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       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:

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

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

       ·      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 gnats-

       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/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

       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

       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
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       Permission is granted to  copy  and  distribute  translations  of  this
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