[objective-c] How to print out the method name and line number and conditionally disable NSLog?

I'm doing a presentation on debugging in Xcode and would like to get more information on using NSLog efficiently.

In particular, I have two questions:

  • is there a way to easily NSLog the current method's name / line number?
  • is there a way to "disable" all NSLogs easily before compiling for release code?

This question is related to objective-c cocoa cocoa-touch xcode nslog

The answer is


New addition to DLog. Instead of totally removing debug from released application, only disable it. When user has problems, which would require debugging, just tell how to enable debug in released application and request log data via email.

Short version: create global variable (yes, lazy and simple solution) and modify DLog like this:

BOOL myDebugEnabled = FALSE;
#define DLog(fmt, ...) if (myDebugEnabled) NSLog((@"%s [Line %d] " fmt), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__, ##__VA_ARGS__);

Longer answer at Jomnius iLessons iLearned: How to Do Dynamic Debug Logging in Released Application


My answer to this question might help, looks like it's similar to the one Diederik cooked up. You may also want to replace the call to NSLog() with a static instance of your own custom logging class, that way you can add a priority flag for debug/warning/error messages, send messages to a file or database as well as the console, or pretty much whatever else you can think of.

#define DEBUG_MODE

#ifdef DEBUG_MODE
    #define DebugLog( s, ... ) NSLog( @"<%p %@:(%d)> %@", self, 
              [[NSString stringWithUTF8String:__FILE__] lastPathComponent], 
              __LINE__, 
              [NSString stringWithFormat:(s), 
              ##__VA_ARGS__] )
#else
    #define DebugLog( s, ... ) 
#endif

There are a new trick that no answer give. You can use printf instead NSLog. This will give you a clean log:

With NSLog you get things like this:

2011-11-03 13:43:55.632 myApp[3739:207] Hello Word

But with printf you get only:

Hello World

Use this code

#ifdef DEBUG
    #define NSLog(FORMAT, ...) fprintf(stderr,"%s\n", [[NSString stringWithFormat:FORMAT, ##__VA_ARGS__] UTF8String]);
#else
    #define NSLog(...) {}              
#endif

It is simple,for Example

-(void)applicationWillEnterForeground:(UIApplication *)application {

    NSLog(@"%s", __PRETTY_FUNCTION__);

}

Output: -[AppDelegate applicationWillEnterForeground:]


NSLog(@"%s %d %s %s", __FILE__, __LINE__, __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __FUNCTION__);

Outputs file name, line number, and function name:

/proj/cocoa/cdcli/cdcli.m 121 managedObjectContext managedObjectContext

__FUNCTION__ in C++ shows mangled name __PRETTY_FUNCTION__ shows nice function name, in cocoa they look the same.

I'm not sure what is the proper way of disabling NSLog, I did:

#define NSLog

And no logging output showed up, however I don't know if this has any side effects.


It's easy to change your existing NSLogs to display line number and class from which they are called. Add one line of code to your prefix file:

#define NSLog(__FORMAT__, ...) NSLog((@"%s [Line %d] " __FORMAT__), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__, ##__VA_ARGS__)

Disabling all NSLogs, for somebody allergic to MACROS, here is something that you can compile too:

void SJLog(NSString *format,...)
{
    if(LOG)
    {   
        va_list args;
        va_start(args,format);
        NSLogv(format, args);
        va_end(args);
    }
}

And, use it almost like NSLog:

SJLog(@"bye bye NSLogs !");

From this blog: https://whackylabs.com/logging/ios/2011/01/19/ios-moving-in-and-out-of-nslogs/


For some time I've been using a site of macros adopted from several above. Mine focus on logging in the Console, with the emphasis on controlled & filtered verbosity; if you don't mind a lot of log lines but want to easily switch batches of them on & off, then you might find this useful.

First, I optionally replace NSLog with printf as described by @Rodrigo above

#define NSLOG_DROPCHAFF//comment out to get usual date/time ,etc:2011-11-03 13:43:55.632 myApp[3739:207] Hello Word

#ifdef NSLOG_DROPCHAFF
#define NSLog(FORMAT, ...) printf("%s\n", [[NSString stringWithFormat:FORMAT, ##__VA_ARGS__] UTF8String]);
#endif

Next, I switch logging on or off.

#ifdef DEBUG
#define LOG_CATEGORY_DETAIL// comment out to turn all conditional logging off while keeping other DEBUG features
#endif

In the main block, define various categories corresponding to modules in your app. Also define a logging level above which logging calls won't be called. Then define various flavours of NSLog output

#ifdef LOG_CATEGORY_DETAIL

    //define the categories using bitwise leftshift operators
    #define kLogGCD (1<<0)
    #define kLogCoreCreate (1<<1)
    #define kLogModel (1<<2)
    #define kLogVC (1<<3)
    #define kLogFile (1<<4)
    //etc

    //add the categories that should be logged...
    #define kLOGIFcategory kLogModel+kLogVC+kLogCoreCreate

    //...and the maximum detailLevel to report (use -1 to override the category switch)
    #define kLOGIFdetailLTEQ 4

    // output looks like this:"-[AppDelegate myMethod] log string..."
    #   define myLog(category,detailLevel,format, ...) if(detailLevel<0 || ((category&kLOGIFcategory)&&detailLevel<= kLOGIFdetailLTEQ)) {NSLog((@"%s " format), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, ##__VA_ARGS__);}

    // output also shows line number:"-[AppDelegate myMethod][l17]  log string..."
    #   define myLogLine(category,detailLevel,format, ...) if(detailLevel<0 || ((category&kLOGIFcategory)&&detailLevel<= kLOGIFdetailLTEQ)) {NSLog((@"%s[l%i] " format), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__,__LINE__ ,##__VA_ARGS__);}

    // output very simple:" log string..."
    #   define myLogSimple(category,detailLevel,format, ...) if(detailLevel<0 || ((category&kLOGIFcategory)&&detailLevel<= kLOGIFdetailLTEQ)) {NSLog((@"" format), ##__VA_ARGS__);}

    //as myLog but only shows method name: "myMethod: log string..."
    // (Doesn't work in C-functions)
    #   define myLog_cmd(category,detailLevel,format,...) if(detailLevel<0 || ((category&kLOGIFcategory)&&detailLevel<= kLOGIFdetailLTEQ)) {NSLog((@"%@: " format), NSStringFromSelector(_cmd), ##__VA_ARGS__);}

    //as myLogLine but only shows method name: "myMethod>l17: log string..."
    #   define myLog_cmdLine(category,detailLevel,format, ...) if(detailLevel<0 || ((category&kLOGIFcategory)&&detailLevel<= kLOGIFdetailLTEQ)) {NSLog((@"%@>l%i: " format), NSStringFromSelector(_cmd),__LINE__ , ##__VA_ARGS__);}

    //or define your own...
   // # define myLogEAGLcontext(category,detailLevel,format, ...) if(detailLevel<0 || ((category&kLOGIFcategory)&&detailLevel<= kLOGIFdetailLTEQ)) {NSLog((@"%s>l%i (ctx:%@)" format), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__,__LINE__ ,[EAGLContext currentContext], ##__VA_ARGS__);}

#else
    #   define myLog_cmd(...)
    #   define myLog_cmdLine(...)
    #   define myLog(...)
    #   define myLogLine(...)
    #   define myLogSimple(...)
    //#   define myLogEAGLcontext(...)
#endif

Thus, with current settings for kLOGIFcategory and kLOGIFdetailLTEQ, a call like

myLogLine(kLogVC, 2, @"%@",self);

will print but this won't

myLogLine(kLogGCD, 2, @"%@",self);//GCD not being printed

nor will

myLogLine(kLogGCD, 12, @"%@",self);//level too high

If you want to override the settings for an individual log call, use a negative level:

myLogLine(kLogGCD, -2, @"%@",self);//now printed even tho' GCD category not active.

I find the few extra characters of typing each line are worth as I can then

  1. Switch an entire category of comment on or off (e.g. only report those calls marked Model)
  2. report on fine detail with higher level numbers or just the most important calls marked with lower numbers

I'm sure many will find this a bit of an overkill, but just in case someone finds it suits their purposes..


I've taken DLog and ALog from above, and added ULog which raises a UIAlertView message.

To summarize:

  • DLog will output like NSLog only when the DEBUG variable is set
  • ALog will always output like NSLog
  • ULog will show the UIAlertView only when the DEBUG variable is set
#ifdef DEBUG
#   define DLog(fmt, ...) NSLog((@"%s [Line %d] " fmt), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__, ##__VA_ARGS__);
#else
#   define DLog(...)
#endif
#define ALog(fmt, ...) NSLog((@"%s [Line %d] " fmt), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__, ##__VA_ARGS__);
#ifdef DEBUG
#   define ULog(fmt, ...)  { UIAlertView *alert = [[UIAlertView alloc] initWithTitle:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%s\n [Line %d] ", __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__] message:[NSString stringWithFormat:fmt, ##__VA_ARGS__]  delegate:nil cancelButtonTitle:@"Ok" otherButtonTitles:nil]; [alert show]; }
#else
#   define ULog(...)
#endif

This is what it looks like:

Debug UIAlertView

+1 Diederik


To complement the answers above, it can be quite useful to use a replacement for NSLog in certain situations, especially when debugging. For example, getting rid of all the date and process name/id information on each line can make output more readable and faster to boot.

The following link provides quite a bit of useful ammo for making simple logging much nicer.

http://cocoaheads.byu.edu/wiki/a-different-nslog


building on top of above answers, here is what I plagiarized and came up with. Also added memory logging.

#import <mach/mach.h>

#ifdef DEBUG
#   define DebugLog(fmt, ...) NSLog((@"%s(%d) " fmt), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__, ##__VA_ARGS__);
#else
#   define DebugLog(...)
#endif


#define AlwaysLog(fmt, ...) NSLog((@"%s(%d) " fmt), __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__, ##__VA_ARGS__);


#ifdef DEBUG
#   define AlertLog(fmt, ...)  { \
    UIAlertView *alert = [[UIAlertView alloc] \
            initWithTitle : [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%s(Line: %d) ", __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__]\
                  message : [NSString stringWithFormat : fmt, ##__VA_ARGS__]\
                 delegate : nil\
        cancelButtonTitle : @"Ok"\
        otherButtonTitles : nil];\
    [alert show];\
}
#else
#   define AlertLog(...)
#endif



#ifdef DEBUG
#   define DPFLog NSLog(@"%s(%d)", __PRETTY_FUNCTION__, __LINE__);//Debug Pretty Function Log
#else
#   define DPFLog
#endif


#ifdef DEBUG
#   define MemoryLog {\
    struct task_basic_info info;\
    mach_msg_type_number_t size = sizeof(info);\
    kern_return_t e = task_info(mach_task_self(),\
                                   TASK_BASIC_INFO,\
                                   (task_info_t)&info,\
                                   &size);\
    if(KERN_SUCCESS == e) {\
        NSNumberFormatter *formatter = [[NSNumberFormatter alloc] init]; \
        [formatter setNumberStyle:NSNumberFormatterDecimalStyle]; \
        DebugLog(@"%@ bytes", [formatter stringFromNumber:[NSNumber numberWithInteger:info.resident_size]]);\
    } else {\
        DebugLog(@"Error with task_info(): %s", mach_error_string(e));\
    }\
}
#else
#   define MemoryLog
#endif

Here one big collection of debug constants that we use. Enjoy.

// Uncomment the defitions to show additional info.

//  #define DEBUG

//  #define DEBUGWHERE_SHOWFULLINFO

//  #define DEBUG_SHOWLINES
//  #define DEBUG_SHOWFULLPATH
//  #define DEBUG_SHOWSEPARATORS
//  #define DEBUG_SHOWFULLINFO


// Definition of DEBUG functions. Only work if DEBUG is defined.
#ifdef DEBUG 

    #define debug_separator() NSLog( @"----------------------------------------------------------------------------" );

    #ifdef DEBUG_SHOWSEPARATORS
        #define debug_showSeparators() debug_separator();
    #else
        #define debug_showSeparators()
    #endif

    /// /// /// ////// ///// 

    #ifdef DEBUG_SHOWFULLPATH
        #define debug_whereFull() debug_showSeparators(); NSLog(@"Line:%d : %s : %s", __LINE__,__FILE__,__FUNCTION__); debug_showSeparators(); 
    #else
        #define debug_whereFull() debug_showSeparators(); NSLog(@"Line:%d : %s : %s", __LINE__,[ [ [ [NSString alloc] initWithBytes:__FILE__ length:strlen(__FILE__) encoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding] lastPathComponent] UTF8String ] ,__FUNCTION__); debug_showSeparators(); 
    #endif

    /// /// /// ////// ///// 

    #define debugExt(args,...) debug_separator(); debug_whereFull(); NSLog( args, ##__VA_ARGS__); debug_separator();

    /// /// /// ////// ///// Debug Print Macros

    #ifdef DEBUG_SHOWFULLINFO
        #define debug(args,...) debugExt(args, ##__VA_ARGS__);
    #else
        #ifdef DEBUG_SHOWLINES
            #define debug(args,...) debug_showSeparators(); NSLog([ NSString stringWithFormat:@"Line:%d : %@", __LINE__, args ], ##__VA_ARGS__); debug_showSeparators();
        #else
            #define debug(args,...) debug_showSeparators(); NSLog(args, ##__VA_ARGS__); debug_showSeparators();
        #endif
    #endif

    /// /// /// ////// ///// Debug Specific Types

    #define debug_object( arg ) debug( @"Object: %@", arg );
    #define debug_int( arg ) debug( @"integer: %i", arg );
    #define debug_float( arg ) debug( @"float: %f", arg );
    #define debug_rect( arg ) debug( @"CGRect ( %f, %f, %f, %f)", arg.origin.x, arg.origin.y, arg.size.width, arg.size.height );
    #define debug_point( arg ) debug( @"CGPoint ( %f, %f )", arg.x, arg.y );
    #define debug_bool( arg )   debug( @"Boolean: %@", ( arg == YES ? @"YES" : @"NO" ) );

    /// /// /// ////// ///// Debug Where Macros

    #ifdef DEBUGWHERE_SHOWFULLINFO
        #define debug_where() debug_whereFull(); 
    #else
        #define debug_where() debug(@"%s",__FUNCTION__); 
    #endif

    #define debug_where_separators() debug_separator(); debug_where(); debug_separator();

    /// /// /// ////// /////

#else
    #define debug(args,...) 
    #define debug_separator()  
    #define debug_where()   
    #define debug_where_separators()  
    #define debug_whereFull()   
    #define debugExt(args,...)
    #define debug_object( arg ) 
    #define debug_int( arg ) 
    #define debug_rect( arg )   
    #define debug_bool( arg )   
    #define debug_point( arg )
    #define debug_float( arg )
#endif

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