All the following classes are in the namespace sofa::core::objectmodel::helper::logging.
Source files are located in SofaKernel/framework/sofa/helper/logging/
A Message object encapsulates everything about an output message:
- source file and line number from where the message was emitted
- message type (info, deprecated, warning, error, fatal)
- message class (dev, runtime)
- sender name (std::string)
- sender extra information
- text (std::string) with the actual content of the message
Messages text description can also contain markdown syntax to improve their rendering when used in a graphical application. Supported syntax include emphasizing with
double space for new line.
MessageHandler (abstract class)
A MessageHandler object is in charge of processing and actually ‘doing something’ of the emitted messages. This can be displaying the message in the console, logging them into file, logging them into a GUI, …., whatever you can imagine. For example: some unit tests use a specific MessageHandler to catch error messages.
Available MessageHandler classes:
- FileMessageHandler writes textual representation of the messages in a file.
- ClangMessageHandler writes a clang-syntax textual representation of the message in the console (for integration with IDE).
- ConsoleMessageHandler writes a formatted representation of the message in the console.
- ExceptionMessageHandler throws an exception for each message.
- SilentMessageHandler does nothing.
- CountingMessageHandler counts the number of messages per message type (advice, info, deprecated, warning, error, fatal)
- LoggingMessageHandler logs all the messages in a single message queue.
- PerComponentLoggingMessageHandler logs the messages in the component that emits them.
- RoutingMessageHandler routes the messages to different handlers according to a user-provided function.
MessageFormatter (abstract class)
A MessageFormatter object has only one purpose, which is to translate a Message object to a std::ostream.
Available MessageFormatter classes:
- RichConsoleStyleMessageFormatter that convert messages into a good looking rendering for the console.
MessageDispatcher (static class)
The MessageDispatcher is in charge of sending messages to every MessageHandler registered.
By default, only a ConsoleMessageHandler is registered.
Macros and typical use
The macros are not in a namespace, for ease of use.
There are 2 macros categories:
- runtime macros to emit messages in every context.
- developper macros to emit messages only targeted to developpers (people willing to dive into the sofa source code)
Typically, to output a message you can use one of these macros, depending of the criticality level:
Note that for
msg_info messages to appear in the console, the component from which it is called must have its
printLog attribute set to
Just include Messaging.h and you can use these macros like any output stream:
If you are in a component (an object inheriting from ‘Base’) you should use
msg_warning() << "Previously used GUI not registered. Using default GUI."; or msg_warning(this) << "Previously used GUI not registered. Using default GUI.";
You can also send a message bound to a different component as in:
msg_warning(otherComponent) << "Previously used GUI not registered. Using default GUI.";
Finally if you are not in a sofa component you can specify the emitter’s name with a string.
msg_warning("GUIManager") << "Previously used GUI not registered. Using default GUI.";
If your message is for developpers, you can use the dmsg_info, dmsg_deprecated, dmsg_warning,… functions. These messages are removed on end-user application and can be more specific and less well written than those that target users. A very simple way to guide the use of the dmsg_* API is to ask yourself if fixing the message needs to have the sourcode understand the message.
NB Please note that for classes that are not inheriting from BaseObject, an additional macro must be defined to register your class to the messaging system. In the header file, just add:
How are handled the messages in Sofa Component
Component have a ‘printLog’ data field that controls whether or not the msg_info() are emitted on the component side. An user that don’t want the component to emit info messages have to set the ‘printLog’ to false. There is no equivalent way to prevent warning/error/fatal message to be emitted. The reason is that they are important in indicating the state of the sofa component and other componant may use them to validate that the componant is in a valid state.
The fact that the warning/error and fatal message are always emitted by the component does not means they have to be shown to the user. If needed, a third party application can implement its own message handler that discards (on demand) these message instead of printing them
Message and unit-testing
Messages play an important role in Sofa as they are the principal way to convey information about the component state. Messages are part of the behavior of a component and should be tested accordingly.
For that there are two dedicated classes in the file applications/plugins/SofaTest/TestMessageHandler.h
Using these classes, you can test whether a component has emitted a message (as it should in the tested condition) or the contrary, that a component emitted a message while it was not supposed to.
When the condition is not respected this produces a test failure.
Since you will receive Message objects, every useful information will be available: source code location, type, class, sender, and obviously the message itself.
Last modified: 22 February 2021