Using the logger

Plugins can use the logging facility for logging their own messages, either by using the logging related helper methods (#debug, #info, and so on) or by directly interfacing with Cinch::LoggerList, which is available via @bot.loggers.


class MyPlugin
  include Cinch::Plugin

  match "foo"
  def execute(m)
    debug "Starting handler..."
    info  "Some more important information"
    debug "Done."

Logger levels

Cinch uses a priority-based logging system, using the types :debug, :log, :info, :warn, :error and :fatal, each of them displaying less information than the previous.

By default, the logging level to display is set to :debug, which will include all possible kinds of log events, including the rather verbose debug output caused by plugins.

:log will hide debug output but still contain the raw IRC log and from there on, the levels are rather self-explanatory.

Changing the level

The level can be changed for single loggers or all loggers at once, by either using Cinch::Logger#level= or Cinch::LoggerList#level= respectively.


bot = { }
bot.loggers <<"/tmp/log.log", "a"))
bot.loggers.level = :debug
bot.loggers.first.level  = :info

This will set all loggers to the :debug level (which actually is the default already) and the first logger (which is the default STDOUT logger) to :info.

Log filtering

Sometimes it is undesirable to log a message unchanged. For example when identifying to the network, passwords might be sent in plain text. To prevent such information from appearing in logs, log filters can be employed.

Log filters take a log message as input and return a new message. This allows removing/masking out passwords or other undesired information. Additionally, messages can be dropped entirely by returning nil.

It is possible to use more than one filter, in which case they will be called in order, each acting on the previous filter’s output.

Filters can be installed by adding them to Cinch::LoggerList#filters.

An example (and very simple) password filter might look like this:

class PasswordFilter
  def initialize(bot)
    @bot = bot

  def filter(message, event)
    message.gsub(@bot.config.password, "*" * @bot.config.password.size)

This filter will replace the password in all log messages (except for exceptions). It could further discriminate by looking at event and only modify outgoing IRC messages. It could also use the Cinch::Message class to parse the message and only operate on the actual message component, not channel names and similar. How fancy your filtering needs to be depends on you.

Writing your own logger

This section will follow soon. For now just look at the code of already implemented loggers.