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 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.

       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-

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

       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

       index          database index

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

       @PREFIX@/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

       @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.

       Keeping Track: Managing Messages With GNATS (also installed as the GNU
       Info file and Reporting Problems Using send-pr (also
       installed as the GNU Info file

       gnats(7), send-pr(1), edit-pr(1), query-pr(1), file-pr(8), queue-pr(8),
       delete-pr(8), mkcat(8), mkdb(8), rmcat(8), gen-index(8), pr-edit(8)

       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

       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

       Copyright (c) 1992, 1993, 1999, 2000 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

GNATS                             December 1999                         gnats(7)