Semantic Conventions for Runtime Environment

Status: Experimental

This document defines semantic conventions for runtime environment spans, metrics and logs.


Runtime environments vary widely in their terminology, implementation, and relative values for a given metric. For example, Go and Python are both garbage collected languages, but comparing heap usage between the Go and CPython runtimes directly is not meaningful. For this reason, this document does not propose any standard top-level runtime metric instruments. See OTEP 108 for additional discussion.

Metrics specific to a certain runtime environment should be prefixed with the runtime’s top-level namespace {environment}.*, e.g., jvm.* and follow the general metric semantic convention guidelines.

Authors of runtime instrumentations are responsible for the choice of {environment} to avoid ambiguity when interpreting a metric’s name or values.

For example, some programming languages have multiple runtime environments that vary significantly in their implementation, like Python which has many implementations. For such languages, consider using specific {environment} prefixes to avoid ambiguity, like cpython.* and pypy.*.

Also consider the general metrics, system metrics and OS process metrics semantic conventions when instrumenting runtime environments.


process.runtime resource attributes SHOULD be included on runtime metric events as appropriate.