Chainsaw.Net with Style

March 29, 2011
I've been working pretty diligently during my nights at finishing version 2.0 of my custom ETL engine.  Its coming along nicely and I'm pretty happy with how this revision is coming.  Look for more on my custom ETL engine in the near future, but today I'm revisiting my .NET implementation of Chainsaw, a log viewer for log4net.  As some of you might remember I finished an initial version of the viewer a few weeks back.  I've been using it pretty heavily during the development of my ETL engine and I got tired of it looking crappy.  Tonight I took the night off from ETL development to "beautify" the log4net reporting viewer and I have to say, its easier on the eyes. 
If you compare the two screenshots you'll notice that I moved all my controls up to a single bar at the top of the page and incorporated the jQuery UI button components to replace the basic checkboxes, radio buttons and drop downs.  I've also removed the logger tree from being a permanent fixture on the page and now it toggles with a button in the top left that gives you access to the tree to make your logger selections.
That screenshot is full resolution if you open it in a new tab, which makes it easier to check out the new look and feel.
I found that it can be a bit tricky to pull the state out of these modified controls but it only required a few changes to the javascript.  Notably pulling the value out of the converted checkboxes and radio buttons required a slightly sophisticated select which I'll share here just in case you find yourself in a similar situation.
var sort_order = $('input:radio[name=radio-message-order]:checked').val(); 
var per_page = $('input:radio[name=option-perpage]:checked').val();
I played with swapping around some of the themes available from jQuery UI but they don't seem to want to play all that nicely which likely means I'm doing something wrong or the browsers are caching things. Either way, it will have to wait for another day.
Oh yea, I also discovered that the comment system wasn't exactly working.  I had CAPTCHA enabled but not the CAPTCHA tool.  Whoops, its working now so comment away.  Now, back to the real stuff.
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About the author

Frank DeFalco has worked as software developer and informatics professional since 1996.  He is currently employed by Johnson & Johnson where he manages the Health Informatics Center of Excellence.


Reach me via email at frank (at) thedefalcos (dot) com.


Follow me on twitter @fjdefalco