• 2018-01-17
  • RFC PR: 0297
  • Ember Issue: https://github.com/emberjs/ember.js/issues/16231

Deprecation of Ember.Logger

Summary

This RFC recommends the deprecation and eventual removal of Ember.Logger.

Motivation

There are a variety of features of Ember designed to support old browsers, features that are no longer needed. Ember.Logger came into being because the browser support for the console was inconsistent. In some browsers, like Internet Explorer 9, the console only existed when the developer tools panel was open, which caused null references and program crashes when run with the console closed. Ember.Logger provided methods that would route to the console when it was available.

With Ember 3.x, Ember no longer supports these older browsers, and hence this feature no longer serves a purpose. Removing it will make Ember smaller and lighter.

Detailed design

For the most part, this is a 1:1 substitution of the global console object for Ember.Logger.

Node only added support for console.debug in Node version 9. Where we wish to support earlier versions of Node, we will need to use console.log, rather than console.debug, as the replacement for Logger.debug. Apps and addons which don't care about Node or are specifying Node version 9 as their minimum can use console.debug.

Internet Explorer 11 and Edge both require console methods to be bound to the console object when the developer tools are not showing. This diverges from the expectations of other browsers. Direct calls to console methods will work correctly, but constructs which involve explicitly or implicitly binding the console methods to other objects or using them unbound will fail. This is straightforward to work around.

You can address the issue by binding the method to the console object:

// Before - assigning raw method to a variable for later use
var print = Logger.log; // assigning method to variable
print('Message');

// After - assigning console-bound method to variable for later use
var print = console.log.bind(console);
print('Message');

In some cases, you can use rest parameter syntax to avoid the issue entirely:

// Before
Logger.info.apply(undefined, arguments); // or
Logger.info.apply(null, arguments); // or
Logger.info.apply(this, arguments); // or

// After
console.info(...arguments);

Within the framework

Remove the following direct uses of Ember.Logger from the ember.js and ember-data projects:

  • ember-debug:
    • deprecate (ember-debug\lib\deprecate.js) - Logger.warn
    • debug (ember-debug\lib\index.js) - Logger.info
    • warn (ember-debug\lib\warn.js) - Logger.warn
  • ember-routing (ember-routing\lib\system\router.js):
    • transitioned to - Logger.log
    • preparing to transition to - Logger.log
    • intermediate-transitioned to - Logger.log
  • ember-testing:
    • Testing paused (ember-testing\lib\helpers\pause_test.js) - Logger.info
    • Catch-all handler (ember-testing\lib\test\adapter.js) - Logger.error
  • ember-data:
    • tests\test-helper.js- Logger.log

Adjust all test code that redirects logging and sets it back:

  • ember\tests\routing\basic_test.js (adjust)
  • ember-application\tests\system\dependency_injection\default_resolver_test.js (adjust)
  • ember-application\tests\system\logging_test.js (remove?)
  • ember-glimmer\tests\integration\helpers\log-test.js (remove?)

Note: None of the uses of Ember.Logger in ember.js or ember-data involve Ember.debug, so that issue doesn't affect the Ember.js code directly.

Add deprecation warnings to the implementation: ember-console\lib\index.js. Bear in mind that Ember.deprecate in ember-debug currently calls Logger.warn, so the ember-debug code should be changed first or adding the deprecation warning will create a deep recursion.

The Ember.assert, Ember.warn, Ember.info, Ember.debug, and Ember.deprecate methods suppress their output on production builds. However, they are suppressing them in the ember-debug module, which currently consumes Ember.Logger, not by Ember.Logger itself. Hence, replacing calls to Ember.Logger with direct calls to the console will not affect this behavior.

Add-On Developers

The following high-impact add-ons (9 or 10 or a * on EmberObserver) use Ember.Logger and should probably be given an early heads-up to adjust their code to use console before this RFC is implemented. This will limit the level of pain that their users experience when the deprecation is released.

Add-ons that need to also support Ember 2.x will need to make their console references conditional on console being "truthy", of course, to support Internet Explorer 9.

In the order of their number of references to Ember.Logger:

  • ember-concurrency (15)
  • ember-cli-deprecation-workflow (9)
  • ember-stripe-service (9)
  • semantic-ui-ember (7)
  • ember-resolver (6)
  • ember-cli-page-object (4)
  • ember-cli-sentry (3)
  • ember-islands (3)
  • ember-states (3)
  • ember-cli-pagination (2)
  • ember-cli-clipboard (1)
  • ember-cli-fastboot (1)
  • ember-elsewhere (1)
  • ember-i18n (1)
  • ember-simple-auth-token (1)
  • ember-svg-jar (1)
  • liquid-fire (1)

For details, see https://emberobserver.com/code-search?codeQuery=Ember.Logger.

How we teach this

Communication of change

We need to inform users that Ember.Logger will be deprecated and in what release it will occur.

Official code bases and documentation

We do not currently actively teach the use of Ember.Logger. We will need to remove any passing references to Ember.Logger from the Ember guides from the Super Rentals tutorial, and anywhere else it appears on the website.

Once it is gone from the code, we also need to verify it no longer appears in the API listings.

We must provide an entry in the deprecation guide for this change:

  • describing relevant divergences remaining in the handling of the console in Internet Explorer 11 and Edge browsers.
  • describing the issue with using console.debug on node versions earlier than Node 9.
  • describing alternative ways of dealing with eslint's no-console messages.

Drawbacks

191 add-ons in Ember Inspector are using Ember.Logger. It has been there and documented for a long time. So this deprecation will cause some level of change on many projects.

This, of course, can be said for almost any deprecation, and Ember's disciplined approach to deprecation has been repeatedly shown to ease things. These particular changes are proving easy to locate and replace by hand. Also, only twenty of those add-ons have more than six references to Ember.Logger. If this is characteristic of the user base, the level of effort to make the change, even by hand, should be very small for most users.

Those using Logger.debug as something different from Logger.log may have at least a theoretical concern. Under the covers Logger.debug only calls console.debug if it exists, calling console.log otherwise. The only platform where the difference between the two is visible in the console is on Safari. We can encourage folks with a tangible, practical concern about this to speak up during the comment period, but I don't anticipate this will have much impact.

Alternatives

  1. Leave things as they are, perhaps providing an @ember/console module interface.

  2. Extract Ember.Logger into its own (tiny) @ember/console package as a shim for users.

Unresolved questions

None at this point. The answers from prior drafts have been promoted into the text.