(Short, grossly incomplete) comparison of Perl logging frameworks
After doing this post on comparison of Perl serialization modules, I intended to continue with other comparisons, and even thought on setting up a wiki or creating/maintaining a section on the Official Perl 5 Wiki, which already has a Recommended Modules section, although there is not much comparison being written for each recommendation. (Btw, I just noticed a change of domain for the Wiki, from perlfoundation.org to socialtext.net).
But of course other tasks soon took precedence, so until the Wiki idea is realized, I thought I'll just continue posting on the blog as usual.
There are **seriously** too many Perl logging frameworks out there. As the Log4perl FAQ mentions, "Writing a logging module is like a rite of passage for every Perl programmer, just like writing your own templating system."
So I'm not going to pretend like I've evaluated even half of logging modules that are on CPAN. Instead I'm just going to include a few worth mentioning.
Log::Dispatch and Log::Log4perl. Two of the arguably most popular Perl logging frameworks are Log::Dispatch and Log::Log4perl. They are like the Moose of logging frameworks: mature, feature rich, flexible, has a lot of support/extra/3rd party modules, but... "slow". I quote the slow part because first of all, speed is not an issue for the majority of applications. And second of all, they are not relatively slow at all compared to other modules until they actually log stuff to output. For example, doing debug() on a warn level is around 1,5mils/sec with with Log4perl, and 3mils/sec with Log::Fast. But for actual logging, Log::Fast can be 10-45 times faster than these two.
Log::Any. For most people, Log::Dispatch and Log4perl should suffice. I personally haven't been unable to produce a case where I can't customize Log4perl they way I want. This shows the flexibility of the module. So the only thing left for flexibility is a thin wrapper where you might want to switch logging framework (kind of like Any::Moose for logging). There are a few of these on CPAN, but I prefer Log::Any (and I've also made a thin wrapper for *that*, Log::Any::App). RJBS also made one: Log::Dispatchoulli. You might be interested in using it if you are interested in using String::Flogger.
Performance-wise, as with Moose, there are other alternatives: Log::Fast, for one. There are also a few other minimalistic frameworks, but I do not recommend using them as many of them are not flexible at all. Unless your application is really performance-critical.
I've most probably left out a lot of possibly interesting alternatives.