Where is my log?
Q: I followed the examples to add logr functions to my script, and I think I created a log. But I can’t find it. Where does the log go?
A: It depends on what you passed to the
file_name parameter on the
If you passed nothing, the log will be created in a subdirectory named “log” in the same directory as your program, and with the program name.
If you passed a file name without a path, the log subdirectory will be created in your working directory, and the log will be named with the name you assigned it.
If you passed a full path, it will be created in the full path, but
will still be created in a subdirectory named “log” unless the
logdir parameter on
log_open() is set to
If you still can’t find it, add the following line to your program
someplace after the call to
Then rerun the program. The path to the log will be printed to the console.
Note that the
log_open() function also returns the path
to the log. You can save this path in a variable for easy access, like
pth <- log_open() print(pth)
How come it didn’t log anything?
Q: I am able to create a log. But it doesn’t contain anything. Just a header and footer. How come nothing was logged?
A: The logr log is not a fully
automatic log, such as a SAS® log. The primary way to get something
logged is to log it explicitly with
put(). This is the only way to guarantee that something
will be logged. Generally, if you want a complete log, it is best to
sprinkle these functions liberally throughout the program, logging
anything you feel is relevant.
The other way to get something to log is by using the
autolog feature. This feature can be turned on in one
of two ways:
1. Set the
autolog parameter on the
function to TRUE.
2. Set the “logr.autolog” option using an
function, like so:
options("logr.autolog" = TRUE)
The autolog feature will automatically log function calls from the dplyr, tidyr, and the sassy family of packages. It will not log Base R functions, or the functions from any other packages. It takes some experience to understand which functions will be automatically logged, and which will not.
To maximize the autolog feature, it is a best practice to use tidyverse functions, rather than the Base R equivalents. These functions stand a better chance of being logged automatically.
It is also a best practice to place a
put() statement at
the end of your dplyr pipelines. This is a very good
habit to develop, and will greatly improve the quantity and quality of
your logs. Here is an example:
dat <- mtcars %>% subset(mpg < 20) %>% arrange(mpg) %>% put()
Note that the above
put() statement has no effect on the
resulting data frame. It simply logs the pipeline result before
assigning it to the variable
How do I change the name of the log?
Q: I have a log. But I don’t want the default name. How can I change it to something else?
file_name parameter on the
log_open() function controls the log name. You can set this
parameter to be any log name you like. When the log is created, it will
use the name set on this parameter. Example:
How do I add a timestamp to the log name?
Q: I have an R program that runs on a schedule every day. I want to keep the logs from this program for a certain period of time. But logr always overwrites the log from the last run. Is there a way to get a datestamp on the log name, so it won’t overwrite?
A: You can append the datestamp to the log name on
file_name parameter. Like this:
# Concatenate log name with datestamp nm <- paste0("mylog_", format(Sys.Date(), "%Y-%m-%d")) # Open log lf <- log_open(nm)
Then logr will not delete the previous day’s log.
If you want a full date and time stamp, adjust the codes on the
format() function to your liking.
How do I log my code?
Q: In SAS® there is an option to log all the code in my program at the top of the log. I like this because it is a good record of my program at the time it was run. Is there a similar option in logr?
A: There is not an option, but there is a
log_code() function that will allow you to accomplish the
same thing. You just call the
log_code() function at the
point where you want the code logged. Normally this would be at the top
of the program, after the call to
# Open log log_open("mylog.log") # Dump code to log log_code() # Continue program...
The above code will dump the entire program contents to the log. The code lines will be prefixed with a right arrow (“>”) to distinguish these lines from the rest of your log.
How do I turn on symbolgen?
Q: In SAS® there is an option called symbolgen that will log all the variable values in my program. This option is useful for debugging. Is there a similar option in logr?
A: Not really. You can log the values of individual
variables by sending them to the log with a
You can also log the entire environment with all variable values like
# Open log log_open("test.log") # Write current variables to log put(ls().str()) # Close log log_close()
Otherwise, it is better to debug R programs interactively. The interactive debugging features in R are much better than in SAS®. The logr log is geared more toward recording the execution of your program than debugging.
How do I log environment variables and their values?
Q: I want to write all the environment variables and their values to the logr log. Is there a way to do that?
A: There is no built-in feature to log the
environment variables. But there is a Base R function
Sys.getenv() that will retrieve the environment variables
and their values. Then you can put them to the log like any other
# Open log log_open("test.log") # Send environment variables to log put(Sys.getenv()) # Close log log_close()
How do I turn off the notes?
Q: The notes are cluttering up my log, and are not providing anything that I need. I don’t need the elapsed time, etc. How can I turn them off?
A: The notes can be disabled in one of two
1. Set the
show_notes parameter on
2. Set the
logr.notes option to FALSE using an
options() function. Like this:
options("logr.notes" = FALSE)
How is put() different from log_print()?
Q: There is another function
seems similar to
log_print(). What is the difference
A: There is no difference in functionality.
put() is a direct alias of
only difference is that
put() is faster to type. It is also
easy to remember for anyone who has used SAS® software. The
put() function in the logr package does
the same thing as the
%put() function in SAS®. So this
alias will warm the hearts of current/former SAS® programmers.
What are the “Base Packages” and “Other Packages” lines in the header?
Q: Recently I noticed the “Base Packages” and “Other Packages” lines show up in the log header. What are these lines? Are they supposed to have all my referenced packages? How come some are missing?
A: The “Base Packages” and “Other Packages” lines in
the header are attempting to more fully describe the environment the
program/script is running in. They are showing the packages that are
installed and attached at the point the
The information from these lines is taken from Base R
sessionInfo(), and shows a subset of information from that
function. This information is being logged so that you have some record
of the packages and versions that were in use at the time the script was
ran. This is useful information if you need to recreate the output from
a particular point in time.
Note that if you attach packages in the middle of the program, after
the call to
log_open(), these packages may not be recorded
in the header. It is therefore best practice to place all of your
library() calls at the top of your program, load up
everything you need, and then call
practice will help ensure that the header contains all the packages that
are used by your program. This practice also makes your program easier
to read, understand, and maintain.
How come the warnings are at the bottom of the log?
Q: I noticed that errors are logged at the point they are generated. But warnings are only logged at the end of the log file. Why?
A: Base R provides an error event that can be triggered when an error occurs, and therefore the errors can be logged at the point in the program where they are encountered. The corresponding event for warnings does not work (at least on Windows).
If anyone can find a way to trigger the warnings event, please submit an issue to the logr Github issue list and I will add it to the package.
How come only the last warning is logged?
Q: It appears that only the last warning is logged. But I have a lot of warnings. How come only the last warning is recorded? Is there a way to make it log all of them?
A: The last warning is recorded in the log because only the last warning is stored and can be easily retrieved in Base R. Further, because the warnings event does not trigger properly, dumping all the warnings to the log at the end would make no sense. If anyone can find a better way to trigger and log warnings at the point where the warning is generated, please submit an issue to the logr Github issue list and I will add it to the package.
How can I get rid of the blank lines?
Q: I want to remove the blank lines in the log, to
make it as small as possible. I see there is a ‘blank_after’ parameter
log_print() to remove the blank line for a single log
entry. But how can I get rid of all of them?
A: There is a parameter on the
log_open() function called “compact” that will remove all
the blank lines between log entries. Simply set compact = TRUE to remove
all blank lines from the log. You may achieve the same result by setting
the global option logr.compact = TRUE.
How can I get rid of the traceback?
Q: The traceback is dumping a huge amount of stuff into the log when there is an error. There is so much stuff, that I find this feature annoying and useless. How can I turn it off?
A: There is a parameter on the
log_open() function called “traceback” that you can use to
turn off the traceback messaging. Simply set traceback = FALSE. The
global option logr.traceback = FALSE will do the same thing.