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gnats(7)               Problem Report Management System               gnats(7)

       gnats - Problem Report Management System

       GNATS is a bug-tracking tool designed for use at a central support
       site.  Software users who experience problems use tools provided with
       GNATS to submit Problem Reports to the the maintainers of that
       software; GNATS partially automates the tracking of these problems by:

       +o      organizing problem reports into a database and notifying
              responsible parties of suspected bugs;

       +o      allowing support personnel and their managers to edit, query and
              report on accumulated bugs; and

       +o      providing a reliable archive of problems with a given program
              and a history of the life of the program by preserving its
              reported problems and their subsequent solutions.

       GNATS offers many of the same features offered by more generic
       databases.  You can query and edit existing problem reports (PRs) as
       well as obtain reports on groups of PRs.  The database itself is simply
       an ordered repository for problem reports; each PR receives a unique,
       incremental PR number which identifies it throughout its lifetime.

       Many of the primary functions available with GNATS are accessible from
       within GNU Emacs.

       PRs go through several states in their lifetimes.  The set of states is

       The default set of states are:

       open                the initial state of every PR; this means the PR
                           has been filed and the person or group responsible
                           for it has been notified of the suspected problem

       analyzed            the problem has been examined and work toward a
                           solution has begun

       feedback            a solution has been found and tested at the support
                           site, and sent to the party who reported the
                           problem; that party is testing the solution

       closed              the solution has been confirmed by the party which
                           reported it

       In some cases, it may be necessary to suspend work on a bug; in this
       case, its state changes to suspended rather than closed.

       Incoming PRs are assigned an incremental serial number and filed
       according to category.  An index is kept concurrently to accelerate
       searches of the database.

       All GNATS administration and database files are located in
       subdirectories of a directory associated with each database.  Databases
       are named, and the association between database names and directories
       is described by the databases file, which is found on this system in

       Problem Reports are segregated into subdirectories within the database
       directory by category.  For example, problems submitted with a category
       of gcc will be filed in the database subdirectory gcc.

       GNATS administration files are kept in the database subdirectory

       addresses      contains mappings between submitter IDs and
                      corresponding e-mail addresses

       categories     table of valid categories and parties responsible for

       classes        table of valid classes of Problem Reports

       current        keeps track of incremental PR numbers assigned

       dbconfig       describes the structure of the database, and various
                      database-specific options

                      lists host names and access levels of hosts authorized
                      to access the database

                      lists user names, passwords and access levels of users
                      authorized to access the database

       index          database index

       locks          directory containing lock files

       responsible    table of responsible parties and their email addresses

       states         table of valid states of Problem Reports

       submitters     database of sites which submit PRs

       Administrative programs and programs internal to GNATS are kept in the
       directory /usr/local/libexec/gnats while those meant for public use are
       installed in /usr/local/bin.

       /usr/local/libexec/gnats contains the programs:

       mkdb           used by the GNATS administrator to create a new database

       mkcat          used by the GNATS administrator to create new categories

       rmcat          used by the GNATS administrator to remove outdated
                      categories [obsolete]

       gen-index      used by the GNATS administrator to generate a new
                      version of the index

       queue-pr       mail control program which accepts incoming messages and
                      periodically submits them to the database via cron by
                      feeding them through the program file-pr(8)

       pr-edit        program which is mainly responsible for editing existing
                      PRs and filing new ones; it is used by
                      edit-pr and file-pr

       file-pr        script which uses pr-edit to file new PRs

       at-pr          automatically notifies responsible parties if a PR is
                      not analyzed within a requisite period defined in the
                      submitters file

       delete-pr      used to delete closed PRs

       /usr/local/bin contains the programs

       query-pr       used to query the database

       edit-pr        used to edit individual PRs

       send-pr        used to submit problems to GNATS

       Documentation exists for all programs associated with GNATS.

       Keeping Track: Managing Messages With GNATS (also installed as the GNU
       Info file

       databases(5), dbconfig(5), delete-pr(8), edit-pr(1) file-pr(8),
       gen-index(8), gnats(7), gnatsd(8), mkcat(8), mkdb(8), pr-edit(8),
       query-pr(1), queue-pr(8), send-pr(1).

       GNATS was greatly inspired by the BSD sendbug(1) and bugfiler(8)
       programs.  It was originally written in C++, Elisp, shell script, and
       awk.  It presently consists of utilities written in C, shell script,
       and Elisp.

       GNATS was originally written by Heinz G. Seidl (Cygnus Support).
       Subsequent iterations were developed by Brendan Kehoe (Cygnus Support)
       and Jason Merrill (Cygnus Support), with help from Tim Wicinski.
       Documentation was initially developed by Jeffrey Osier (Cygnus Support)
       and Brendan Kehoe (Cygnus Support).

       Version 4.x was a substantial rewrite done by Bob Manson (Juniper
       Networks), Milan Zamazal and Yngve Svendsen (Clustra Systems / Sun

       Copyright (c) 1992, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2003, Free Software Foundation

       Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
       manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
       preserved on all copies.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
       manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the
       entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
       permission notice identical to this one.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
       manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified
       versions, except that this permission notice may be included in
       translations approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the
       original English.

GNATS                             August 2003                         gnats(7)


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