31. Aug. 2012 by Markus
Finding something can be harder than one could think and missing it can sometimes have some serious consequences. If it’s your car keys, you will simply run a bit late. But if it’s some information from your production environment server trying desperately to let you know that it’s about to collapse, it’s something much more serious. Recent changes introduced in Retrospective are all about helping you find what you want when searching and not miss what’s really important when tailing.
Results set can contain hundreds of entries, all looking almost the same. As of version 2.1.1, despite given search criteria, Retrospective analyses logs and differentiates certain entries depending on the log level severity. This way all entries containing potentially essential information are highlighted in red or orange, which makes them stand out and impossible to miss.
Retrospective does it for every log file, even if it doesn’t have column splitting configured.
If you, for some reason, don’t like the red or orange, you can always disable highlighting by clicking the pen icon to make everything black and white.
Search parameters are essential when looking for specific log entries, no question about that. But once they have been defined, what counts are the results. The more entries are displayed on the screen at once, the easier it is to find what you are looking for. This is especially important when tailing log files and that’s why Retrospective folds the search parameters pane automatically after clicking the "Start Tail" button. Search parameters are displayed again once you stop tailing or if you click the eye icon.
Once the search is finished and you’re left with a thousand entries but don’t feel like refining your search parameters and running search once again, you can additionally search the results set using filtering option. In the latest Retrospective release, filtering can operate in two modes. First one dynamically alters the result set, leaving only entries containing provided phrase. The other filtering mode doesn’t alter the results set, but only selectively highlights entries containing given phrase.
In that mode, you can use the up and down icons to go to next or previous entry respectively. First mode provides a clearer view on the results while the other preserves the context displaying surrounding entries, which is sometimes very useful. You can switch between those two by clicking the filter icon.
Download the newest release and get as much out of it as you can. Fruitful searching and effective tailing to everyone!