Consolation 3.0b3: building a much better log browser

I am delighted to offer the third beta-release of my browser for macOS Sierra’s unified log, Consolation. This now implements the second of its new features, which should be of great practical value to most users, and fixes a crashing bug in 3.0b2.

The two major new features which this release supports are:

  • A custom library of predicates. Although the current system is good for relatively brief and simple sessions browsing the log, 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.
  • Custom styles, so that you can choose which log fields are displayed, beyond the standard three options at present. This uses similar preference controls, and supports formatting of fields.

consoln3b03

The new main window now offers saved predicates (introduced in the first beta), selected in a popup menu, and now in this release, saved styles in addition to the basic three of syslog, default, and JSON. The example above shows the output using a format of
0h 11f 13f 10
which shows, for each log entry, the timestamp without the date or timezone correction, the process image name, sender image name, and the content of the message.

consoln3b04

The above excerpt used a different saved style of
0d 11t 13t 10
which shows the full timestamp without timezone, the first 20 characters of the process and sender names, and the content of the message.

consoln3b05

The preferences sheet is now complete in its basic form, with editors for saved predicates and styles. Controls for editing filters are also complete, although filters currently do nothing functional in the app itself.

I intend to enhance the formatting options for styles, including some fixed-width options and tail truncation (the last 20 characters, for example). I still have the filter options to implement.

The latest release is available from Downloads above.

My apologies to those who downloaded 3.0b2 only to find the crashing bug.