Provided by: libpoe-perl_1.3670-2_all bug


       POE::Wheel::FollowTail - follow the tail of an ever-growing file



         use POE qw(Wheel::FollowTail);

           inline_states => {
             _start => sub {
               $_[HEAP]{tailor} = POE::Wheel::FollowTail->new(
                 Filename => "/var/log/system.log",
                 InputEvent => "got_log_line",
                 ResetEvent => "got_log_rollover",
             got_log_line => sub {
               print "Log: $_[ARG0]\n";
             got_log_rollover => sub {
               print "Log rolled over.\n";



       POE::Wheel::FollowTail objects watch for new data at the end of a file and generate new
       events when things happen to the file. Its "Filter" parameter defines how to parse data
       from the file. Each new item is sent to the creator's session as an "InputEvent" event.
       Log rotation will trigger a "ResetEvent".

       POE::Wheel::FollowTail only reads from a file, so it doesn't implement a put() method.


       new() returns a new POE::Wheel::FollowTail object.  As long as this object exists, it will
       generate events when the corresponding file's status changes.

       new() accepts a small set of named parameters:


       The optional "Driver" parameter specifies which driver to use when reading from the tailed
       file.  If omitted, POE::Wheel::FollowTail will use POE::Driver::SysRW.  This is almost
       always the right thing to do.


       "Filter" is an optional constructor parameter that specifies how to parse data from the
       followed file.  By default, POE::Wheel::FollowTail will use POE::Filter::Line to parse
       files as plain, newline-separated text.

         $_[HEAP]{tailor} = POE::Wheel::FollowTail->new(
           Filename => "/var/log/snort/alert",
           Filter => POE::Filter::Snort->new(),
           InputEvent => "got_snort_alert",


       POE::Wheel::FollowTail needs to periodically check for new data on the followed file.
       "PollInterval" specifies the number of seconds to wait between checks.  Applications that
       need to poll once per second may omit "PollInterval", as it defaults to 1.

       Longer poll intervals may be used to reduce the polling overhead for infrequently updated

         $_[HEAP]{tailor} = POE::Wheel::FollowTail->new(
           PollInterval => 10,


       If specified, "Seek" instructs POE::Wheel::FollowTail to seek to a specific spot in the
       tailed file before beginning to read from it.  A positive "Seek" value is interpreted as
       the number of octets to seek from the start of the file.  Negative "Seek" will, like
       negative array indices, seek backwards from the end of the file.  Zero "Seek" starts
       reading from the beginning of the file.

       Be careful when using "Seek", as it's quite easy to seek into the middle of a record.
       When in doubt, and when beginning at the end of the file, omit "Seek" entirely.
       POE::Wheel::FollowTail will seek 4 kilobytes back from the end of the file, then parse and
       discard all records unto EOF.  As long as the file's records are smaller than 4 kilobytes,
       this will guarantee that the first record returned will be complete.

       "Seek" may also be used with the wheel's tell() method to restore the file position after
       a program restart.  Save the tell() value prior to exiting, and load and "Seek" back to it
       on subsequent start-up.


       "SeekBack" behaves like the inverse of "Seek".  A positive value acts like a negative
       "Seek".  A negative value acts like a positive "Seek".  A zero "SeekBack" instructs
       POE::Wheel::FollowTail to begin at the very end of the file.

       "Seek" and "SeekBack" are mutually exclusive.

       See "Seek" for caveats, techniques, and an explanation of the magic that happens when
       neither "Seek" nor "SeekBack" is specified.


       POE::Wheel::FollowTail may follow a previously opened file "Handle".  Unfortunately it
       cannot follow log resets this way, as it won't be able to reopen the file once it has been
       reset.  Applications that must follow resets should use "Filename" instead.

       "Handle" is still useful for files that will never be reset, or for devices that require
       setup outside of POE::Wheel::FollowTail's purview.

       "Handle" and "Filename" are mutually exclusive.  One of them is required, however.


       Specify the "Filename" to watch.  POE::Wheel::FollowTail will wait for the file to appear
       if it doesn't exist.  The wheel will also reopen the file if it disappears, such as when
       it has been reset or rolled over.  In the case of a reset, POE::Wheel::FollowTail will
       also emit a "ResetEvent", if one has been requested.

       "Handle" and "Filename" are mutually exclusive.  One of them is required, however.

       See the "SYNOPSIS" for an example.


       "IdleEvent" is an optional event.  If specified, it will fire whenever
       POE::Wheel::FollowTail checks for activity but sees nothing.  It was added in POE 1.362 as
       a way to advance certain test programs without needing to wait conservatively large
       amounts of time.

       "IdleEvent" is described in "PUBLIC EVENTS".


       The "InputEvent" parameter is required, and it specifies the event to emit when new data
       arrives in the watched file.  "InputEvent" is described in detail in "PUBLIC EVENTS".


       "ResetEvent" is an optional.  It specifies the name of the event that indicates file
       rollover or reset.  Please see "PUBLIC EVENTS" for more details.


       POE::Wheel::FollowTail may emit optional "ErrorEvent"s whenever it runs into trouble.  The
       data that comes with this event is explained in "PUBLIC EVENTS".

       event() allows a session to change the events emitted by a wheel without destroying and
       re-creating the object.  It accepts one or more of the events listed in "PUBLIC EVENTS".
       Undefined event names disable those events.

       Stop handling log resets:

         sub some_event_handler {
           $_[HEAP]{tailor}->event( ResetEvent => undef );

       The events are described in more detail in "PUBLIC EVENTS".

       The ID() method returns the wheel's unique ID.  It's useful for storing the wheel in a
       hash.  All POE::Wheel events should be accompanied by a wheel ID, which allows the wheel
       to be referenced in their event handlers.

         sub setup_tailor {
           my $wheel = POE::Wheel::FollowTail->new(... incomplete ...);
           $_[HEAP]{tailors}{$wheel->ID} = $wheel;

       See the example in "ErrorEvent" for a handler that will find this wheel again.

       tell() returns the current position for the file being watched by POE::Wheel::FollowTail.
       It may be useful for saving the position program termination.  new()'s "Seek" parameter
       may be used to resume watching the file where tell() left off.

         sub handle_shutdown {
           # Not robust.  Do better in production.
           open my $save, ">", "" or die $!;
           print $save $_[HEAP]{tailor}->tell(), "\n";
           close $save;

         sub handle_startup {
           open my $save, "<", "" or die $!;
           chomp(my $seek = <$save>);
           $_[HEAP]{tailor} = POE::Wheel::FollowTail->new(
             Seek => $seek,


       POE::Wheel::FollowTail emits a small number of events.

       "IdleEvent" specifies the name of an event to be fired when POE::Wheel::FollowTail doesn't
       detect activity on the watched file.

       $_[ARG0] contains the ID of the POE::Wheel::FollowTail object that fired the event.

       "InputEvent" sets the name of the event to emit when new data arrives into the tailed
       file.  The event will be accompanied by two parameters:

       $_[ARG0] contains the data that was read from the file, after being parsed by the current

       $_[ARG1] contains the wheel's ID, which may be used as a key into a data structure
       tracking multiple wheels.  No assumption should be made about the nature or format of this
       ID, as it may change at any time.  Therefore, track your wheels in a hash.

       See the "SYNOPSIS" for an example.

       "ResetEvent" names the event to be emitted whenever the wheel detects that the followed
       file has been reset.  It's only available when watching files by name, as
       POE::Wheel::FollowTail must reopen the file after it has been reset.

       "ResetEvent" comes with only one parameter, $_[ARG0], which contains the wheel's ID.  See
       "InputEvent" for some notes about what may be done with wheel IDs.

       See the "SYNOPSIS" for an example.

       "ErrorEvent" names the event emitted when POE::Wheel::FollowTail encounters a problem.
       Every "ErrorEvent" comes with four parameters that describe the error and its situation:

       $_[ARG0] describes the operation that failed.  This is usually "read", since
       POE::Wheel::FollowTail spends most of its time reading from a file.

       $_[ARG1] and $_[ARG2] contain the numeric and stringified values of $!, respectively.
       They will never contain EAGAIN (or its local equivalent) since POE::Wheel::FollowTail
       handles that error itself.

       $_[ARG3] contains the wheel's ID, which has been discussed in "InputEvent".

       This error handler logs a message to STDERR and then shuts down the wheel.  It assumes
       that the session is watching multiple files.

         sub handle_tail_error {
           my ($operation, $errnum, $errstr, $wheel_id) = @_[ARG0..ARG3];
           warn "Wheel $wheel_id: $operation error $errnum: $errstr\n";
           delete $_[HEAP]{tailors}{$wheel_id};


       POE::Wheel describes the basic operations of all wheels in more depth.  You need to know

       The SEE ALSO section in POE contains a table of contents covering the entire POE


       This wheel can't tail pipes and consoles on some operating systems.

       POE::Wheel::FollowTail generally reads ahead of the data it returns, so the tell()
       position may be later in the file than the data an application has already received.


       Please see POE for more information about authors and contributors.