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1.2.7 • Public • Published


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On-screen logging utility.

Monkey-patches and chains the browser's console object.

Functionality is driven by console statements, window.ticker, and keyboard chords starting with ` (back-tick).

This module facilitates an interactive-style of development/non-production logging.


Play with ticker-log:

Example Usage

Load node_modules/ticker-log/dist/ticker.min.js and press `-t to see a ticker log.

Press `-h to show the quick-help reference.

In your source code, execute:

console.log('`', 'hello ticker-log');

By default, console's log function accepts ticker-log invocations (passing in the ` character as the first argument).

Switch console "channel"

Rather than log you could listen to the warn channel.

Press `-<tab> a few times until you see "listening to warn..." and now only invocations of console.warn('`', '...') will be printed.

To show all output to the current channel press `-b, and to show all output from all channels use window.ticker.listenToEverything().

Execute ad-hoc testing code with keyboard "macros"

watch a variable:

var a = 0;
setInterval(function() {
    console.log('`', a);
}, 500);
// do complicated things with "a"...

Usage of ticker-log is best suited for one-off, quick debugging situations, with any api code remnants removed before pushing to production.


Displaying on-screen logging output reduces browser debugger juggling (dev-tools, Firebug, etc) while you exercise your application.

It can also be valuable to target a specific sub-set of logs both statically (in your code) as well as at run-time using keyboard chords.

Typical use-cases:

  • a better approach to "throw an alert in there"
  • developing on non-desktop devices (difficult to access console)
  • debugging timing issues that involve user interaction
  • "special-event" emitting (listening and firing)


  • Configurable via API and URL parameters
  • Swap log view with textarea for easy copy/pasting
  • Lightweight, no dependencies
  • Macro system for run-time, on-demand, static function execution
  • Regex log filtering


npm install ticker-log

Load script: node_modules/ticker-log/dist/ticker.min.js


To write to Ticker's "ticker tape" simply pass in a back-tick (`) as a first argument to console's logging functions (log, fatal, etc...).

For example:

console.log('`', 'lorum ipsum...');
console.fatal('`', 'something very bad just happened...');

All actions can be driven by keyboard shortcut chords. Every key-combination starts with the back-tick key (`).


Increase and decrease the speed of the ticker with `-<up> and `-<down>.

Move the horizontal position of the logs with `-<left> and `-<right>.

Change the vertical starting position with `-<pageUp> and `-<pageDown>.

Pause movement with `-p (or on-click) and remove all with `-k.

Show the current ticker log in a textarea (useful for copy/pasting) with `-o. Show all the accrued log output with `-l. Reverse contents with `-f (flip).

Embed the current configuration settings in the browser-window's url with `-<enter>.

For the full list of actions, show the help screen with `-h.


A configuration object is maintained, of which most properties (if they differ from their default) can be expressed as a JSON object url parameter.

Property examples:

  • whether to show line numbers (default=true) (showLineNumbers)
  • speed logs travel up the screen (interval)
  • starting position of logs (logStartTop)
  • flush to left or right of screen (align)
  • console channel to listen to (channel)
  • don't trail previous log (default=true) (trailPreviousLog)

Return a copy of the current config settings by invoking the config API with no arguments:

var alignment = window.ticker.config().align;

Set a configuration property by passing an object into config:

    align: 'right'

Configuration settings take this format when embedded as a url parameter:



Most on-screen actions can be scripted by using the global ticker object:;          # show help screen
window.ticker.config();        # return config object clone
window.ticker.config(o);       # o overlays configuration object
window.ticker.increaseSpeed(); # increase speed
window.ticker.decreaseSpeed(); # decrease speed
window.ticker.moveUp();        # make starting position a little higher
window.ticker.moveDown();      # make starting position a little lower
window.ticker.moveLeft();      # move logs to the left of the screen (the default)
window.ticker.moveRight();     # move logs to the right of the screen
window.ticker.pause();         # pause ticker log movement
window.ticker.kill();          # remove all ticker logs from screen
window.ticker.output();        # show current on-screen logs in textarea
window.ticker.outputAll();     # show _all_ accrued logging in textarea
window.ticker.flip();          # reverse order of textarea text
window.ticker.dump();          # show all configuration

Additional API is covered in the following sections.


Channels allow you to control which logs are printed to the screen:

  • log (default)
  • debug
  • warn
  • error
  • trace

By default, within the current channel, console invocations that are given ` as the first argument are printed.

To print all calls to the current channel set the requireBacktick configuration property to false (`-b).

To show all console logging (regardless of channel) using the listenToEverything api function.


Macros are bits of code you want to run at ad-hoc times. There are 10 "slots" stored in keys 0-9.

Macros 0-8 are reserved for api-driven macros:

var variableToTrack;
window.ticker.registerMacro(0, function() {
    // output values of variables in closure scope
    console.log('`', 'variableToTrack: ' + variableToTrack);
// code exercises "variableToTrack"...
// invoke macro by pressing `-0

Macro 9 is reserved for an on-screen editing option. Press `-m and a textarea will appear. Enter JavaScript code to be evaled and press `-m again to "register" the macro.


Filter all log output by string:

window.ticker.filter('string subset match');




window.ticker.filter(function(s) {
    // do something with log text

Pair filtering with listenToEverything to broadly filter:


Custom action key

Use a custom key rather than the default ` key for keyboard chords:

// additionally use the 'z' key as a modifier
    defaultBacktickKeys: [192, 90] // `, Z

Global-state Impact

  • window.history.pushState and window.location.replace
    • "save" action (`-<enter>)
  • window.ticker
    • api namespace
  • console functions (log, debug, etc)
    • console overrides are reverted when applicable (such as when changing channels)

Reset to default state:



npm install
npm test        # run test suite (qunit, phantomjs) 
npm run lint    # eslint 
npm run serve   # http://localhost:9000/index.html 
npm run package # build and populate dist 




npm i ticker-log

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