Restructuring Go code

I have some projects that have evolved into a big mess.  Code spread about packages organically, and named things that don’t entirely make sense in hindsight.  Some of this is down to me being new at Go and my unfamiliarity with good patterns to lay out code within it.  Some of that is down to me simply not being sure how the code fitted together until it was more complete.

I wanted to refactor it, and Go has a good reputation for tools that operate on source code.

The first challenge was to figure out what I had in there.  From my point of view an overview of packages/files and types seemed like it would give me a decent idea of what I was looking at.  I didn’t spot any tools that appeared to do what I wanted out of the box (although my google fu was failing me as I struggled to think up search terms that pulled up things that weren’t for other topics like simply writing Go code).  After experimenting with ripgrep to simply grep for type as a keyword I realised what I was missing in terms of information.  I ended up coming up with a simple tool using the library.

package main
import (
func main() {
pList, err := packages.Load(&packages.Config{
Mode: packages.NeedFiles |
packages.LoadImports |
}, "./…")
if err != nil {
path, err := os.Getwd()
if err != nil {
for _, p := range pList {
packageName := p.String()
fmt.Printf("## %s\n\n", packageName)
fmt.Printf("Go files: \n")
for _, f := range p.GoFiles {
// strip current working directory from filenames.
f := strings.Replace(f, path+"/", "", 1)
fmt.Printf("* %s\n", f)
scope := p.Types.Scope()
for _, name := range scope.Names() {
scopeInfo := scope.Lookup(name).String()
// don't appear to have much control over this data. best I appear
// to be able to do is grab it as a string right now so just
// filtering out funcs, vars etc. with a simple string comparson.
if strings.HasPrefix(scopeInfo, "type") {
scopeInfo = strings.Replace(scopeInfo, packageName+".", "", 1)
space := strings.Index(scopeInfo, " ")
space = space + 1 + strings.Index(scopeInfo[space+1:], " ")
fmt.Printf("* %s\n", scopeInfo[:space])
view raw code-list.go hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Often when people look at the Go source code they mention the ast library which is a great tool, but this is kind of a level above, simply looking at what packages you have, and doing some analysis.  For what I wanted, this appeared to do all I needed to (and may well have been using the ast under the hood).  The scopes appeared to provide the type info I wanted, and while I couldn’t seem to access the info more easily than as a string which felt a bit clunky, a bit of simple fudging got me the sort of output I wanted.

This generated a markdown document noting the layout of the types in the packages.  I then created 2 copies of that document, one labelled current, then another labelled planned.  This allowed me to get a feel for where the source code files should go and how well the names fit.

I moved various packages about wholesale, simply moving whole source files around.  With that I then used shell fu to rename reams of files adjusting their imports and if necessary hand editing the package names.

For instance combining ripgrep and perl to rename the imports:

rg internal/mysql/packet --type go -l | xargs perl -p -i -e 's|internal/mysql/packet|pkg/mysql/packet|g'

I did this in discrete commits, checking the build/lint/test suite as I went.  Then it came to renaming some of the types, and there I was able to make use of gopls to rename names, and it would update all the right places in the code.

At first I did this from the command line because I didn’t realise it was integrated in my editor like this:

gopls rename -d internal/streamfactory/factory.go:16:6 StreamFactory

You specify the filename, line, columns (all nicely visible in your editor footer probably) and then the word to change the identifier to.

Then I realised that vim-go had indeed added support for rename via gopls, and I just needed to turn it on:

let g:go_rename_command = 'gopls'

While researching all this I discovered an unrelated but neat utility/feature, :GoAddTags that adds `json:"name"` tags to struct elements (you might need to install the external companion tool for that).

With the editor integration I can move my cursor to the start of something to rename and then do :GoRename newIdentifier and it will update all the code accordingly.

Windows and Docker

I’ve been testing out development on Windows using Docker and how best to replicate the sort of linux environment I’m most used to.  One of the reasons docker is so loved on linux for development is that it makes it convenient to run lots of different machines locally without a huge hardware investment.

Having paid attention to the various things coming out of the Microsoft camp it looked like WSL2 was likely to be the best option, and so I gave it a go and it all seemed reasonable enough.  Just recently I realised I wasn’t actually doing it right though.  Looking at the Best practices section here – I realised I should be running docker from within a Linux instance rather than Windows itself.  By storing files within another linux instance it should resolve the file permission (executable permissions) and file watching issues you generally have when using docker on windows.

Having played about with it some more and rebuilt my setup to ensure I understand what I did I’m going to quickly document the basic steps.  A lot of this is just cribbed from the various things I’ve read.


Install WSL2

Cribbed from that page, assume commands are done in an admin powershell.  All of this assumes that Virtualisation is enabled in Windows.

  • Ensure running a new enough version of Windows (Version 1903 or higher, with Build 18362 or higher)
  • Enable WSL
    • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart
  • Enable virtual machines
    • dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart
  • Download kernel update package and install –
  • Set WSL2 to be the default version
    • wsl --set-default-version 2
  • Limit memory usage by WSL by creating a config (tweak usage allowed based on machine capacity, key thing is to ensure Docker doesn’t make rest of the machine unusable):
    • notepad "$env:USERPROFILE/.wslconfig"


memory=4GB   # Limits VM memory in WSL 2 up to 4GB

  • Install Ubuntu from the Windows Store and launch it.  This should prompt you to setup a new username/password within the new linux.

Install Windows Terminal

Note windows terminal binds Ctrl-V and Ctrl-C to copy/paste as well as Ctrl-Shift-V/C so depending on the user, you may want to go into the settings and copy those bits out.  They can get in the way of things you do in a terminal.

Install Docker

Ensure docker is not installed (uninstall if necessary).  When  prompted on install agree to use WSL2.

Initial run and bookmarks

Start Windows Terminal and open an Ubuntu shell (when you go to the start menu, find terminal and it’s an option on the right).  Also pin Terminal to the taskbar.

Run ‘cd’ to go to the home folder (note that by default the terminal opens in the /mnt/c/Users/User folder, you want to be in /home/user).

Run explorer.exe . to open up an explorer window like \\wsl$\Ubuntu\home\user

Pin the folder to the quick access list (right click on the users home folder).

Using this setup

Now you can spin up an Ubuntu terminal session and use git.  Remember to clone files into the linux file system (within $HOME) rather than the parent machines file system.

You may want to install git outside on Windows as well as on the inside (where it generally seems to be installed by default).  You can edit on the outside by going to the \\wsl$ folders and you can use various tooling on the inside.

What are the downsides?

Compared to regular linux on it’s own, the networking is still in a VM, so you don’t have direct access to the containers in the way you generally would on linux.  This is even true within the linux machine you use the terminal on.  It appears docker actually runs the containers in a different VM and simply proxies the docker commands over to it.

Setting up a Raspberry Pi dashboard

Lots of companies set up dashboards that allow them to keep an eye on their build pipelines and system monitoring. Often these involve large TV screens. Raspberry Pi’s are often a good option for the computer that connects and displays this information. They are low power, have the correct connectors, and running a web browser is trivial.

With everyone working from home at the moment lots of us are missing those dashboards. You may well have a Raspberry Pi and a screen or TV you can hook it up to, but contention over the VPN may be the bottleneck. A quick trick to allow you to ‘share’ the bit of the connection you need is to use ssh reverse port forwarding. This allows you to setup a port on the remote machine (the Pi) that connects to the address you provide, using your machine as a proxy.

From my machine I’m working from, connected to the VPN, I use this ssh command to connect to the raspberry pi:

ssh -f raspberrypi.local. ./ > /dev/null 2>&1

This opens up port 8080 on the Raspberry Pi for the https connection to the jenkins server.

I then add update my /etc/hosts entry on the Pi to point that network name at localhost:	localhost

That should mean that should then work. The high port number is so that we don’t need to ssh in as root, as ports < 1024 require root access to open. You can pick your own port numbers, you can also open up multiple connections to hosts on different ports by simply adding more -R options.

I also add a shell script on the host to fire up the browser, and tidy up the screen, ensuring the screen doesn’t turn off.

# try to ensure Chrome doesn’t complain about unclean exits
sed -i 's/"exited_cleanly":false/"exited_cleanly":true/' ~/.config/chromium/Default/Preferences
sed -i 's/"exit_type":"Crashed"/"exit_type":"Normal"/' ~/.config/chromium/Default/Preferences
export DISPLAY=:0.0
xset s 0 0
xset s noblank
xset s noexpose
xset dpms 0 0 0
# sudo apt-get install unclutter
# hides mouse cursor
unclutter &
chromium-browser --kiosk

Note that if you are running from a Windows machine you should still be able to do reverse port forwarding using ssh, you just need to pick an acceptable ssh client to do it.

Installing self signed certs automatically

As part of a new project to do automated testing I’ve been investigating using Selenium Grid and driving it with Cucumber and NodeJS. I’m not 100% convinced I’ll go for the full grid thing, but it’s worth a go. We’ve been using a fairly pared down Webdriver setup up until now, so this is a chance to test an alternative.

As part of this I’m spinning up what is essentially a fully functional website, with SSL and everything. It’s just on a dev box where we don’t want to have real certificates, so these are self signed.

If you look about you’ll find that the general advice is to turn off certificate authentication, and this is fairly trivial – I would rather have the browser validate the certificate, and then if we do have problems with certificates, that’s likely to indicate a real problem that needs fixing. If we turn it off completely, we won’t spot misconfigurations, or problems with 3rd party integrations.

Installing a self signed certificate isn’t too difficult. In fact the excellent tool mkcert by Filippo Valsorda has made the generation and installation of them trivial. If you’re ever unsure how to install certificates his code is an excellent reference for quite a few platforms. It has code for various browsers, and also tools like curl.

The rub with automated testing is that you want to start from scratch with a blank container (well in this case I’m using containers) and install the certificate into that. It appears that certificates get installed into a profile, and profiles aren’t created until the browser has been used for the first time. This means you need to do a bit of a dance in order to install the certificate.

With Google Chrome I’ve found this to be a reasonable method for getting the certificate installed:

FROM selenium/node-chrome-debug

USER root
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y libnss3-tools
USER seluser
RUN google-chrome --headless --disable-gpu --first-run \
    --profile-directory=Default \
COPY my-core-trust.crt /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/mine/
RUN certutil -d sql:/home/seluser/.pki/nssdb -A -t TC \
    -n "My Certificate" \
    -i /usr/local/share/ca-certificates/mine/my-core-trust.crt

Starting with the Selenium Chrome image we install libnss3-tools which provides the tool for installing the certificate.

I then run the browser browsing a real site in headless mode, and specify the --repl flag which is intended to allow you to run things, but in this case essentially means it loads up and exits straight away, which is perfect. This provides triggers the browser to create the profile we need. We can then install this using the certutil utility provided by libnss3-tools.

In principle you can do the same thing with Firefox, but a) it’s profile directories with the cert db are less predictable, b) selenium seems to do something stranger with the profiles. What this means is that so far I haven’t figured out how to get an automated workflow working with Firefox.

Selenium appears to copy over the profile folder over from the test machine to the browser machine when using Firefox. This is to allow it to be repeatable and not end up with issues relating to sessions still being logged in. I’ve experimented with both forcing the use of a particular profile on the firefox machine, and placing my pre-built profile on the test box and copying that over, but while that works in terms of loading up firefox with a profile with the cert loaded, it then sits there like a lemon doing nothing. My guess is that there’s something special about the profile that Selenium sets up for Firefox to use. I just haven’t had the time to figure out what’s going on fully.

Note that the equivalent trick to using the --repl command line flag for Firefox seems to be to use the --screenshot command line flag which spins it up briefly and then closes it back down.

At this point I figure I have enough to be useful, I can test reliably with Google Chrome, and I figured I may as well share what else I’d figured out in case it’s of use, and so that I can remember where I got to for when I want to pick this back up. Firefox is completely usable, just with the insecure certs setting. It would just be neat to be able to install the certificate authority properly into it.

Using systemd DNS with OpenVPN


With the new Ubuntu 18.10 new systemd DNS tools are exposed. The TL;DR for this post is you can tell systemd to use a particular DNS server for a particular interface. This is convenient when you have different DNS servers provided by DHCP and the one you want isn’t getting used. You can assign the one you want to the other interfaces you’re using too.

resolvectl dns $interface $dns_ip 
# for example resolvectl dns wlp3s0

The long story is I use a VPN to connect to work, and that provides a DNS server that has a superset of regular DNS, including some effectively internal DNS entries. I only send internal traffic down that VPN, and regular internet traffic goes out the normal way.

My previous local Network Manager configuration for the OpenVPN connection had these extra domains mentioned in the dns-search parameter. This meant that queries meant for those domains were sent to the correct interface.

With 18.04 this worked reasonably effectively. With 18.10 I found I couldn’t resolve any of the internal domains.

Looking at the current Network Manager configuration page I’m not entirely clear why that shouldn’t work any more. Initially I thought that that had changed parameter name, but I now suspect that might be a typo in the wiki. Certainly trying to set dns-searches as mentioned in the systemd section of the documentation reports that’s not a valid parameter on my system.

Investigating further it turns out that I could talk to the IP addresses, and I could even see that the DNS server was configured by simply using nmcli on it’s own. Running that with no parameters displays all the current network configuration, and at the bottom lists all the DNS configuration.

A straight up nslookup using the right server worked. Having realised that, I realised it was time to look at how systemd was working.

It turns out that it too could be proven to be able to use the DNS server. Using the interface tun0 which was the VPN’s interface, I could ask it to resolve an address and that worked. Leaving off the interface specifier or using the main internet connection interface failed.

systemd-resolve -i tun0

In my situation I realised that since I’m only connecting to a single VPN, and since our DNS server provides answers for all domains, not just the internal ones, I could effectively switch everything to using that DNS server when I’m connected to the VPN.

The trick then was to find out how to ask it to do that. This is where resolvectl comes in. This appears to be new from the point of view of 18.10, and allows us to specify the DNS to use for a particular interface.

If you run it on it’s own it provides a list of the resolving configuration. With a ‘dns’ command it simply sets the dns server to use for a particular interface.

resolvectl dns $interface $dns_ip 
# for example resolvectl dns wlp3s0

Now since I use a shell script to connect to the VPN I just added an extra line to switch the DNS server once it’s connected. It’s not perfect, but it gets it working. Hopefully I’ll find a better way of managing this so that I can either direct the correct queries to the correct server, or ensure that I use a particular server when I connect to a particular connection, but for now this gets me working again.

In theory according the Network Manager page I should be able to set the priority of the DNS connection for the VPN, although it actually looks like it ought to set VPN connections to have priority already. Playing with the settings in real time doesn’t really seem to make a difference though.

$ nmcli c show "tun0" | grep ipv4 | grep dns

ipv4.dns: --
ipv4.dns-search: --
ipv4.dns-options: ""
ipv4.dns-priority: 100
ipv4.ignore-auto-dns: no

$ nmcli c modify tun0 ipv4.dns-priority -1

Now there is one thing that I perhaps should take into account. I should point out that I’m using an Ubuntu variant, rather than plain Ubuntu, Xubuntu, so it might be something odd with that. The differences between the distributions are generally relatively cosmetic, so I’d be surprised if the problem lay there.

Tweaking dumb-init

I’ve been having a look at envoy, only I’ve been looking at it in docker-compose rather than kubernetes, so the usual sidecar type of deployment possible there wasn’t an option. Simply starting up one program in the background and the other in the foreground ‘works’, but not ideally. If the background process dies, the other one carries on oblivious as if nothing is wrong.

Putting in a full init system in a docker container is generally missing the point of containers. Then it occurred to me that what I really want is a dumb-init that just spins up 2 processes instead of just the one. So I adapted it and did just that. By separating the commands with a semicolon you can use dumb-init in the usual way.

Note that I’ve done nothing special about stdout/err, or well anything really, so things may not behave perfectly for your situation, but so far in my testing everything has worked far better than I could ever expect.

With this fork you start 2 processes like this,

$ ./dumb-init echo hello \; echo world

And if you try this,

$ ./dumb-init sleep 1000 \; echo test

You’ll see that it exits as soon as the echo completes, as it closes down if either process ends.

I’m not sure I really plan on doing anything serious with this fork, I’m not sure that there aren’t better alternatives that I’ve missed. I haven’t tested it much either. It looks like it does what I want, but I haven’t done any scientific testing.

Setting up a new CPAN Mini Mirror

It’s time for me to set up a new dev laptop and I wanted to set up a CPAN Mirror quickly. Using a mirror has been something I’ve done for a long time now, it’s great for coding without internet. Unless you’re doing lots of module installs this is likely to use more bandwidth than downloading on an ad hoc basis, but the tradeoff is that I can install almost any module I realise I need regardless of whether I have connectivity or not. The only limitations will be down to external dependencies on things like operating system packages/tools.

I have previously setup mirrors using lxc and salt to provision the machine, but this time I decided to convert that set up to Docker. I also simplified the setup to just the mirror as I didn’t need to inject modules into the CPAN server any more. Well, in truth I never really did on my laptops, I simply did that because it was useful for work at the time. I created the salt configuration to make it easier to re-provision new servers for a work setup that allowed for private mirror that also had work modules allowing for a full CPAN type deployment process of both public and private code.

To do this I’ve used docker-compose, that’s almost always the best option for a laptop setup. Even with a single machine it generally makes life simpler as you can encode all the configuration in the file so that you have a few simple consistent commands to build/setup/run your containers. I’ve also set it to the highest version number currently available partly just to see what’s available, and partly because I want to make use of some of the newer features of volumes. It doesn’t appear that I can express everything I want to perfectly in the docker-compose file, but I suspect that they aren’t really targeting my situation. While docker is partly really popular because it works really well on developer laptops, cached file system layers and lightweight machines work really well in a constrained environment, fundamentally docker is aiming for servers and so they’re trying to deal with issues of sharing resources across multiple machines rather than working on a single machine.

What I really wanted to be able to do was specify the exact details of the volume I wanted shared between the containers, from the location down to the user id’s for them. If that’s currently fully possible I haven’t seen a way to do it.

This setup is not designed for the general internet or with security in mind (not that a simple mirror really should really have much in the way of threats). I don’t even expose the ports, just print out the url for use when running cpanm. I also just update the server manually rather than setup a cron job for it as I don’t really want to use that much bandwidth on this. I don’t use the mirror that often, but when I do it’s really valuable, even if it’s not all the latest and greatest versions of the modules.

Having all the modules locally can also be great when you want to do some analysis of what existing modules are doing. It’s reasonably easy to write scripts to say find all the XS modules and then extract their C code to see which call a particular function.

The configuration is on github here, The modules downloaded are kept in a volume outside the containers so updating/removing etc. should be easy. In theory it should even be possible to wrap the set up around an existing mirror if you already have files.

An Operations guide to Catalyst configuration in Docker

We use the Perl Catalyst web framework at $work.  A lot.  It’s got most of the stuff you want for web sites and services, and it’s pretty solid and it’s lovely and stable.

As with most systems it has a well established method of configuration and it allows you to use configuration files.  Theses are handy for all sorts of reasons, but in a docker environment most of the file system generally wants to be essentially static.  If you need to change config files on every different deployment of your container you’re probably going to need to do something ugly.  Docker is much happier with allowing you to push in settings via environment variables instead.  This fits much more neatly into the 12 factor app methodology that using docker itself fits neatly into.

Of course Catalyst has a solution to that that doesn’t require wholesale change, you can just load the Catalyst::Plugin::ConfigLoader::Environment plugin to your application.  That allows you to override parts of your configuration.

Perl modules generally have names like this, My::App, often (but not always) with capitalized names, and :: between words.  The corresponding catalyst configuration file for that application would be named my_app.conf.  It is simply a lowercase version of the app name, with :: replaced with _.

The environment variables you override the config with need to be an all uppercase version of the app name, again with :: replaced by ::.  So it would start MY_APP.  Then you put another _ after that, and then you specify the configuration section you want to override.

Let’s take a look at an example config,

using_frontend_proxy 1 

   connect_info dbi:Pg:host=db;dbname=patch
    connect_info someuser
    connect_info averysecurepassword
      quote_char "\""
      name_sep .
      pg_enable_utf8 1

Note that catalyst config files can generally be in lots of different formats.  This is kind of an apache like config style, but it can also be yaml and other formats.  The configuration loaded Cataylst apps commonly use is very flexible.

If we want to change the using_frontend_proxy setting we can set the environment variable MY_APP_using_frontend_proxy to 0.

To set more complex data structures we can set a json value.  This will get merged into the config, so if something exists in the hash/dictionary but isn’t overwritten then it will generally be left alone.

The configuration file above roughly translates to a dictionary looking like this in code (expressed in json),

    "Model::Cabbages": {
        "connect_info": [
                "name_sep": ".",
                "pg_enable_utf8": "1",
                "quote_char": "\""
    "using_frontend_proxy": "1"

Note how the repeated connect_info were translated into an array, and then a dictionary.  This may seem strange, but the connect_info block is a very common structure in the perl world as most if not all will be passed straight onto DBI, the workhorse doing most database work.

So to change the password in the database configuration we do,


Since that’s an array of configuration settings we end up having to specify the whole lot, otherwise we lose some of the configuration.  Also note that we turned the :: into __.  That is generally a good thing when working on the command line as putting :: into env variables via bash is tricky (if possible).  

The one oddity is if you have a configuration key with more than 1 set of double colons.  E.g. Model::Payment::Client.  Then you just need to live with the :: otherwise your override will be interpreted in an odd fashion.

Perl and docker-compose configurations can set environment variables with :: easily though so this generally isn’t a big deal.  env and set can confuse however as one will show environment variables with ::, and the other won’t.


Take the configuration filename, drop the extension, upper case it.

Add an underscore.

Take the first section or key, and append that to the environment variable.

That’s the variable that will target that config section.

Now set it’s value to either a string (if it’s a simple string value), or a json structure that matches the configurations effective structure.

Now you discover whether someones done something confusing and eschewed convention. Hopefully not.

There is something missing here, and it’s how to test changes, and generate the correct json easily. I have the tooling to make it reasonably simple, I just need to open source it.

PAUSE permissions code outline

This is a quick brain dump from my brief coding session on PAUSE working on the permissions. This won’t make sense without reading the code yourself. Unless you’re interested in modifying PAUSE or reviewing my changes I would ignore this blog post. I’m writing this for my future self as much as anyone. The behaviour I modified in my pull request is in italics.

The code for setting the permissions when a new distribution is indexed is largely in PAUSE::package. It’s triggered by ./cron/mldistwatch and PAUSE::mldistwatch, but the code that actually sets the permissions is in PAUSE::package.

perm_check checks that the current user has permission to be uploading this distro and bails if not. If this is a new package (and they do have permission) then it also adds the user to the perms table as they are effectively first come.

give_regdowner_perms adds people to the perms table where necessary. This was supporting the module permissions in amongst other things. It is now also where we copy the permissions from the main module.

The checkin method as well as adding the record to the packages table also adds to the primeur table via the checkin_into_primeur function. If the x_authority flag is used then that user is added, otherwise the main module is looked up, or failing that the uploading user.

Note that the first come (primeur) users appear in both the perms and primeur tables.

There are special checks for Perl distributions in the permissions code that will change the behaviour of the permissions. I am purposely not mentioning them as I never took the time to understand them.

A quick note on testing. As well as the tests which work of the dummy distributions in the corpus directory there is a test utility. To get a look at the permissions database in practice use the build-fresh-cpan script. This will build a one off cpan environment that you can examine. Just pass it a package to index and then you can check the permissions database.

$ perl one-off-utils/build-fresh-cpan corpus/mld/009/authors/O/OO/OOOPPP/Jenkins-Hack-0.14.tar.gz
Initialized empty Git repository in /tmp/h4L3GU6Awi/git/.git/
$ ls
cpan  db  git  Maildir  pause.log  run
$ cd db
$ ls
authen.sqlite  mod.sqlite
$ sqlite3 mod.sqlite 
SQLite version 2014-10-29 13:59:56
Enter ".help" for usage hints.
sqlite> select * from primeur;
sqlite> select * from perms;

Docker logging and buffering

When you start using Docker one of the things it’s quite possibly you’ve hit is output buffering. Docker encourages you to log to stdout/err from your program, and then use docker to feed your regular logging solution.

This generally exhibits itself as you seeing no logging, then after the program has been running for a while you come back to the logs and find they are all there. It doesn’t get as much press as caching but it can be just as head scratching.

With Perl for example the buffering kicks in when it’s not connected to a terminal. For that this somewhat idiomatic snippet can be useful,

select( ( select(\*STDERR), $|=1 )[0] );
select( ( select(\*STDOUT), $|=1 )[0] );

As ever with Perl there is more than one way to do it of course…

Note that you could experience this sort of thing when using other logging setups. If you pipe to logger to output to rsyslog you could experience the same issues.