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

NAME
       gnats - Problem Report Management System

DESCRIPTION
       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 soft-
       ware; GNATS partially automates the tracking of these problems by:

       +o      organizing problem reports into a	database and notifying respon-
	      sible 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	 data-
       bases.	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.

PROBLEM	REPORT STATES
       PRs go through several states in	their lifetimes.  The set of states is
       site-specific.

       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	 prob-
			   lem;	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.

STRUCTURE
       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 subdirecto-
       ries 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
       /usr/local/etc/gnats/databases.

       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	gnats-
       adm:

       addresses      contains mappings	between	submitter IDs and  correspond-
		      ing e-mail addresses

       categories     table  of	 valid	categories and parties responsible for
		      them

       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

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

       gnatsd.user_access
		      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
		      [obsolete]

       rmcat	      used by the GNATS	administrator to remove	outdated cate-
		      gories [obsolete]

       gen-index      used  by	the GNATS administrator	to generate a new ver-
		      sion 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.

SEE ALSO
       Keeping Track: Managing Messages	With GNATS (also installed as the  GNU
       Info file gnats.info)

       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).

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

AUTHORS
       GNATS was originally written by Heinz G.	Seidl (Cygnus Support).	  Sub-
       sequent iterations were developed by Brendan Kehoe (Cygnus Support) and
       Jason Merrill (Cygnus Support), with help from Tim Wicinski.   Documen-
       tation  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  Net-
       works),	Milan  Zamazal	and  Yngve  Svendsen  (Clustra	Systems	 / Sun
       Microsystems)

COPYING
       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  per-
       mission notice identical	to this	one.

       Permission  is granted to copy and distribute translations of this man-
       ual into	another	language, under	the above conditions for modified ver-
       sions,  except  that this permission notice may be included in transla-
       tions approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the	origi-
       nal English.

GNATS				  August 2003			      gnats(7)

NAME | DESCRIPTION | PROBLEM REPORT STATES | STRUCTURE | SEE ALSO | HISTORY | AUTHORS | COPYING

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