Consolation 3.0b1: building a better log browser

I am delighted to offer the first beta-release of my browser for macOS Sierra’s unified log, Consolation. This implements the first and most important of its new features, which will, I think, transform it into a tool for a much broader range of users.

The three major new features which I am building in at the moment are:

  • A custom library of predicates. Although the current system is good for relatively brief and simple sessions browsing the log, I am aware that some users need quicker access to preset predicates, for example when undertaking forensic investigations, or when exploring part of macOS in depth. This feature lets you customise the app to use your most popular predicates almost instantly. This is the new feature offered in this beta-release.
  • Additional filtering, applied to the message field, which can be applied without having to fetch a new log extract. This will use a similar mechanism to the predicate library, and should be fairly straightforward once I have got that right.
  • Custom styles, so that you can choose which log fields are displayed, beyond the standard three options at present. This will also use a similar mechanism, although it will be a little more tricky to implement, I suspect.


The standard window has changed in three significant areas, with new popup menus.

saved predicate, at the bottom of the Filter section, gives access to your personal library of predicates, allowing you to apply them instead of the filter set up above. Predicates can be as long and complex as you wish: if they are accepted by the log show command, they should work here.

filter, to the right of saved predicate, will in a future release allow you to apply text filters to the message fields. Unlike predicates, Consolation will not have to go back and get another log excerpt to apply those, so they should be much quicker to use (and, I hope, more powerful).

Style has replaced the previous radio buttons with a popup menu. At present, the only options are the three which were available before, but I will in a future release be adding custom styles so that you can choose which fields of each log entry are displayed below.


Custom predicates, and later filters and styles, are now edited in a Preferences sheet which drops down over the window. You can add, change, and remove custom predicates used in the saved predicates menu. These are saved in the app’s preference file.

The latest release is available from Downloads above.

Please let me know how you get on with it, particularly using the new custom predicates.