The Timestamper plugin currently inserts a console note into every line of the build's log file. Console notes are a feature supported by Jenkins. They allow the timestamps to be formatted at the time the console is viewed, rather than the time that the build was running. This is necessary to support features such as the timestamp format setting.
Inserting a console note into every line, as the Timestamper plugin does, increases the size of the log file and makes the file more difficult to read in a text editor.
Arguably, it may also make it more difficult for external tools (scripts and other plugins) to parse the console log. Although Jenkins will already insert console notes without the Timestamper plugin installed, the Timestamper plugin inserts many more of them and so it has exposed bugs in other plugins.
It would be nice to store the timestamps in a separate file to the console, and in a more efficient format. The Timestamper plugin would still need a way to insert these timestamps back into the console when it is being viewed in Jenkins.
Unfortunately, this alternate solution will be much more time-consuming to implement than the console notes solution.
- The Timestamper plugin should retain the ability to display existing console notes.
- There should be an option to still use console notes, because a few people have written scripts to read them from the log file.
- The /timestamps URL (introduced in version 1.3.2) must continue to read the console notes when this option has been selected.