How can I easily log a message to a file for debugging purposes

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Today, either Bloglines.com or blogs.MSDN.com blinked, and suddenly I’m seeing old entries on the ‘C# Frequently Asked Questions’ blog as new. No one has posted anything there in over two years.

Anyway, reading the most recent message, it offered a method for logging a message. Now, ignoring side debates over log4net vs nLog vs. the Event log vs. Trace, and just concentrating on the code post — It’s not very good. Look for yourself (then come back here) http://blogs.msdn.com/csharpfaq/archive/2006/03/27/562555.aspx

Despite being written by a C# MVP ( * ), it shows a lack of understanding of basic .Net library features, and well as C#. So, I figured, I’d rewrite it. I limited myself to taking what’s there and fixing it instead of going an entirely different way (ie, log4net vs nLog vs etc). Here’s the revised code:

using System.IO;
public void LogMessageToFile(string msg)
{
	string logFilepath = Path.Combine(Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable("TEMP"),"My Log File.txt");
	using (StreamWriter sw = File.AppendText(logFilepath))
	{
		string logLine = String.Format("{0:G}: {1}.", DateTime.Now, msg);
		sw.WriteLine(logLine);
	}
}

A few years ago, I bought a number of books, all with the title of same variation of “C# Cookbook”. Again, a lot of bad code. I’ve been meaning to start a series of articles about revising them…..

( * ) Years ago, I was one of the very first C++ MVPs. After ten years, I was dropped from the program. Since then I’ve tried to become a C# MVP, without any luck. I’m beginning to get bitter about it. ;-)

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