Mailing the Report
script is basically done. We’re
going to add just one more feature: a section that lets us specify a
list of email addresses to receive a mailed copy of the report every
time the script is run.
We can just run the script manually from the command line whenever we
get curious about what’s going on in the log files, but it
works best if we schedule it to run automatically at set intervals. A
typical approach would be to have it run in the wee hours of the
morning, building a report based on the previous day’s log
file. (Most web servers are configured to have their access logs
rotated on a daily basis, so a particular filename like
access.log.1 will always correspond to the
previous day’s log.) With this email feature, we can have the
finished report sitting in our inbox ready for reading with our
In a moment we’ll look at how we can use the Unix
cron command to automate the running of
log_report.plx. For now, let’s add the
emailed delivery option.
First, we need to figure out where our web server’s copy of the
sendmail mail-delivery program
has been the standard in the Unix world, but it is becoming less so.
Still, even if your web server has some other mail delivery agent
installed instead of
sendmail, it is possible that
that delivery agent features a
sendmail-compatible emulation mode, such that you can use the following code ...