Log Littering bitsplitting.org

Daniel Jalkut points out that the highly-performative updated logging infrastructure in iOS 10 and MacOS Sierra is now almost too explanatory:

Apple has dramatically revamped its standard logging mechanism. Unified Logging, available in macOS 10.12 and iOS 10, replaces various file-based logging approaches with a centralized, database-backed repository for log information of all levels of interest.


The two big losses, in my opinion, are that the sheer size, number, and variety of logging messages makes it impractical for users to skim the console for “real problems,” and that the resulting logging archives are so large that it’s impractical to casually include them with bug reports to Apple or 3rd party developers.

I’ve had to upload a few sysdiagnose archives to the Bug Reporter this week. Each was over 300 MB, which is about six times the size of previous sysdiagnose files.

But that’s nothing compared to the logs generated when using Apple’s data capture tool issued when requesting support via their more consumer-level help channels. I only left the “capture default information” option checked, as it cannot be unchecked, and it generated 2.16 GB of logs. Incidentally, this log file turned out to be entirely useless because the web-based uploader only allows files up to 1 GB.

I think it’s great that I don’t have to install all kinds of profiles to log critical debugging information, like I typically have to on iOS. But having too much data is equally dangerous: users won’t or can’t upload files, and it’s too much to sift through for power users and developers. Jalkut has some terrific ideas on how to fix this without impacting privacy or the usefulness of the logs.