gnats

GNATS(l)               Problem Report Management System               GNATS(l)



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 electronic mail to
       communicate these problems 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 PRnumber, 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 defined states in their lifetimes.


       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.

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
       subdirectories of a top-level directory signified with the variable
       GNATS_ROOT.  The directory has been set on this site to /var/gnats-db
       and contains all Problem Reports segregated into subdirectories by
       category.  For example, problems submitted with a category of gcc will
       be filed in the directory /var/gnats-db/gcc.

       GNATS administration files are kept in /var/gnats-db/gnats-adm:

       categories     table of valid categories and parties responsible for
                      them

       responsible    table of responsible parties and their email addresses

       submitters     database of sites which submit PRs

       current        keeps track of incremental PR numbers assigned; do not
                      touch this file

       index          database index which is managed internally; do not touch
                      this file

       Administrative programs and programs internal to GNATS are kept in the
       directory @PREFIX@/lib while those meant for public use are installed
       in @PREFIX@/bin.

       @PREFIX@/lib contains the programs:

       mkcat          used by the GNATS administrator to create new categories

       rmcat          used by the GNATS administrator to remove outdated
                      categories

       gen-index      used by the GNATS administrator to obtain a copy of the
                      index

       mkdist         used by the GNATS administrator to create a distribution
                      of send-pr

       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)

       file-pr        main administrative program which files incoming PRs and
                      controls the index

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

       driver for     edit-pr.

       @PREFIX@/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) and Reporting Problems Using send-pr (also
       installed as the GNU Info file send-pr.info).

       gnats(l), send-pr(1), edit-pr(1), query-pr(1), file-pr(8), queue-pr(8),
       rmcat(8), gen-index(8), mkdist(8).

       send-pr(1), query-pr(1), edit-pr(1), file-pr(8), queue-pr(8), mkcat(8),
       rmcat(8), gen-index(8), mkdist(8).

HISTORY
       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.

AUTHORS
       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 developed by Jeffrey Osier (Cygnus Support) and
       Brendan Kehoe (Cygnus Support).

COPYING
       Copyright (c) 1992, 1993 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 3.2                         April 1993                          GNATS(l)