Given a reverse chronologically ordered list of computer generated events (logs), what would be good technical synonyms to express recent events and old events?

These events form a history that programmers analyze. So I refer to recent events as recent history, and old events as old history.

I am writing a paper on the topic and I got feedback that the word "old" is inadequate and hints too much at social aging aspects.

Example usages: "Reasons for using the recent and old history of events". "We define old history as the set of events older than 2 weeks" "Both old and recent events show the following property: ..." "People access old event history for ..."

  • 1
    I would split them into recent and past (or historical) events. But whoever is worried about "social aging aspects" is clearly focusing on the wrong issues. – Robusto Mar 26 '15 at 18:37
  • 1
    You could split it between "Recent History" and "Ancient History".... – Hellion Mar 26 '15 at 18:42
  • I like ancient. Although it has a bit of a dramatic feel to it. I wonder if I can just say recent and non-recent – cdmihai Mar 27 '15 at 0:57

I'd suggest "past" in its adjective form. Although recent events are also technically in the past, in this context, it's clear that you mean two different sets of events--one in the recent past and another still further back in the past.


If you don't keep event history forever in the same log file (as most installations don't), the file is probably periodically archived and a fresh log file is started. This might be daily, weekly, or a longer interval. (seriously, if they don't archive, they are not following good IT practices.)

In such a case, there is a natural definition of "old" and "older". Namely, the log file that is still collecting events is the current log file, and the older ones are archived log files. These are referred to similarly to backups; e.g. The most recently archived file is the latest generation, and others are referred to as " x generations back".

This is more precise than just saying "old" and "older".

Within a single file, you could refer to events as being near the "end" or "beginning" of the log (or, since you claim the log is in reverse chronological order, the "top" and "bottom" of the list).

Of course, a file cannot be written in reverse chronological order, and a file cannot be sorted while it's open for append, so your list is not the current file, it is a sorted copy of a current or archived log file.


I would suggest distant 'far away in space or time'.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.