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I'm learning ruby (and OOP in the process) and I find keep having to write the same patterns when logging progress so I want to wrap this up in a logging library that my other code can then just pass data to - say a string, a file name and a log level. This of course couples the logging library with other code - other code still has to be aware of how the logging library works (that it wants the string, name, & level). I tend not to like coupling like this but it seems like I can't really prevent it, but rather have to deal with it by consciously deciding to scope the library's use to an area of concern "ie: snoweagle's personal tech projects"

Is this good design or is there a better way to approach coupling?

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I don't think what you're describing is necessarily tightly coupled

This of course couples the logging library with other code - other code still has to be aware of how the logging library works (that it wants the string, name, & level)

Not exactly. The consuming code won't need to know how the logging library works. It'll simply need to know what is expected of a logging library. In other words, consuming code only needs to know about the logging library's public interface.

If your language supports it, you can guarantee looser coupling by forcing the consuming code to work against a Logger Interface (as opposed to the Logger implementation).

This is considered loosely coupled because there is only one --clearly defined-- point of contact between the Logger library and the consuming code. This is the Logger Interface.

If in the future you decided to swap out your Logger for a new-fangled modern logger, then all you would need to do is code a compatibility layer between your new Logger lib and your existing Logger Interface. Loose coupling to the max ;)

In C#:

Your logger interface:

public interface ILogger
{
    void Log(String filename, String message, Level level);
    void Log(String filename, Exception exception, Level level);
    void Log(String message, Level level);
    void Log(Exception exception, Level level);
    void LogInfo(String message);
    void LogWarning(String message);
    void LogError(String error);
    void LogError(Exception error);
    // etc...
}

A specific implementation of ILogger

public class AbcLogger : ILogger
{
    // Implements all of ILogger

    public void LogWarning(String message)
    {
        this.abcTarget.Write(message, AbcLevelsEnum.Warning)
    }
}

Code consuming a Logger

public void SomeMethod(int a)
{
    if (a < 1000)
    {
        String message = "Quantities of fewer than 1000 bananas are not accepted";

        ILogger logger = ServiceLocator.GetMeMyLogger();
        logger.LogWarning(message);

        throw new BananaException(message);
    }

    // do more...
}

As you can see, the consuming code isn't aware it's dealing with AbcLogger. All it knows is that a logger is available and that it can be used by going throw the ILogger interface.

And this way, if you ever want to switch to another logger like this one...

public class XyzLogger : ILogger
{
    // Implements all of ILogger

    public void LogWarning(String message)
    {
        this.xyzTarget.Flush();
        this.xyzTarget.OtherPreRequisites();

        this.xyzTarget.Write(message, XyzLevel.NonCritical)

        this.xyzTarget.Flush();
        this.xyzTarget.OtherPostRequisites();
    }
}

...it's just a matter of changing your application's bootstrapping code to use XyzLogger instead of AbcLogger.

public Bootstrapping()
{
    ServiceLocator.SetLogger(new XyzLogger());
    ServiceLocator.SetBananaManager(new BananaManaga());
    // ... etc
}
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