Troubleshooting Java EE apps running on WebSphere just got a bit easier with WebSphere v8's new binary logging and tracing mechanism: HPEL (High Performance Extensible Logging).
HPEL provides logging/tracing run-time performance boost (x3.5-x5 claimed) increasing the chances that you'll be able to turn on tracing on a production system.
HPEL comes with two offline viewing tools: A crafty command-line tool for log analysis, and a web based traces viewer on the Web admin console (handy for remote servers).
The command line utility has a tail function and can filter by: Logger/Thread ID/Time/Server startup instance/etc. Which is a good enough reason for me to get rid of my (slow performing) custom Python based filtering scripts.
Good old legacy text based logs are still supported but are recommended for development mode only.