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gnats: Problem Report Management System


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: +


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 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 /usr/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 corresponding 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/libexec/gnats while those meant for public use are installed in /usr/bin. /usr/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 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/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 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).


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 Microsystems)


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(7)

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