Just before we all went off to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, I released the first beta-test version of my new unified log browser, Ulbow. Thanks to those who have provided feedback on that first release, and a little time over the last few days, I’m now proud to release the second beta, which is almost feature-complete.
The major change in this version is using the system monospace font for the display of log extracts. Thanks to all those who requested that. If you’re still running Mojave or earlier, the difference isn’t great, but I think you’ll find it better.
What I hadn’t realised was the huge improvement in Catalina’s new monospace system font – so if you’re running macOS 10.15, this new version should be a great improvement for you.
I currently don’t plan to make the font choosable by the user, which would get a bit messier, but if you really want to use something different, please let me know and I’ll see whether I can add that to the next beta.
The other major changes relate to access to Apple’s preferred means of accessing the log, through a logarchive bundle. This second beta release can now make and save logarchive bundles from your active system log, and can access logarchives from macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Indeed, not only can it access whole logarchive bundles, but you can also browse entries in individual log files within them. It can’t (because of limitations in the
log show command) access entries from isolated log files, only those within a logarchive.
The second of the two screenshots above shows Ulbow accessing log entries from an individual .tracev3 log file within a logarchive saved using Ulbow. The red book emoji indicates that window is accessing not the live log but a saved bundle, and the window title gives the name of the individual log file.
One significant issue with accessing both logarchives and log files within them is that you need to know the date and time ranges covered by the current file/bundle. One feature for the future is going to be an info window which will show that, to help you choose appropriate dates and times to use.
I have also recently drawn attention to a problem in Catalina with its new per-document privacy protection, which prevents you from saving logarchives made by Ulbow and Consolation to locations outside your current startup volume: stick to ~/Documents and folders within it, and you should be fine. I am looking now at building a helper to handle the required root privileges for
log collect, to see if I can free this irritating limitation.
Other features added include a check that the current user is in the Admin group, and my auto-update system.
Currently, the only remaining feature which this version of Ulbow doesn’t yet offer is the ability to export log extracts in CSV format. I’ve not had any requests for that to be included in Ulbow’s first release, so may not include it unless there’s some demand. I used to use it quite a lot for analysing Signposts and performance, but now I have better tools such as RouteMap.
If there are any other features which you would like added or changed in the first release, please let me know.
Finally, the Help book has grown by a thousand words to over six thousand, in 28 pages.