I have often wished I could have a real-time visual indicator of what my web server is doing. I never really got past simply using a tail command piped into a grep command so I could see interesting things. But Erlend Simonsen came up with a very cool program called glTail. It’s a Ruby script that analyzes your log files and shows you what is happening by whom on which web site. I put my 10 most popular web sites into the script, and it runs beautifully. I just looked and I’m already 3 versions behind the times, so I’ve just upgraded.
I did have to install Ruby, and RubyGems onto my Powerbook. And that took a while, but the instructions at MacOnRails.com made it pretty easy, although I didn’t quite understand everything they were saying.
You can read about how Dougal Campbell is using glTail.