Software Tracing Best Practices (Part 1)

In these post series we are going to discuss the best practices for software tracing implementation including appropriate patterns and their links to software trace analysis patterns. The first one is called Period Timestamp where the start and the end time (and the date if necessary) are recorded in the trace file. This helps in Inter-Correlation and News Value analysis between several different trace types. For example, in one scenario, we had WindowHistory and MessageHistory logs. We identified a problem in the former log as happening at this time:

Handle: 00010196 Class: "ClassA" Title: "TitleA"
   Captured at: 13:36:30:533

However, when we looked at the latter trace to search for specific window messages posted or sent before that time we saw that the recording started later than the former event:

Start time: 13:36:35:830

Period timestamps are necessary to distinguish Incomplete History from Truncated Trace where in the former case the absence of expected trace message is due to some problem.

From a unified debugging patterns perspective we have this sequence fragment:

Implementation Patterns: Period Timestamp

Usage Patterns: Trace Simultaneously

- Dmitry Vostokov @ + -

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