Programmatically recording Elm history to help debugging

I work at an edtech startup that helps kids learn to read and write, so as you can imagine getting good bug reports is even harder than usual :sweat_smile:

Since we started using Elm we’ve been really excited about the debug mode history, which tracks every message an application receives. It turns out that you can use Javascript to programmatically capture that history – and that by storing that data, our engineers and support team members can much more easily debug a user’s experience without having to be in the same room (or keep bothering busy teachers for more information).

I’ve released a Javascript package called ElmRings that makes it easy to capture Elm 0.18 and 0.19 history, clean it of personal info/passwords/etc., and upload it. I’ve also written a few blog posts (starting here) that cover how this works and how to interpret the JSON format Elm uses for history.

This approach, while not without some downsides (specifically, deploying the app in debug mode, which I know won’t work for everyone), has been tremendously helpful to us, and I hope will be helpful or at least interesting to others as well!



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