Re: Time

On Thu, 11 Apr 1996, Josh M. Osborne wrote:

> (then again if it were up to me we would be logging seconds since some
> date -- the nominal start of WWW, or the Unix epoch, or some such.  
> Since I seldom look dirrectly at logs, but my programs frequently do.
> And if my programs arn't throwing away the day the first thing they do
> is convert it into seconds since the epoch!  In fact the log format I
> am currently using merely includes seconds since the epoch.  When I
> am looking through the logs by hand I either convert them to the 
> "standard" log format, or I use a command line utility to expand the
> dates.  However since the extended logging format looks like I can
> define an extra set of time fields with whatever format I like I'll
> be happy enough to have somewhat larger log files (storing all dates
> twice), and have my programs run faster then programs that use the
> normal date field.)

logging seconds since...

1.  The question really comes down to the time resolution you need.  In an
analysis, I can not see the need for time down to the second.  Since a 
log is sequential, I think that time down to the minute is enough.  A 
users rewquest within 59 seconds usually means they know more or less 
what they want and any more precise time is ancillary. 

2. If not all servers are running exactly the same time it can be
misleading to log seconds if we start to combine logs from different servers. 
Also, what time is logged?  The beginning or the termination of the 
request?  It might be wise to have both times. 


Magnus Mengelbier                  tel.     Sweden + (0)40-29 39 12
Mathematical Statistics            e-mail  magnusm@maths.lth.se
Lund University, Sweden                    magnusm@ibm.net

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