24.4. The history manager

24.4.1. The processing history

Every time you execute an algorithm, information about the process is stored in the history manager. The date and time of the execution are saved, along with the parameters used, making it is easy to track and control all the work that has been developed using the Processing framework, and to reproduce it.

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Fig. 24.15 History

Process information is kept as a command-line expression, even if the algorithm was launched from the toolbox. This makes it useful for those learning how to use the command-line interface, since they can call an algorithm using the toolbox and then check the history manager to see how it could be called from the command line.

Right-click on a row and you should be able to:

  • Copy as Python Command: allows for easy copying of the equivalent PyQGIS command run from the dialog. Same as the code displayed below the commands list.

  • Copy as qgis_process Command: allows for easy generation of qgis_process command, including its environment settings like the distance units, area units, ellipsoid, and any tricky parameter values like GeoPackage outputs with specific layers

  • Copy as JSON: all the settings of the command are copied in a JSON format, ready to be consumed by qgis_process. This is a convenient way to see the expected format of the commands, even for complex parameters (like TIN interpolation parameters). You can store these easily and then restore them later by pasting the values over an algorithm dialog.

  • Create Test… using the concerned algorithm and parameters, following instructions at Processing README file.

Apart from browsing the entries in the registry, you can also re-execute processes by simply double-clicking on the entry. The algorithm dialog then opens with parameters already set, and you can change any of them to fit your needs and re-run the algorithm.

The History dialog also provides a convenient way to contribute to the consolidation of the testing infrastructure of QGIS Processing algorithms and scripts.

24.4.2. The processing log

The history dialog only contains the execution calls, but not the information produced by the algorithm when executed. That information is written to the QGIS log (View ► Panels ► Log Messages Panel).

Third-party algorithms are usually executed by using their command-line interfaces, which communicate with the user via the console. Although that console is not shown, usually a full dump of it is written to the log each time you run one of those algorithms. To avoid cluttering the log with that information, you can disable it for each provider in the settings dialog.

Some algorithms, even if they can produce a result with the given input data, output comments or additional information to log when they detect potential problems with the data, in order to warn you. Make sure you check those messages in the log if you get unexpected results.