Logs as end user UI

A long time ago, I decided to show Bridgy‘s end users its raw logs. Like, raw logs. HTTP requests, database reads and writes, JSON objects, stack traces, etc. It’s an unusual UI feature, but it’s been an unqualified success, enough that when I built Bridgy Fed, I immediately included it and never looked back.

Whenever Bridgy does something nontrivial – poll a social network account, send a webmention, publish a post – I generally include a link to the server logs for that operation. Here’s an example, a series of timestamped plain text log messages from a poll of my Twitter account. They include initial config and parameters, account status, each individual Twitter API request, the results of those requests, how Bridgy interpreted them, HTTP requests to my web site, the subsequent actions Bridgy took and why, how the account’s status changed, and when the next poll is scheduled for. Continue reading