Mail.app and server logs

April 2, 2010 at 5:10 am

| Gabriel |

I recently started scraping a website using curl and cron (for earlier thoughts on this see here). Because I don’t leave my mac turned on at 2am, I’m hosting the scrape on one of the UCLA servers. I get a daily log of the scrape by email, but I know myself well enough to know that I’ll get bored with reading the logs after a few days.

As such, I added a “rule” to Mail.app that looks for error messages. When curl fails for any reason, the standard error message is “Warning: Failed to create the file …” Using the “rules” tab of the Mail.app preferences, I told Mail to turn any message red if it has my server’s log boilerplate in the subject line and contains a curl error message anywhere in the text. Now when I open my email in the morning and see a black message I know everything is fine whereas a red message (or no message at all) means there’s a problem.

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