Due to several limitations of the standard library's logging module, I wrote my own.
Below are the most important parts. You can find the whole library here.
Any feedback is welcome.

#  fancylog - A library for human readable logging.
#  Copyright (C) 2017  HOMEINFO - Digitale Informationssysteme GmbH
#  This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
#  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
#  the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
#  (at your option) any later version.
#  This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
#  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
#  GNU General Public License for more details.
#  You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
#  along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
"""A library for beautiful, readble logging."""

from datetime import datetime
from enum import Enum
from sys import stdout, stderr
from threading import Thread
from time import sleep
from traceback import format_exc

from blessings import Terminal

__all__ = [

TERMINAL = Terminal()

def logging(name=None, level=None, parent=None, file=None):
    """Decorator to attach a logger to the respective class."""

    def wrap(obj):
        """Attaches the logger to the respective class."""
        logger_name = obj.__name__ if name is None else name
        obj.logger = Logger(logger_name, level=level, parent=parent, file=file)
        return obj

    return wrap

class LogLevel(Enum):
    """Logging levels."""

    DEBUG = (10, '🔧', TERMINAL.bold)
    SUCCESS = (20, '✓', TERMINAL.green)
    INFO = (30, 'ℹ', TERMINAL.blue)
    WARNING = (70, '⚠', TERMINAL.yellow)
    ERROR = (80, '✗', TERMINAL.red)
    CRITICAL = (90, '☢', lambda string: TERMINAL.bold(TERMINAL.red(string)))
    FAILURE = (100, '☠', lambda string: TERMINAL.bold(TERMINAL.magenta(

    def __init__(self, ident, symbol, format_):
        """Sets the identifier, symbol and color."""
        self.ident = ident
        self.symbol = symbol
        self.format = format_

    def __int__(self):
        """Returns the identifier."""
        return self.ident

    def __str__(self):
        """Returns the colored symbol."""
        return self.format(self.symbol)

    def __eq__(self, other):
            return int(self) == int(other)
        except TypeError:
            return NotImplemented

    def __gt__(self, other):
            return int(self) > int(other)
        except TypeError:
            return NotImplemented

    def __ge__(self, other):
        return self > other or self == other

    def __lt__(self, other):
            return int(self) < int(other)
        except TypeError:
            return NotImplemented

    def __le__(self, other):
        return self < other or self == other

    def __hash__(self):
        return hash((self.__class__, self.ident))

    def erroneous(self):
        """A log level is considered erroneous if it's identifier > 50."""
        return self.ident > 50

class LogEntry(Exception):
    """A log entry."""

    def __init__(self, *messages, level=LogLevel.ERROR, sep=None, color=None):
        """Sets the log level and the respective message(s)."""
        self.messages = messages
        self.level = level
        self.sep = ' ' if sep is None else sep
        self.color = color
        self.timestamp = datetime.now()

    def __hash__(self):
        """Returns a unique hash."""
        return hash(self._hash_tuple)

    def _hash_tuple(self):
        """Returns the tuple from which to create a unique hash."""
        return (self.__class__, self.level, self.messages, self.timestamp)

    def message(self):
        """Returns the message elements joint by the selected separator."""
        return self.sep.join(str(message) for message in self.messages)

    def text(self):
        """Returns the formatted message text."""
        if self.color is not None:
            return self.color(self.message)

        return self.message

class Logger:
    """A logger that can be nested."""

    CHILD_SEP = '→'

    def __init__(self, name, level=None, parent=None, file=None):
        """Sets the logger's name, log level, parent logger,
        log entry template and file.
        self.name = name
        self.level = level or LogLevel.INFO
        self.parent = parent
        self.file = file
        self.template = '{1.level} {0}: {1.text}'

    def __str__(self):
        """Returns the logger's nested path as a string."""
        return self.CHILD_SEP.join(logger.name for logger in self.path)

    def __hash__(self):
        """Returns a unique hash."""
        return hash(self.__class__, self.name)

    def __enter__(self):
        """Returns itself."""
        return self

    def __exit__(self, _, value, __):
        """Logs risen log entries."""
        if isinstance(value, LogEntry):
            return True

        return None

    def root(self):
        """Determines whether the logger is at the root level."""
        return self.parent is None

    def path(self):
        """Yields the logger's path."""
        if not self.root:
            yield from self.parent.path

        yield self

    def layer(self):
        """Returns the layer of the logger."""
        return 0 if self.root else self.parent.layer + 1

    def log_entry(self, log_entry):
        """Logs a log entry."""
        if log_entry.level >= self.level:
            if self.file is None:
                file = stderr if log_entry.level.erroneous else stdout
                file = self.file

            print(self.template.format(self, log_entry), file=file, flush=True)

        return log_entry

    def inherit(self, name, level=None, file=None):
        """Returns a new child of this logger."""
        level = self.level if level is None else level
        file = self.file if file is None else file
        return self.__class__(name, level=level, parent=self, file=file)

    def log(self, level, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs messages of a certain log level."""
        log_entry = LogEntry(*messages, level=level, sep=sep, color=color)
        return self.log_entry(log_entry)

    def debug(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs debug messages, defaulting to a stack trace."""
        if not messages:
            messages = ('Stacktrace:', format_exc())

            if sep is None:
                sep = '\n'

        return self.log(LogLevel.DEBUG, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

    def success(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs success messages."""
        return self.log(LogLevel.SUCCESS, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

    def info(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs info messages."""
        return self.log(LogLevel.INFO, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

    def warning(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs warning messages."""
        return self.log(LogLevel.WARNING, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

    def error(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs error messages."""
        return self.log(LogLevel.ERROR, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

    def critical(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs critical messages."""
        return self.log(LogLevel.CRITICAL, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

    def failure(self, *messages, sep=None, color=None):
        """Logs failure messages."""
        return self.log(LogLevel.FAILURE, *messages, sep=sep, color=color)

Use example:

#! /usr/bin/env python3

    divide <dividend> <divisor> [options]

    --help, -h  Show this page.
from docopt import docopt
from fancylog import LogLevel, LogEntry, Logger

def divide(dividend, divisor):

        return dividend / divisor
    except ZeroDivisionError:
        raise LogEntry('Cannot divide by zero.', level=LogLevel.ERROR)

def main(options):

    with Logger('Division logger', level=LogLevel.SUCCESS) as logger:
            dividend = float(options['<dividend>'])
        except ValueError:
            logger.error('Divident is not a float.')

            divisor = float(options['<divisor>'])
        except ValueError:
            logger.error('Divisor is not a float.')

        logger.success(divide(dividend, divisor))

if __name__ == '__main__':
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "Due to several limitations of the standard library's logging module" Which ones in particular are you trying to fix? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast
    Feb 16, 2018 at 12:57
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mast Comprehensive API, PEP8 compliant code, context management capability, easy formatting configuration, object-orientation... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2018 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why self.level = level or LogLevel.INFO when every other check of the sort is of the form self.level = LogLevel.INFO if level is None else level? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2018 at 14:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Why not use total_ordering? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2018 at 14:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Dannnno Good point. I also already refactored the several logging methods using functools.partialmethod in upstream. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2018 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


The code reads good, I only have a few nitpicks:

  • Use default values where applicable instead of None: it will ease usage of the API as they can be introspected;

    class LogEntry(Exception):
        """A log entry."""
        def __init__(self, *messages, level=LogLevel.ERROR, sep=' ', color=None):
    class Logger:
        """A logger that can be nested."""
        CHILD_SEP = '→'
        def __init__(self, name, level=LogLevel.INFO, parent=None, file=None):
  • Change value of a parameter instead of reasigning it through a ternary: this make it more explicit about what you’re trying to do;

    def inherit(self, name, level=None, file=None):
        """Returns a new child of this logger."""
        if level is None:
            level = self.level
        if file is None:
            file = self.file
        return self.__class__(name, level=level, parent=self, file=file)
  • Avoid return None, especially as last intruction: it’s just noise.

Now, this is neat code and all, but it feels… rather limited. The two main concerns I have about this module is that:

  1. it only logs to files (or similar);
  2. it gives veeery few control over the formatting of the log message.

I sometimes need to send logs to the system syslog daemon and I can do it using a handler provided by the Python's logging module, but if I want to do that using yours, I would have to wrap syslog and your module myself… Same goes for sending logs over TCP (to a listening logstash for instance).

Same goes for the formatting of the message. As far as I hate % formatting imposed by the logging module, it is at least possible to writte a Formatter that is format aware and pass large objects to the logger which will use the format string to traverse it and retrieve values that I need to log only if it actually logs something. Using your approach, I can either write a non-flexible __str__ method on each object I want to log so I can have desired information (which is not always possible nor wanted, if I want to log several different things in several different places) or split the format string (bad for readability) and traverse the object to retrieve attributes myself which is a bit of overhead (some may be expensive properties, even) if the log ends up discarded.

Other missing things includes the ability to configure a logger hierarchy though a file and to retrieve/create any logger by name in any module.

I also don't really understand the use of the contextmanager, especially the LogEntry exception. As far as I find it interesting to create a specific logger for a specific portion of the code, why would I want to use the LogEntry "exception":

  1. it swallows the actual error, making the calling code unaware of any problem: if your example code were to use the value returned from divide, it would have a hard time doing so as None would be returned;
  2. it changes the type of the exception making any attempt to catch real errors moot. Why not keep it to the simple

    except XXX:

    that you use in your main? (or even better: except XXX: logger.xxx(…); raise)

    Can't you instead provide a utility function like current_logger that uses this context manager to return the appropriate one (or create a root logger if none is in use)? Or something akin to decimal.localcontext where you provide module-level logging functions (debug, success, info…) that applies to the current logger and other utilities to select which logger is the current one.


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