Slogger Exited with code: 1

I used to use Brett Terpstra’s Slogger for logging various activities in to Day One. Probably around 6 months ago I stopped using Day One, just out of lazyness, but now I am trying to write down my thoughts and experiences more. Part of this is driven just by my poor memory.

Back to Slogger. Over the last 6 months this should have been silently running every evening, updating Day One with information in the background, but the scheduled task has been failing. Because I was not actively using Day One over this period I never noticed. This possibly stopped working around the upgrade to Mavericks, or it could have been when I started toying with Ruby development. Either way it is screwed. And the error that was appearing in the console was less than helpful.

28/01/2014 21:31:29.437[275]: (com.brettterpstra.Slogger[6346]) Exited with code: 1

All the searches I did on this just resulted in no response forum posts, or it magically working on its own again. I needed to find a solution.

This initially had me stumped as the command Launchd would be calling was the same as I ran through terminal with no issues at all.

/Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/bin/ruby /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger

Deducing the problem took a bit of scavenging the internet to find parts to a solution.

Step 1: Getting a useful error message

Launchd allows for a LaunchAgent plist file to specify locations for log files. All that is required is to add the following in to the main dict node, updating paths as appropriate to a writable location.


Step 2: Dealing with the error

This additional logging did give me some progress. The Slogger.err file now contained an error that I could debug.

/Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require': cannot load such file -- twitter (LoadError)
        from /Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'
        from /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/plugins/twitterlogger.rb:39:in `<top (required)>'
        from /Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'
        from /Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'
        from /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger.rb:241:in `block in run_plugins'
        from /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger.rb:233:in `each'
        from /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger.rb:233:in `run_plugins'
        from /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger.rb:388:in `<top (required)>'
        from /Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'
        from /Users/david/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.3-p194/lib/ruby/site_ruby/1.9.1/rubygems/custom_require.rb:36:in `require'
        from /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger:18:in `<main>'

Something with the setup in RVM(Ruby Version Manager) was making the availability of gems dependent on some environment variable that was not present for Launchd.

Step 3: Fixing the issue

It turns out that an RVM script is included as part of my ~/.bash_profile which sets an environment variable. This is not setup when Launchd tries to run. At first I was tempted just to remove RVM, as I do very little ruby and Mavericks now includes an even later version. I had initially installed this due to issues with version 1.8.

In order to get this working I had to bastardise my plist file quite a lot, but now Slogger can run via Launchd. The finished plist file I am using is below.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">
		<string>export HOME=~; [[ -s "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" ]] &amp;&amp; source "$HOME/.rvm/scripts/rvm" &amp;&amp; ruby /Users/david/Scripts/Slogger2/slogger</string>

Hopefully this helps someone else get past this issue, or at least make a start on diagnosing any issues.