Your observation carries on over local midnight, unless You exit and restart CIMA.

As with the log display windows, starting with CIMA version 2.3, You can now also select how much information You want to be written to the log files. The choice is limited to debug messages though since all normal messages always are logged. Logging the debug messages can be useful when investigating a problem but is not recommended otherwise since it will generate huge log files and thus slowing down and affecting CIMA performance!

You can ask CIMA to also produce a log file for off-line CIMA sessions, which may be useful if You want to see what the log will look like during observations or if You want to show a problem You have discovered. The selection to create an off-line log is made from the preference menu and You will only get a project log. There will never be a system log generated by an off-line session. The off-line project log will have the same format as You have selected for Your on-line project log, with the exception that the filename will be Your project ID plus the suffix '.cimaofflog'. You can't get daily log-files in off-line mode.

CIMA 2.2 and earlier

The project log uses the following format:

CIMA 2.3 and later

You have the option to specify which of the following four formats You want in Your project log file with 'Old' being identical to the old format:

The system log

Since You are free to do whatever You want with Your project log, the system log is intended to keep a log of all CIMA observations in one place for the observatory. The system log is mainly used by the CIMA administrator when investigating problems. The format is fixed but has changed a couple of times as more information has been added. System logs were introduced in CIMA version 1.2.02 in April 2005. System logs reside in /share/cima/Logs/Obs_logs and its subdirectories, and they are called Obslog.YYYYMMDD. Each file contains all CIMA log messages generated for that AST calendar day.

CIMA 1.2.02 and 1.2.03

The system log uses the following format:

CIMA 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2

The system log uses the following format: The difference from the previous versions is the addition of the project name.

CIMA 2.3 and later

The system log uses the following format: The difference from the previous versions is the addition task-IDs, the message level and the procedure.

Components in a CIMA log line

Date and time

Date and time is the AST date and time when the message was logged. System logs have always used the format '2007-Oct-04 15:28:34', while all project logs from CIMA up to version 2.2 have used the format 'Thu Oct 4 15:28:34 AST 2007'. Starting with version 2.3, the observer is free to choose which of the two formats to use in the project log.

Project name

Project name is the four or five letter project-ID given to the project (for example 'a2042'). Newer versions of CIMA always convert the project name to lowercase but there may be old logs which have the project name in capital letters.

Task-IDs (introduced in CIMA 2.3)

The CIMA executive is doing things organized in tasks. A task can be to run an ON/OFF-observation, to take a spectra with a backend or to set the Doppler correction. Tasks can thus be nestled with one top task starting another task which then starts a third task. You can query the executive about what tasks it is executing by clicking the 'Query' button in the observation log disaply window. Each task is assigned a sequential five-digit number that works as a task-ID. The task-IDs reported are those of the top level task and the most recent currently active sub-task. Messages that are generated when no task is running get the task-ID '00000'. Task-IDs can be useful when investigating problems or to extract all messages coming from a certain task from a log file.

Message level (introduced in CIMA 2.3)

The message level is a single-word tag specifying the importance of each message. The tags are ranked in order of importance from 'ERROR' which is the most important type of message to 'DEBUG5' which is the least important one. This ranking allows You to select how much details You want to see in a log by specifying the 'lowest' level to use. If You set the lowest level to 'INFO3' then only messages of type INFO3 or more important will be shown.The message level tags are also used to determine what color should be used for a certain message, which is different from earlier versions of CIMA which just searched the message itself for certain keywords. There are 27 message level tags ordered in the following way:

ERROR WARNING PROBLEM ALERT NOTE COMMAND BEGIN END DONE TEST INFO1 INFO2 INFO3 INFO4 INFO5 START STOP LOG1 LOG2 LOG3 LOG4 LOG5 DEBUG1 DEBUG2 DEBUG3 DEBUG4 DEBUG5

For a list of the color schemes as well as the inclusion of the different levels in various logs, see the table under the section 'Colors in logs' above.

Computer

Computer is the name of the computer that generated the message. Most messages are generated by the CIMA executive and they do not carry any computer name. Messages from other computers like the WAPPs, do have a computer label to show the origin of the message.

If You use a format that also shows the procedure, then messages coming from another computer will be shown together with the procedure like this 'COMPUTER-procedure:'; otherwise the computer name will be shown like 'COMPUTER:'.

The way messages from the WAPP is handled changed with CIMA version 2.3; in earlier version each WAPP produced an individual message with the computer label looking like 'WAPP(3)' --- in version 2.3 and later, identical messages from the WAPPs are bunched together into one single message with a compound computer label like 'WAPP=1+2+3+4'.

Procedure (introduced in CIMA 2.3)

The procedure is the name of the computer procedure that generated the message. This can be useful to know when trying to understand problems since some messages like 'read failure' can be generated by many different procedures. Since this is mostly used for analysing problems, and problem solving is typically done using the system log, it is not necessary to include the project field in the project log.

The procedure name will be merged with the computer name for messages that don't come from the CIMA executive like this: 'COMPUTER-procedure:'.

Message

The message is the actual message.

Following an observation in real time

The program lastcimalog can be used to follow an observation in real time. The program gives You a display with the last CIMA messages displayed in the same way as in the observation log display window. You can specify how many messages You want displayed and if You want them to be updated automatically or just when You press an update button. You also have the choice of selecting the display format and how much information You want to see with the message level option, if CIMA version 2.3 or later is used for the observations. The operators are always running this program to see what is going on, but it could also be useful if different members of a project want to follow the observations or investigate some problem. You should be aware that lastcimalog grabs the log from the system log and may show more or less information than the log display window depending on which message level has been selected.

Checking old log files

There is a program called cimalogview which can be used to check old log files. It works both with project log files or with the system log. The program is still under development, but a number of functions work, and it can be used to search for and sort out interesting information.

You can return to the main CIMA page by clicking here.

This page is administered by Prakash Atreya ( patreya (a) naic . edu ) and was last updated on 16 September 2008.