Crate tracing_dipstick[][src]

A bridge from tracing

Traditionally, applications used separate instrumentation for metrics and logging. That is tiresome to set up. Using tracing offers an opportunity to use single instrumentation and export as both.

This crate exports metrics through the dipstick metrics library, provided the instrumentation uses specific attributes to events and spans. To use it:

  • Register the DipstickLayer to consume the spans and events.
  • Use the metrics.scope on spans to create hierarchy of the metrics.
  • Mark the spans and events with further metrics.* attributes to collect metrics of specific types and names.

Recognized attributes

Whenever there’s a span or event with one of these attributes, a metric is collected whenever it is encountered. The value of the attribute is the name of the metric and the type (the thing after the metrics.) corresponds to the metric types in dipstick’s InputScope. Spans happen when they are created and some effects happen when they are closed/destroyed.

  • metrics.counter="name": Adds 1 to the metric counter called name.
  • metrics.level="name": Adds 1 to the level called name. If it is present on a span, the 1 is subtracted when it is closed (it’s more useful on spans).
  • metrics.gauge="name": Sets the gauge to 1. This one is more useful in the second form below.
  • metrics.timer="name": Records the time between the creation of the span and its destruction. This attribute is accepted only on spans.
  • metrics.scope="scope-name": Names of metrics that are inside this span get prefixed by this name, eg. their names will be Nested spans with this attributes accumulate the name, eg This is accepted on spans only.
  • metrics.scope.full="scope-name": Similar to the above, but the name is not nested, it is replaced.

The counter, level and gauge accept alternative variant of (for example,, which uses the given value instead of 1.

Unfortunately, typos don’t cause compile errors, they are just ignored :-(.


While the metrics are sent into the dipstick library, the attribute naming is quite general. This is on purpose. The author envisions that other crates might offer similar functionality, but export the metrics to a different library. In such case it is beneficial if the attributes are the same ‒ in such case changing the “backend” means only different initialization while the instrumentation of the whole code stays the same.

Crate status

  • There are some limitations about filtering (see the note at DipstickLayer). They may be fixed either in tracing_subscriber or by changes in here, but both needs some work.
  • There are several performance inefficiencies that need to be eliminated.
  • The crate has been tested only lightly and it’s possible it might not act correctly in some corner cases.

So, there’s still some work to happen (and help in doing it is welcome). On the other hand, it is unlikely to cause some serious problems, only incorrect metric readings.


use std::thread;
use std::time::Duration;

use dipstick::{AtomicBucket, ScheduleFlush, Stream};
use log::LevelFilter;
use tracing::{debug, info_span, subscriber};
use tracing_dipstick::DipstickLayer;
use tracing_subscriber::layer::SubscriberExt;
use tracing_subscriber::Registry;

fn main() {
     * We use the log-always integration of tracing here and route that to the env logger, that has
     * INFO enabled by default and can override by RUST_LOG to something else.
     * We could use tracing_subscriber::fmt, *but* the EnvFilter there unfortunately disables
     * events/spans for the whole stack, not for logging only. And we want all the metrics while we
     * want only certain level of events.

    let root = AtomicBucket::new();
    let _flush = root.flush_every(Duration::from_secs(5));

    let bridge = DipstickLayer::new(root);
    let subscriber = Registry::default().with(bridge);


    const CNT: usize = 10;
    let _yaks = info_span!("Shaving yaks", cnt = CNT, metrics.scope = "shaving").entered();
    for i in 0..CNT {
        let _this_yak = info_span!(
            metrics.gauge.order = i,
            metrics.scope = "yak",
            metrics.timer = "time",
            metrics.level = "active"
        debug!(metrics.counter = "started", "Starting shaving");
        debug!(metrics.counter = "done", metrics.counter.legs = 4, "Shaving done");



The bridge from tracing to dipstick.