Semantic Conventions for Exceptions

Status: Experimental

This document defines semantic conventions for recording exceptions on logs and events emitted through the Logger API.

Recording an Exception

Exceptions SHOULD be recorded as attributes on the LogRecord passed to the Logger emit operations. Exceptions MAY be recorded on “logs” or “events” depending on the context.

To encapsulate proper handling of exceptions API authors MAY provide a constructor, RecordException method/extension, or similar helper mechanism on the LogRecord class/structure or wherever it makes the most sense depending on the language runtime.


The table below indicates which attributes should be added to the LogRecord and their types.

AttributeTypeDescriptionExamplesRequirement Level
exception.messagestringThe exception message.Division by zero; Can't convert 'int' object to str implicitlySee below
exception.stacktracestringA stacktrace as a string in the natural representation for the language runtime. The representation is to be determined and documented by each language SIG.Exception in thread "main" java.lang.RuntimeException: Test exception\n at com.example.GenerateTrace.methodB(\n at com.example.GenerateTrace.methodA(\n at com.example.GenerateTrace.main(
exception.typestringThe type of the exception (its fully-qualified class name, if applicable). The dynamic type of the exception should be preferred over the static type in languages that support; OSErrorSee below

Additional attribute requirements: At least one of the following sets of attributes is required:

  • exception.type
  • exception.message

Stacktrace Representation

Same as Trace Semantic Conventions for Exceptions - Stacktrace Representation.