This is a little trick I tried a while back with a ClarionAddins client. They were having an installation problem which was a little tricky to diagnose when it occurred to me that the log4Net library used in the Clarion IDE can send data pretty much anywhere with the right appender. A little bit of looking around I came across Papertrail (affiliate link!) which serves my needs very nicely for now in the free version and is decently priced if traffic goes up.

The basic idea is this: Add the appropriate log4net appender to the Clarion.exe.config file, repeat the problem you are having with the IDE, let me know when you are done and I will check out the logs and see if there is anything I can spot that needs attention.

Disclaimer: Of course you will remember to back up any configuration files before you make changes right?

Step 1: Enable sending logs

(do this bit with the IDE closed!)

Find the Bin\Clarion.exe.config file and open it for editing (located in the same directory as Clarion.exe).

Down the bottom of that file you will see a section with:

Replace all of the log4net section with this

Step 2: Repeat the problem!

Now that is all setup, open the IDE and perform the steps needed to repeat the problem. All the log data will be sent to my Papertrail account (affiliate link again, go on click it!).

Email/Skype/Send me a pigeon when you are done and I will take a look.

To turn off logging just undo the changes made above.

Note: This enables a LIVE capture of IDE output. Feel free to use it, I am curious to see what your IDE does! However if the traffic gets out of hand I will close the destination down.

What happens to the logs?

In case you are curious this is what happens. As the IDE runs it sends a bunch of information to the log4net interface which is forwarded to Papertrail. Some of this is informational, some are warnings or debug information and in the cases where something is going wrong we can sometimes see .NET exceptions and stack traces. As  a user you probably never want to see this but in the case of something going wrong this data can be super useful as you can imagine!

This is what it looks like in the Papertrail UI:

Papertrail logs of Clarion IDE

It is seriously impressive how quickly that data rolls in!